Ladysmith’s Matt Grant is making his presence known among the Cowichan Capitals organization.
Jim Ingram, associate coach and GM, said Matt’s size is serving the team well and there is little doubt the almost 18 year old will make the team.
“He’s a big kid with a lot of skill,” said Ingram of what he has seen so far of Matt.
Matt is joining the Capitals after a season with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL. Ingram said the two leagues offer different styles of play and added they are looking forward to Matt’s puck-handling abilities. Plus with a 6-ft-3, 190 lb. frame, Matt is expected to be a great presence in front of the net.
“He’s got long legs, long arms, skate’s well for a big kid, handles the puck very well.”
Ingram said Matt is slated for a definite offensive position and they are hoping he puts up some good numbers.
“He’s still going to have to work very hard at developing his game. You’ve got lots to learn at every level.”
“He’s a hard-working forward and hopefully we will see a lot of improvement out of him and if the Western Hockey League comes calling and we’ve been able to help him move along, that’s what we’re here for.
Matt is the young brother of Jordan, who last year climbed the scoring charts to land second overall in scoring in the entire BCHL.
Ingram said it is too soon to be drawing comparisons between the brothers.
Ingram coached Jordan, too, when he had his Island coaching job with Kerry Park.
“Jordan was a pure goal scorer. He had a great shot, good nose for the net. I think Matt has a lot of those qualities, but to say that he’s Jordan, it’s a little premature to say that.”
Ingram said he is pleased with the way the Capitals have been taking shape, noting the players have made this year’s selection the hardest in his BCHL career.
“It’s been a competitive camp and lots of skill and the work ethic … that we’ve seen out the kids so far has left us in a real tough spot as coaches.”
Matt and Jordan’s mom, Debbie, said the two boys have always been crazy about hockey.
“For him to go away last year to play in the WHL at 16 was huge.”
And if you happen to pick up the new NHL 12 game, look for Matt who was featured as a Moose Jaw player, complete with pictures and stats.
Debbie said having Matt playing in Moose Jaw last year was hard on his education and his family is glad to have him closer to home.
The Cowichan Capitals start their regular season Friday, September 23 against the Victoria Grizzlies at Bear Mountain Arena.