The Nelson Leafs will start the regular season without one of their key defenceman.
Kyle Chernenkoff stepped up to Junior A over the weekend after signing with the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters. The Crescent Valley native was a mainstay on the Leafs’ blue-line last season, with five goals and 10 assists in 36 games.
The Leafs finished the pre-season unbeaten in four games after a pair of weekend road games. They defeated the Beaver Valley Nitehawks 2-1 in Fruitvale on Friday before doubling the Rebels 6-3 in Castlegar on Sunday.
Nelson opens the regular season Friday back in Fruitvale. The Leafs don’t play at home again until Sept. 16 against the Spokane Braves.