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Blazers hand 'C' to veteran Shirley

Succeeds three-year captain Needham
August 24, 2016 6:23 P.M.
Head coach Don Hay (left) of the Kamloops Blazers, with Collin Shirley, the WHL team's new captain. (Kamloops Blazers photo)

Veteran left-winger Collin Shirley is the newest captain of the Kamloops Blazers.
The WHL team made the announcement on Wednesday.
Shirley, 20, led the Blazers last season in goals (37), assists (42) and points (79) in 72 games last season while serving as an alternate captain. He added eight points, including five goals, in a seven-game first-round playoff loss to the Kelowna Rockets.
The native of Saskatoon was acquired from the Kootenay Ice on Oct. 22, 2013. The Blazers sent right-winger Tim Bozon and defenceman Landon Cross to the Ice for Shirley, defenceman Matt Thomas and three bantam draft picks — a third-rounder in 2014 and a first and a fifth in 2015.
The Blazers selected F Erik Miller with the 2014 pick. In the 2015 draft, the Blazers got F Carson Denomie of Regina in the fifth round. That 2015 first-rounder ended up going to the Saskatoon Blades in a deal that included F Matt Revel coming to the Blazers with two draft picks, while D Jordan Thomson and F Mitch Lipon went the other way.
In 203 regular-season games with the Blazers, Shirley has 145 points, including 75 goals.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Shirley takes over as captain from Matt Needham, who wore the ‘C’ three seasons. Needham used up his junior eligibility last season and will play this season for the St. F-X X-Men, who play out of Antigonish, N.S.
Shirley and defenceman Dallas Valentine, also 20, will attend the Edmonton Oilers’ rookie camp and are expected to play in the Young Stars Classic, Sept. 16-19, in Penticton.
Valentine, a native of Red Deer, was acquired by the Blazers from the Moose Jaw Warriors early last season. A steady defender, he had 14 points, including two goals, in 51 games with Kamloops. In 208 career regular-season games, he has 50 points, eight of them goals.
Meanwhile, F Jermaine Loewen will attend the San Jose Sharks’ prospects camp. Loewen, a power forward in progress who is a crowd favourite, had eight goals and seven assists in 67 games last season. He checked into Blazers’ camp at 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds in preparation for his third season. Loewen, who wasn’t selected in the NHL draft, had been pointless in 37 games as a freshman.
Right-winger Deven Sideroff (Anaheim Ducks), goaltender Connor Ingram (Tampa Bay Lightning), centre Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals) will go to NHL camps as drafted players. The Lightning and Capitals will have rookie teams in a tournament in Coral Springs, Fla., Sept. 17-20, while the Ducks and Sharks are to play in the Rookie Showcase in Westminster, Colo., Sept. 17-19, with the Colorado Avalanche.
JUST NOTES: The Blazers’ training camp gets into high gear on Friday with players on the Sandman Centre ice from 8:30 a.m. through 1:45 p.m., and 4 p.m. through 7:30 p.m. Rookie games, each one hour in duration, are scheduled to start at 4, 5:15 and 6:30 p.m. . . . The annual Blue and White game is scheduled for Tuesday, 7 p.m. . . . The Calgary Inferno used the fourth overall selection in last weekend’s Canadian Women’s Hockey League to select G Emerance Maschmeyer, who starred for Team Canada at the IIHF World Women’s Championship in Kamloops last spring. She also is the younger sister of former Blazers D Bronson Maschmeyer. Emerance, who is from Bruderheim, Alta., will turn 22 on Oct. 5. She has completed her career at Harvard U, having played in 99 games for the Crimson. Last summer, she was a second-round selection of the National Women’s Hockey League’s Boston Pride. She is expected to sign with the Inferno.
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Scott Rhodes says:
August 25, 2016 12:15pm

Rudolfs Balcers will be in the Sharks Camp as a drafted player as well.

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