Nelson Leafs forward Rhett Hamilton will play for the Trail Smoke Eaters next season. Photo: Tyler Harper

Nelson Leafs forward Rhett Hamilton will play for the Trail Smoke Eaters next season. Photo: Tyler Harper

Leafs forward Rhett Hamilton signs with Trail Smoke Eaters

Hamilton was a standout in his rookie season

Nelson Leafs forward Rhett Hamilton is moving up to Junior A.

The rookie has signed with the Trail Smoke Eaters for next season, the team announced Monday.

Hamilton, a Bonnington native, scored 14 goals and had 10 assists in 40 regular games last season. He then added another six goals and 10 assists in 18 playoff games during the Leafs’ run to the Teck Cup final.

Hamilton said in a statement he is eager to play for the Smoke Eaters, who he grew up cheering for.

“I would like to thank my family, coaches and friends for helping me reach one of my lifelong goals,” said Hamilton.

“I am looking forward to helping the Smoke Eaters win and be successful both on and off the ice. It means a lot to me to play for the team I grew up watching. I cannot wait for what the future holds for myself and for the organization.”

Hamilton is the second Leaf in a week to sign with a BCHL team.

His teammate defenceman Bryce Sookro committed to the Cranbrook Bucks after a stellar rookie campaign. The Leafs will also have a new head coach in Adam DiBella next season after making it to within three wins of the KIJHL championship.

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