By Bruce Fuhr,
The Nelson Daily Sports
It’s probably the best news the Nelson has received all season.
Now if only Castlegar coach Steven Junker could find a B.C. Hockey League team to take Andrew Walton and the Leafs may have a chance to finally beat one of the Murdoch Division heavyweights.
Saturday, Rebels’ leading scorer and the top sniper in the entire Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, Ryan Aynsley, played his final game for the Sunflower City franchise.
Aynsley has decided to waive his final season of Junior B hockey for the brighter lights of Tier II Junior A with the Trail Smoke Eaters.
“I’m a bit upset about (leaving) but it’s something I need to do,” the 20-year-old sniper from Kelowna said following Saturday’s destruction of Nelson. “I’ve been hearing it from so many people that I have to (leave) . . . I’ve got to take challenges.”
It's too bad Aynsley couldn’t leave a game earlier. He scored three times and added an assist in Castlegar 5-0 shellacking of the Leafs. The win was the fourth of the season for Castlegar over its West Kootenay rivals.
“They’ll be more schools, more university scouts watching . . . it will just be better for me,” Aynsley said.
Aynsley has been burning up the KIJHL this season. And for those non-believers, just ask the Leafs.
In 23 games, Aynsley has 26 goals and 27 assists for 53 points. The total is three points better than Stefan Jensen of the Osoyoos Coyotes. But Jensen has played seven more games.
Aynsley already knows what to expect with the Smokies.
In four games this season the 5’9” 185-pound forward has three goals and six assists.
“Trail is a very good team, for sure,” Aynsley said. “But I will miss this (Castlegar) team and, of course, my teammates.”
The loss of Aynsley leaves a significant hole in the Rebels offence. The second best scorer on the team is Taylor Anderson.
However, Anderson is a whopping 26 points behind his now, former teammate and has scored 14 fewer goals.
Aynsley off to, hopefully, bigger and better things in BCHL
By Bruce Fuhr,