TRAIL – The Beaver Valley Nitehawks received an unexpected but welcome boost to their lineup just in time for Kootenay International Junior Hockey League weekend action.
Trail native Dallas Calvin acquired a release from the BCHL Vernon Vipers and joined the Nitehawks, who he played with last season, as they hosted the North Okanagan Knights Saturday.
“Some things were not working out over there, and I decided I needed a change so I’m back here now,” Calvin told Black Press.
Calvin had been playing well for the Vipers, netting a goal and five assists in nine games, seeing action on the power play, and playing on a line with Viper leading point-getter Mason Blacklock and Craig Martin, that is until Martin was traded to Alberni Valley early last week. While the trade was disappointing, Calvin says it had little to do with his decision to return to Trail.
“It’s all in the game, and it’s nothing personal between the coach (Jason Williamson) and Craig, I mean it sucks to see one of your good buddies go, but that didn’t really have any part in my decision to come back.”
Added Williamson: “When kids move away from home, sometimes it’s tough and they don’t feel comfortable. Dallas is one of those kids who struggled being away from home. Unfortunate for us because he was a good player, but these kids have got to feel comfortable in their surroundings.”
Asked if the talented 19-year-old forward would consider a stint with the Trail Smoke Eaters, Calvin said that out of respect, he had assured Williamson he wouldn’t play for another BCHL team in case he decided to return to the Vipers.
It was a moot point, in any case, as Smoke Eaters’ coach Bill Birks was noncommittal about the possibility.
“That’s totally up to Dallas,” said Birks. “He was given that opportunity, as well as a couple other guys out in Beaver Valley with the Nitehawks, but if things don’t go exactly the way they want it, they take the easy road out, and I don’t think we can afford to do that again to be honest with you, but skilled, he is a super-skilled kid.”
Calvin racked up 74 points, including 31 goals, in 40 games last season for the Hawks, and 77 points in 2011-12. He brings loads of playmaking ability, giving the Hawks more scoring depth and a number of options on the power play.
“We are really excited to have him, he’s a great kid, and we’re just excited that he’s comfortable and happy and wants to play for us,” said Hawks’ head coach Terry Jones.