New Islanders’ coach seeking team identity
Trent Brandvold is beginning the process of putting his own stamp on the Kerry Park Islanders.
The new coach of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League team is using his considerable playing experience to formulate a plan for the team through prep camp sessions and main camp that runs Friday through Sunday at Kerry Park Arena.
“This is my first opportunity at this level,’’ said Brandvold, 36. “Hopefully, things can go well.
“That’s why the prep camp is good. it lets me see a lot of the players from last year. There’s about 50 skaters and eight goalies so it’s a pretty good turnout.
“Obviously, the main camp is where I need to pick the guys that are going to be on the squad.’’
Some of the Islanders’ holdovers not in prep camp will just be coming onto the ice for Brandvold to get a first look.
“What I’ve seen in prep camp, there’s a lot of good forwards,’’ he said. “We might need a bit of help on defence.
“It’s not mandatory to come to the prep camp. It’s just a good little skate to get the guys going.’’
Brandvold has Jackson Jane as a holdover in goal and will be seeing what develops for a back-up in camp.
Brandvold has a wide and varied hockey background. He played his minor hockey in Smithers before going into the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League with the Golden Rockets and spending three years in the old Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League with Quesnel and Fernie.
After that, Brandvold went to Mount Royal College in Calgary and the University of Lethbridge. He had stints in Texas at Corpus Christi and Austin of the Central Hockey League before a brief stint with the Victoria Salmon Kings when he eventually called it quits from playing.
Brandvold was an all-around defenceman, who could be creative and physical.
He entered the coaching ranks with a pre-novice team, progressing to Saanich and Juan de Fuca bantam teams for two years each and then the Victoria Racquet Club midgets. Brandvold heard enough about the Islanders last season to know discipline was a problem.
“If discipline’s an issue, you could have the best team in the world and you’re not going to win a championship,’’ he said. “I want to try and minimize the stupid penalties. The game of hockey has changed. You can’t go around beating everyone up.’’
Brandvold still wants his team to be physical with the right blend of speed and skill.