Nelson Leafs will host the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup, BC Hockey announced Thursday.
The Cyclone Taylor Cup serves as the BC Hockey Championship for Junior B Hockey. The top teams from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, the Pacific International Junior Hockey League, and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, along with the host team, compete in the tournament each April.
Leafs Hockey Society president Russell Stocks said the Nelson has applied to host the cup a few times in the past, but this is the first time its bid has been successful.
“We’re really excited and honoured to be able to host this event,” he said. “It’s going to be a great thing for the community and hockey in general — and of course for the Nelson Leafs.”
He expects hosting the cup will give the Leafs an edge in recruiting next season’s players.
“As the host we’re guaranteed a spot to play in the tournament, which is a huge thing to be able to offer a player who’s hoping to move up to other leagues,” Stocks said, noting a lot of scouts cover out to the Cyclone games to get a look at up-and-coming players.
BC Hockey didn’t tell Stocks why Nelson was chosen, but he suspects it might have had something to do with some details in the proposal aimed at improving the player experience for the visiting teams.
“We’re offering a place for players to wash their jerseys between games and supplying refreshments and healthy pre-game and post-game snacks,” Stocks said. “They seem like little things, but it can make a big difference when you’re playing on the road for four days.”
The event will bring at least a couple hundred visitors to town, which is sure to benefit local business, especially the hotels and restaurants.
“Like any big events, it’s a chance to showcase our community,” Stocks said. “For our hockey fans will have a chance to see the best Junior B teams in BC on the ice … It’s really a great thing all around.”
This year’s Cyclone Taylor Cup will be hosted by the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in Comox, BC, from April 11 to 14.