By The Nelson Daily Sports
It’s a rather small contingent of Nelson Leafs that heads to Fernie next month to attend the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League All Star weekend.
Five players, including two veterans, made the grade to play in the All Star and Prospects games in January.
Headlining the list is the Leafs’ leading scorer, Gavin Currie.
Currie, 20, has been the most consistent player on the Green and White this season, leading Nelson in scoring with 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points.
Many of those points have come in the last few months before the Christmas break as the Abbotsford native has points in 15 of the last 19 games.
It's the second trip to the All Star contest for Currie.
Taylor O’Neil also slated to play in the All Star Classic. The Kelowna native has been Mr. Rock Solid for the Leafs on the blueline. Nelson’s captain has played all 32 games for Nelson, amassing three goals and nine assists to go with 188 minutes in penalties.
Three rookies earn the opportunity to play in the Prospects’ Game.
Goalie Darren Hogg and forwards Cameron Dobransky and Connor Enright caught the eye of the All Star committee.
Hogg has shared the crease with teammate Marcus Beesley and leads the Leafs with a solid 2.88 goals against average in 14 games. Nine of those games have been wins for the Penticton native.
Dobransky and Enright have been key contributors to the Leaf success this season with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
The KIJHL All Star weekend goes January 14-15 in Fernie.
Friday is the Prospects Game while the All Star Classic is scheduled for Saturday. Prior to the All Star contest the players and coaches will be treated to a banquet.
Five Riders play before home crowd in Fernie
The Fernie Ghostriders lead the Kootenay Conference in selections to the All Star Game with five players.
Netminders Andrew Walton and Fraser Abdallah join forwards Thomas Abenante, Scott Morriseau and Jeff Zmurchyk on the Kootenay Conference squad.
Three players from the Castlegar Rebels — Darren Tarasoff, Mike Wiest and Taylor Anderson — join two from Beaver Valley — Nelson Minor Hockey grad Ryon Sookro and Derek Lashuk.
Of course, Walton and Wiest were involved in that blockbuster trade last month between Castlegar and Fernie that saw the two star players switch teams mid season.
Sookro leads the Hawks in scoring with 20 goals and 22 assists.
There is one player each from Spokane Braves and Grand Forks Border Bruins.
The Rebels have two players on the Kootenay Prospects Team. Forwards Jamie Vlanich and Diego Bartlett will make the trek along with Ryan Edwards and Dallas Calvin of Beaver Valley.
Vlanich was also part of the Castlegar/Fernie deal that sent Walton to the Eddie Mountain powerhouse.
Desert Dogs lead All Star selections with eight
The Osoyoos Coyotes have no less than eight players heading to Fernie. The expansion club, that looks more like a seasoned crew, leads the entire KIJHL with a 29-2-2 record.
Defending KIJHL champion Revelstoke Grizzlies is second, three points behind the Desert Dogs.