Lake Cowichan hockey player Nick White, 14, is on the road to success.
Although he was alone in representing the Cowichan Lake area of the 120 who showed up earlier this month to try out for the U-16 Hockey Camp at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, he was named one of only 20 to qualify for the BC Cup in Kamloops, to take place later this month.
White will be playing as a forward.
The U-16 Hockey Camp was quite the nerve-wracking ordeal, White said.
After three days of practices and games in front of talent scouts, players waited in a group for their final interview.
Since they did it in alphabetical order, White was the third-to-last to be called.
“My nerves were high,” he said, of the wait.
The scouts listed his skating, reaction to play, and physicality as his strengths, and his stick-handling finesse as an area he needs to improvement on.
Then, they came out and said “Congratulations,” and announced his qualification for the Kamloops BC Cup.
“It’s a pretty big opportunity,” White said.
This, White said, is his proudest hockey accomplishment since he started playing the game at the age of four.
One of his inspirations is his father, Tim White.
“He took me out skating, and put me in a team,” Nick said.
The hockey player entered rep hockey – a more competitive league than Cowichan Lake Minor Hockey – once he hit the Atom level, joining a Cowichan Valley team in Duncan.
Nick’s quick to thank his father for driving him out to 6 a.m. practices and games as far away as Vancouver.
“There’s a lot of travelling,” he said.
But to Nick, it’s all worthwhile.
“I like when you go out there, you’re not thinking about anything else,” he said, of playing hockey. “It relaxes you, and you think about that one thing.”
For now, his mind is on the BC Cup in Kamloops.
During the event, qualifiers from around the province will be broken off into different teams, with scouts from the WHL, the Winter Olympics, and other organizations, having their eagle-eyes on players.
“This is the biggest event I’ve made so far,” White said excitedly.