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BCHL Next Generation: Trail Smoke Eaters

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2022-23 season, we will be going team-by-team to profile new players coming in for the upcoming year. This will include recaps of offseason commitments and acquisitions, as well as scouting reports from the coaches.

We will start with the Interior Conference. Next up is the Trail Smoke Eaters.

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The Trail Smoke Eaters earned the final playoff spot in the Interior Conference in 2021-22, which meant they matched up against the number-one overall seeded Penticton Vees in Round 1. Although they lost in five games, they have the distinction of being the only team to beat the Vees during their championship run when they upset them 5-3 on the road in the first game of the series.

The Smokies have experienced significant turnover from last year’s team as they have introduced 13 new players through recruitment so far this summer. Head coach and general manager Tim Fragle, entering his third season with the team, gives us the goods on each and every new name.

New recruits

Trey Fechko (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Raritan, N.J.
  • Previous team: Edina High (USHS-MN)
  • College commitment: Arizona State University

Fechko played the past two seasons at Edina, leading the team in scoring last year with 42 points to go along with a team best 21 goals.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“We like his overall skillset. We’ve been after him for a while. We think he’s a guy that can contribute offensively like he did in Edina. He’s a right shot, which we covet. He’s a motivated individual with a high IQ.”

Adam Marshall (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Wayzata, Minn.
  • Previous team: Benilde-St. Margaret’s School (USHS-Prep)

Marshall was a standout at his prep school, leading the team in scoring in 2021-22 with 47 points in 28 games. His 23 goals were also the most on his team.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Adam is a shooter. He comes with a high compete level. He’s a proven point producer during his time in the Minnesota high school league. Year after year, he has continually contributed offensively. He’s going to bring some offence, but he’s also going to add grit and depth to our forward group.”

Braydan Smith (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Prince Albert, Sask.
  • Previous team: Saskatoon Contacts U18 AAA (SMAAAHL)
  • College commitment: University of Connecticut

Smith produced impressive numbers for the Contacts in 2021-22, piling up 23 points in 37 games at the U18 level.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Brady is a rangy, big 6-foot-3 puck-moving defenceman with a really high ceiling. We’re excited to have a player of his potential join our program.”

Teagan Kendrick (2004, G)

  • Hometown: St. Albert, Alta.
  • Previous team: St. Albert Raiders U18 AAA (AEHL U18)

Kendrick put together a strong U18 season with St. Albert last year, posting a .917 save percentage and a 2.64 goals-against average with two shutouts in 21 appearances. He finished the year with an 11-8-1 record. Kendrick’s results were even more impressive in the playoffs where he owned a .951 save rate over seven games, as well as a 1.79 goals-against average. He also has Junior A experience having affiliated with the Whitecourt Wolverines of the Alberta Junior Hockey League last year, winning both of his starts.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He has huge potential. He’s athletic with some really good size. He also has a high work ethic. We watched him early on last year and he had a very strong season that included a long playoff run with St. Albert. We were really impressed with his season.”

Logan Peskett (2006, F)

  • Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: West Van Academy U18 Prep (CSSHL U18)

Peskett put up 17 points in 30 games as a 15-year-old playing for West Van’s U18 squad. 13 of his points came from goals, which was third best on the team.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He has a lot of tools that we’re excited about. He’s got good size already and a good skillset along with a high compete level. He possesses a really good quick-release shot. We think there’s a lot of potential with him as such a young player.”

Jack Kurrle (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Middlesex, Vt.
  • Previous team: Maine Nordiques (NAHL)
  • College commitment: University of Vermont

Kurrle had four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 48 games with Maine last year.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He’s just a high character individual.  On the ice, he’s going to bring some size and some versatility. We believe that, in an elevated role, his offensive production will improve from his first year of junior, based on his history of how he’s produced offensively in the past.”

Remy Spooner (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Kelowna, B.C.
  • Previous team: Okanagan Hockey Academy U18 Prep (CSSHL U18)

Spooner was OHA’s third leading scorer last season with 30 points in 27 games on 13 goals and 17 helpers.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“We liked how Remy got better and better as the season went on with OHA last year. He’s extremely slippery and skilled. We feel he’s a very versatile player that can play up and down our lineup. We’ve had success with players like Quinn Disher and Ridge Dawson out of OHA and he fits that similar mold.”

