The Kimberley Dynamiters signed another local player late last week, forward Ryan Bennett (‘02).
“It is huge for me. Being a 15-year old right now and playing next year in the KIJHL as a 16 year old, it is a really big step for me,” Bennett said. “I am really looking forward to playing with the older guys, especially in my hometown.”
Bennett grew up in Cranbrook and played the 2017-18 season with the Kootenay Ice Midget AAA team in Trail. In 33 games he scored seven goals and seven assists. He was an affiliate player with the Castlegar Rebels as well, dressing in five games.
“It was a big jump going from major midget to Junior B.” Bennett said about his affiliate games. “I had a lot of fun doing it, it definitely helped me improve.”
Head coach and general manager Derek Stuart pounced on signing Bennett when he had the chance.
“Once the season was over, you are allowed to talk to affiliates, and I talked to Ryan right away. Let him know that we were interested. We were happy to sign him last week.”
“He will bring a great compete level.” Stuart said of Bennett. “He wants to get better, he wants to play in Junior A, he wants to go on to the NCAA.
“If he plays like he can, he can contribute offensively as well. He has great hands, good speed, and good offensive skills. He is very good defensively as well.”
Bennett is excited to be playing hockey at home for this coming season.
“I’m really excited to play in front of my friends and family. It will be a great experience. I’ll be able to live at home, which is huge!”
Bennett joins Braiden Koran, Jackson Bohan, and Erik Delaire, as the fourth local player signed by the Dynamiters since the start of June.
“It is great for the fans.” Stuart said of the four signings. “It’s great for Kimberley and Cranbrook minor hockey that they can produce players that grow up and are eventually playing a high level of junior hockey.”
He then added, “all four of them, I don’t see staying with the Dynamiters too long, they should all be in Junior A, if they develop properly.”
The first opportunity to see the four players in a Nitro’s jersey is at the Dynamiters Main Camp from August 24-26.