Grandview head coach Aldo Bruno (left) and Kori Belanger represented the franchise Nov. 28. (Photo submitted)
16-year-old Steeler rookie skates in front of WHL scouts
BURNABY WINTER CLUB – Grandview rookie Kori Belanger, 16, had an eye-opening experience at the second annual British Columbia Hockey Conference (BCHC) Prospects Game Nov. 28.
Belanger went to Kamloops alongside his head coach Aldo Bruno, who led a team assembled from all 14 Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) clubs against a squad from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).
In front of Western Hockey League scouts and officials from post-secondary institutions, the PJHL team won 5-3.
In this question-and-answer session, Belanger chatted about his time in Kamloops with Alistair Burns, Corporate Sales for the Steelers.
Alistair Burns: Kori, you were the only Grandview Steeler selected for the BCHC Prospects Game. What was the experience like?
Kori Belanger: Obviously, it was strange being with different guys from the [PJHL]. But honestly, it was a great experience, I think. Just playing with those guys – you get to really see – they’re the standard you want to be at.
So you really know their practice habits, you know how to get better.
AB: Now, you’re a rookie. Why do you think you were selected for this team?
KB: I feel like I bring a lot of speed. Especially because I’m a younger player in the league, I feel like I have a lot of upside.
AB: Can you take me through your game experience?
KB: It was great. Definitely a lot of skating in the two days [in Kamloops]. Especially with the combine before [the] really, really, high-paced game. The KI guys – they have really good guys too. So do we. I just felt that it was just a fun game. Everyone makes tape-to-tape passes. Everybody’s just a top player.
This conversation has been condensed and edited.
Inside Steeltown interview with Kori Belanger