The new Dynamiters management team of GM Rick Allen and head coach Jerry Bancks have made their first move by signing a Surrey defenceman.
Mackenzie Hollis, a hulking 6’4” player, is eager to make the jump into Jr. B hockey with the Nitros, and is already familiar with the Cranbrook and Kimberley area, as he is related to the Spring family, which have made their own mark in hockey.
“The first phone call was a week before the signing and they wanted to talk to me and invite me to camp. They heard about me and wanted me to come out,” said Hollis.
“I told them I was going to, and then it led up to a second and third phone call and they offered to sign me to the team.”
Hollis, 17, is currently a member of the Earl Marriott Hockey Academy in Surrey, and has developed as a bantam and midget player with the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna.
The 230-pound rearguard planned to spend this past season in the B.C. Major Midget League with the POE major-midget team, however, an injury through a knee-on-knee collision forced him to miss most of it.
He has since recovered, and is hard at work for his offseason training, which will be put to the test at a Dynamiters summer identification camp in August.
“I’ve been a defenceman all my life, but I played a bit of forward last year,” Hollis said. “…I like the rough stuff, I like to play a good solid defensive game on defence and make people pay for being in our zone.”
Hollis said he’s looking forward to getting up to Kimberley to show off his skills and bring his abilities to the Nitros.
“I just can’t wait to play for a hardworking young team, like the coach said he wants,” Hollis said. “A lot of guys that want to develop and take their game to the next level makes for real exciting hockey and I’ve always wanted to play in a small town with lots of fans and just be a part of something special up there.”