Q & A: Kori Belanger on BCHC prospects game

Grandview head coach Aldo Bruno (left) and Kori Belanger represented the franchise Nov. 28. (Photo submitted)

Kori Belanger in the Burnaby Winter Club. (Alistair Burns / Grandview Steelers)

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?

Belanger has notched 14 points so far in his rookie PJHL season. (Alistair Burns / Grandview Steelers)

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