In his lifetime, all of 19 years, Vernon hockey player Nic Bolin has spent a week in Ontario.
That would be seven days in Toronto.
Coming up soon, Ontario will be Bolin’s new address.
The former North Okanagan Knights Junior B forward has committed to the Red Lake Miners of the six-team Superior International Junior A Hockey League. Red Lake is a mere 20.5-hour drive from Toronto.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Bolin, working for the summer at the Okanagan Training Rink on 27th Avenue.
“It’s going to be a good experience and it’s going to be nice to explore another part of the country.”
Bolin played one season with the Knights in Armstrong. He appeared in 44 games, scoring 14 goals as a rookie and adding 13 assists for 27 points. He added a goal and an assist in North Okanagan’s five-game opening-round playoff series loss to the Kelowna Chiefs.
Working at an arena has its benefits for the five-foot-11, 190-pound forward.
“I’ve been on the ice every day, working on all the little parts I need to work on to help move on to the next level,” said Bolin, who will be joined in Red Lake by Knights teammate, goalie Caedon Bellmann. “Having Caedon out there will be great, absolutely. We get along really well.”
Both players were recommended to the Miners by former Knights head coach and general manager Bryant Perrier, a life coach for both players.
The Miners are coming off a second-place finish in the 2019-20 SIJHL season which, like all Junior A leagues across the country, was cut short by the pandemic. Red Lake was 32-18-3-2 (three overtime losses, two shootout defeats), three points back of the regular season champion Thunder Bay North Stars.
Bolin and Bellmann, like their new teammates, are waiting for word on reporting to Red Lake.
“I think I’ll be going out most likely in October, and we’ve been hearing that the season could start in November,” said the 2019 Vernon Secondary School grad. “I’ve been preparing like any other season. If the start date is pushed back, that gives me and the other players more time to prepare.”