Patrick Martens blazed out to an impressive start to the 2011-12 campaign and his hard work has been rewarded by the Langley Rivermen who signed him to a BCHL card this week.

Leafs lose top scorer to BCHL

Patrick Martens’ offensive impact this season was felt beyond the borders of the KIJHL and the speedy Leafs forward is now off to the BCHL.

Patrick Martens’ offensive impact in the month of October was felt beyond the borders of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and the speedy Nelson Junior Leafs forward has grabbed an opportunity to move on.

Fresh off KIJHL player-of-the-month honours, on Tuesday the Leafs’ leading scorer was signed by the Langley Rivermen of the British Columbia Hockey League.

“I’m very happy for Patrick,” Leafs coach Frank Maida told the Star. “He has worked hard this year, he has bought into our program and the results have shown. That’s what this league is for — to move kids on.”

Martens had a stellar October that saw the 18-year-old score 16 goals and add 10 assists. Playing on the Leafs’ top scoring line with Colton Schell and Matthew Naka, Martens led the league in scoring for stretches during the month and after this past weekend’s action sat second with 29 points.

The Rivermen currently sit last in the BCHL’s Coastal Conference with a 6-11-0-0 record. Coaching staff of the Lower Mainland squad told Maida that Martens will fit well into the team’s top three lines.

Martens grew up in Maple Ridge and was in his second season with the Leafs. In an interview earlier this season with the Star, Martens said he loved Nelson and couldn’t imagine playing Junior B in another community. He added that Junior A was his goal and had hoped to crack a roster next season.

“Of course it’s going to leave a void. He’s the top scorer on our team and second in the league,” Maida said. “But it’s an opportunity and that is what I told the players last night [Wednesday]. Now somebody can step up and fill that void.”

Offence has not been a huge concern for the Leafs so far this season. Schell, Matti Jmaeff, Nik Newman and Brett Norman have also shown they have an ability to both set up and convert on chances.

“Our scoring has been spread out so I’m not concerned about that aspect of our game,” said Maida.

The coach did add that the team’s recent five-game losing streak — that ended with a win in Osoyoos on Sunday afternoon — could be partially blamed on his forwards trying too hard to move up in the scoring leaders.

“I think the boys realized that we were getting away from the team concept and the team systems,” Maida said of the recent rough patch. “We might have been focusing a little too much on individual stats and holding the stick a little tighter. On Sunday we got back to playing system hockey and it was a total team effort.”

The Leafs travelled to Fernie to take on the Ghostriders on Thursday night (past Star deadline) and are back at the Nelson District Community Complex on Saturday for a tilt against the Grand Forks Border Bruins.

The departure of Martens coincided with the arrival of two new defenceman earlier this week. In a cash deal trade with the Kelowna Chiefs, the Leafs acquired Eric Spring. Then on Tuesday they signed J.J Beitel who spent the first part of the season with the Trail Smoke Eaters and spent last year in the Alberta Midget AAA League with the Calgary Buffaloes.

“They are going to bring some bigger presence to our back end and now we have some more experience,” said Maida. “Each one will bring a different part to the game.”

Maida describes Beitel as a puck moving defenceman while Spring is expected to add a little more of a physical aspect to the Leafs blueline.

Currently the Leafs are dealing with three key injuries to defenceman — captain Tyler Parfeniuk, Blake Arcuri and Riley Henderson are all out of the line-up.

As for moving his top sniper onto Junior A, Maida is sincere about his commitment to making sure his players’ development is fostered correctly.

“Our philosophy has always been to move kids on,” he said. “This is a development league and that is what we are here to do. I’m hoping we can move more players on before the end of the year.”

 

Just Posted

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

Here we go again: Mamma Mia! set to open at the Capitol Theatre

The ABBA-inspired musical runs Thursday to Sunday

Nelson Reflections win at synchro provincials

Nelson’s synchronized swimming team triumphed at the Jean Peters Provincial Championship

Nelson holds the line on property taxes

No increase this year thanks to deal with RDCK on park funding

25 years of Nite Trek for West Kootenay Scouts, Guides

Annual adventure hike is hosted by the 107th Baden Powell Guild

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

B.C. man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

Wife remembers 43-year old Petr Koncek, father of two children

Most Read