Former Cowichan Valley Capital and Cowichan minor hockey player Kyle Topping is headed to the professional ranks.
After completing his final junior season with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, the Saltspring Island native has signed a contract with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League.
“Kyle is a playmaking two-way centerman with a high hockey IQ and we’re excited for him to join the organization,” Barracuda general manager Joe Will said in a press release.
The Barracuda are the farm team of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. Topping attended the Sharks’ development camp in 2018.
Topping played in the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association growing up, then spent the 2015-16 season with the junior A Capitals, recording 12 points in 53 games. He played the next four seasons in Kelowna, compiling 196 points on 71 goals and 125 assists in 226 games.
The 20-year-old’s final season with the Rockets was cut short due to COVID-19. In 33 games played he registered 12 goals and 21 assists, adding 14 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating in 33.
Kyle Topping’s older brother, Jordan, followed a similar trajectory to the professional ranks, playing minor hockey in the Cowichan Valley, then spending 2013-14 with the junior A Caps before moving to the WHL. Jordan spent four years with the Tri-City Americans, including three as an assistant captain, before signing with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins in 2018. He played one year for the Griffins’ ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, then spent the 2019-20 campaign with the ECHL’s Allen Americans, posting 45 points in 56 games.