By Phil McLachlan
Free Press Staff
Fernie Ghostriders defenseman, Derek Green, has been selected to participate in the KIJHL Prospect Game in Kelowna, January 20.
Two complete teams of carefully selected KIJHL Junior B players have been called upon to participate in a weekend of hockey, to give scouts a chance to see what their options are for future teams next year. This will be Green’s chance to be selected for a Junior A hockey team.
“I hope to get someone to look at me, see if something comes from it, and maybe go the next level,” said Green.
At 17 years of age, Green stands at a height of 6’1”, and weighs 205 pounds. Defence has been his position of choice for as long as he can remember.
Ghostriders’ head coach, Craig Mohr considers this selection a great opportunity for Green.
“He got selected and it’s great; it’s an honour,” said Mohr. “We didn’t pick this team on participation badges.
“He’s earned it,” added Mohr. “He gets to showcase his talents in Kelowna.”
The selection process started when Okanagan-Shuswap and Kootenay Junior B coaches nominated players they thought should been seen by more eyes.
Creston Valley Thundercats’ head coach, Jeff Dubois sat down with Grand Forks Border Bruins’ head coach and GM, Emery Olauson, and Ghostriders’ head coach Craig Mohr to discuss who should be selected for the Kootenay team.
“We chose who we think are the number one prospects in the Kootenay conference,” said Mohr.
The result was two full teams of players, which puts the Okanagan against Kootenay for a intense battle of talent in January.
“It’s an opportunity for scouts from all over to have look at our best 16/17 year olds,” said Mohr. “Hopefully a bunch of them will look good, do their part and be playing Junior A next year.”
Derek Green’s hometown is Trail, B.C., and he came to Fernie to play with the Ghostriders in August of 2016.
Introduced to hockey at the age of five, Green immediately fell in love with the sport. With his entire family playing as well as his cousins and friends, the atmosphere surrounding his upbringing revolved heavily around the sport.
Hockey wasn’t the only love in his life; baseball also consumed much of Green’s time, up until last year when he quit to get a job and focus more on hockey.
Before coming to the Ghostriders, Green played on the midget rep team in Trail, and in coming to Fernie, he noticed a huge change in game-play between the two levels.
“There’s a big difference,” said Green. “People talk a lot more, it’s faster, people are stronger.”
Asked about the prospects game, and the potential step up to Junior A next year, Green said, “It’ll be something to adjust to, but I think I could get ready for that.”
Green’s end goal is, “just like everyone else, getting to the NHL, just try to get as far as you can.”