The wait is finally over. It has been almost 12 years since a goaltender from Nelson has been selected in the WHL Bantam Draft and local product Curt Doyle was the one to end the drought after being selected by the Swift Current Broncos.
“I was a bit surprised at first, but I had some calls earlier from a few different teams talking about the draft,” said Curt Doyle.
In order to improve his game the 15-year-old goalie decided to make the move to play last season in Kamloops with the Kamloops Jardine Blazers.
The tier one team, who he played spring hockey with two seasons prior, gave Doyle the opportunity to play his second year of Bantam at a higher level.
“It was a lot different but it was a really good decision and it really helped to improve my game,” said Doyle.
Growing up playing minor hockey in Nelson, Doyle built a solid foundation of skill and technique between the pipes.
“It definitely helped me out. There was a lot of good coaches along the way, that helped improve my game and it was always good playing here. Good experiences all around,” said Doyle.
Although the 2013-14 season is now completed Doyle continues to put in hard work both on and off the ice, training five days a week during the summer months.
“Right now I am focused on just strength training and running. All of the off-ice stuff at the moment,” said Doyle.
Two days a week Doyle trains on the ice with his goalie coach for the last two seasons Alex Evin, owner of the NL Goal School.
Doyle’s selection may have been fate as it was Nelson’s Evin who was last selected, 12 years ago, in the WHL Bantam Draft as a goaltender.
As his coach he sees a lot of potential in the young net minder.
“Curt has got a great attitude he is always willing to learn. I really admire the goalies who ask questions and wants to know more. He is intelligent that way,” said Evin.
The style of goaltending that Curt has developed into playing has allowed the local product to turn heads on the ice.
“He is not your typical huge goaltender, but he balances that well. He’s positional and athletic and that’s something that I like to teach to young goalies,” said Evin.
On top of his summer training, Doyle will be attending two camps back to back in mid August.
The first camp will be a tryout for the major-midget Kootenay Ice. Due to being underage for the WHL Doyle will play at least one more season before making the big jump to play with the Broncos.
“I have done a little prep camp with them (Kootenay Ice) and I have known the coaches for a while,” said Doyle.
As soon as his camp with the Ice is completed Doyle will be travelling to Swift Current to take part in a camp with the Broncos.
The camp gives the coaching staff a chance to see Doyle play taking a few shots and putting him on their radar.
“Right now I am training a lot and this year was pretty good competition. I am more excited than nervous,” said Doyle.
Doyle will be facing shots from other young players who have been selected just like him as well as a few Broncos players from the main camp.
Following his camp with both the Ice and the Broncos Doyle hopes to return to Nelson to continue training and to play this upcoming season for the major-midget Kootenay Ice.
“I definitely see myself playing in the WHL in the next couple of years, it would be a great experience I definitely want to go that way,” said Doyle.
After being selected by the Swift Current Broncos the young goaltender is just one more step closer to achieving his life long goal.
“It has been my goal all along to make it and get drafted.”