Trail Smoke Eaters recruit top prospects

Trail Smoke Eaters building for future in 17-year-old defencemen Joel Barton and Chris Kobelka

Joel Barton

Joel Barton

The Trail Smoke Eaters introduced their newest recruits this past week.

The Smoke Eaters committed defenceman Joel Barton from the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) and Chris Kobelka from Calgary’s Edge Hockey School.

Although BCHL hockey is currently on hold, the recruitment process for 2021-22 continues, and the Smoke Eaters staff are understandably thrilled with their recent commitments.

“Joel is a mature individual that skates well and plays a consistent and steady game making him a reliable defenceman,” said Smoke Eaters coach and GM Tim Fragle in a Smoke Eaters press release.

“Chris is currently the team captain with his Edge team. He is a mobile puck moving defenceman that plays with intensity and has strong leadership qualities. We are excited to add young men to our team and community for next season.”

The 17-year-old Joel Barton is the brother of 2017-18 Smoke Eaters d-man Seth Barton, a Detroit Red Wings draft pick, who is playing in the NCAA with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

At five-foot-11, and 161 pounds, Joel is strong defensively with an offensive upside. He played in 36 games for OHA in 2019-20 scoring three goals and 17 points in 36 games, and had four points in nine games in this year’s shortened season.

“I am excited for the opportunity to play for the Trail Smoke Eaters,” Joel said in the release. “Trail has consistently checked all the boxes for an amazing hockey club. The hockey history, the culture, the team ownership, the coaching group, the facilities, the city, and the fan support … amazing!

“Thank you to OHA and my family for getting me here. I look forward to wearing the black and orange and doing my part to contribute to the ongoing success of the Smoke Eaters organization.”

Kobelka, 17, is a Calgary native, who has been a part of the Edge program since 2016. Like Barton, the five-10, 178-pound left-shot defenceman brings finesse along with toughness to the Smoke Eaters backend.

In 2019-20, Kobelka contributed five goals and 23 points, along with 40 penalty minutes in 36 games. He also had four points in three games to start the year with the U18 Edge prep program.

The promising defenceman was also added to the WHL Portland Winterhawks protected list, but is looking forward to a run at the BCHL championship Fred Page Cup in Trail.

“When choosing where I wanted to play junior I wanted to find a place that would allow me to develop individually as a player and more importantly compete for a championship,” said Kobelka.

“After spending a month in Trail, training and skating with the team earlier this year I realized that it was the perfect place to accomplish both. I am incredibly excited to get things underway in Trail next season, and look forward to getting to play in a packed Cominco arena.”

Read more: Former Smoke Eaters earns Big Ten first star

St. Denis signs with New Jersey affiliate



sports@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland early last month

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Cottonwood Lake fundraiser reaches goal

The community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that's supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read