J.T. Halliday (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Saugus, Calif.
  • Previous team: St. Paul’s School (USHS-Prep)

Halliday was captain of his team last year. He finished the season first among teammates with 12 goals in 21 contests. His 20 points were the second most on the team.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He brings a high motor with offensive upside. He plays the game really hard and he possesses a good IQ. He was a captain of his prep school team, so he has good leadership skills. We like his whole package.”

Brody Juck (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Coquitlam, B.C.
  • Previous team: Vancouver Northeast Chiefs U18 AAA (BCEHL U18)

Juck brings a significant amount of BCHL experience with him, having played in 14 games as an affiliate with the Coquitlam Express last year, where he chipped in with one assist. With his U18 team, he two goals and four assists for six points in 13 contests. He contributed three assists in seven postseason games en route to a BCEHL championship and an eventual spot in the national championship tournament.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Brody is a big, mobile defenceman with lots of upside. He brings a good first pass as well as some maturity having played a bit in the BCHL last year. We like everything that he’s going to bring to our defence corps.”

Brandon Crowell (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Dartmouth, N.S.
  • Previous team: Mount St. Charles Academy 18U AAA (18U AAA)

Crowell worked his way up the Mount St. Charles system the past three years. In 2021-22, he potted 17 goals and added 27 assists for 44 points in 72 games across all competition for a team that won a U.S. 18U national championship.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“After his experience last year, he comes into our program with that championship pedigree. He plays with a lot of pace and has a strong, detailed game. We like his hard-nosed, north-south game and he also possesses a really good shot.”

Connor Seeley (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Winnipeg, Man.
  • Previous team: Pacific Coast Academy U18 Prep (CSSHL U18)

Seeley was his team’s second leading point producer in 2021-22, finishing the year with 33 points in 35 games. He also has a BCHL goal under his belt from the four games he played with the Cowichan Valley Capitals as an affiliate last year.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He had a strong second half to his season last year, including playoffs, which really caught our attention. He has a good mixture of size and skill along with a good shot. He has the overall potential to be a strong power forward in the BCHL for years to come and we just want to give him that opportunity.

Alec Whipple (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Far Hills, N.J.
  • Previous team: Minnetonka High (USHS-MN)

Whipple played the past two seasons at Minnetonka. In 2021-22, he produced a goal and eight assists in 27 games.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He’s a strong-skating defender. He brings that mix of skill and hard work. We like his IQ and his puck-moving ability. After talking to a lot of our NCAA contacts, he comes in as a really highly regarded defenceman. We look forward to him coming to Trail.”

Judah Makway (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Trail, B.C.
  • Previous team: Beaver Valley Nitehawks (KIJHL)

Makway was exactly a point-per-game player with Beaver Valley last year, notching 33 points in 33 contests for the Junior B squad. He also played in two regular-season games with his hometown Smoke Eaters as an affiliate in 2021-22, as well as one in the postseason.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“We like his size and compete level. He had a strong offensive season last year. We know him well and he knows us well from his time spent with us as an affiliate. He fits well with how we want to play as a team.”

Rhett Hamilton (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Bonnington, B.C.
  • Previous team: Nelson Leafs (KIJHL)

Hamilton put up 14 goals, 10 assists and 24 points in 40 games last year playing Junior B for Nelson. He stepped his game up even further during the postseason where he totalled 16 points in 18 games. Hamilton won’t have to worry about scoring his first BCHL goal since he already accomplished that last year in one of his two games as an affiliate for the Smoke Eaters.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He’s going to bring some speed and energy to our lineup. He’s prepared to make that jump. Him affiliating with us last year really helped us build that relationship. He also had a very strong playoffs for Nelson, so we watched him closely during that run.”

Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Fechko, Marshall, Crowell), Dave Watling (Peskett), Ron Morin (Kurrle), Steven Piccolo (Makway), Jennifer Small (Hamilton)