BC Hockey League (BCHL) announced its 2016/2017 first and second all-star teams and all-rookie team on Tuesday, April 4. Powell River Kings’ rookie Cam Donaldson and teammate Jonny Evans were named as second-team all-stars. Donaldson was also chosen for the all-rookie team.
“It’s exciting” said Donaldson of being chosen as one of the league’s top players. “Both of those selections were something I was striving for at the beginning of the year. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates and coaches, and the town really helped me improve throughout the year.”
Kings brought Donaldson in to score and score he did, with 32 goals and 37 assists for 69 points, a 1.28 points-per-game average. He led all BCHL rookies in scoring through the regular season and received the most points in rookie all-star voting.
All-star team voting was completed through a survey of BCHL play-by-play broadcasters, who rated their top forwards, defenders, goaltenders and rookies. The vote was weighted, with players receiving points based on the order they were ranked by each broadcaster.
Donaldson and Evans said being picked as all-stars only somewhat compensated for being knocked out of playoff action after a double-overtime loss to Victoria Grizzlies in game seven of the Island Division final.
“It hurts losing,” said Evans, who led the Kings in scoring throughout the playoffs and regular season. “Our team should have gone all the way. It is what it is and it’s nice to be selected with Cam.”
Along with linemate Ben Berard, a Kings’ rookie who broke out with a strong post-season, Donaldson and Evans clicked for an impressive 34 per cent of the goals scored by the team during the regular season and increased that total to 41 per cent in the playoffs.
“I was playing pretty well with Donaldson and Berard,” said Evans, adding that the line ran into a hot goalie against the Grizzlies.
Two of the three players will return for the 2017/2018 season, which bodes well for the offensive punch of the team.
“[Carter] Turnbull and I will be linemates for sure,” said Evans. “Maybe Berard, too.”
The final decision will rest with head coach Kent Lewis, who is known for holding his cards close to his chest.
Donaldson, a native of McKinney, Texas, will play National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 hockey for Cornell University next season. He said he thought more than once about playing another year of junior hockey in Powell River, but ultimately decided it was time to move on to the next level.
“It’s definitely gone through my head a couple of times,” he said. “Sometimes I think I’m a little too young, maybe a little too small for the next level, but I think I proved myself this year and the coaches at Cornell think so, too.”
Donaldson said a big reason for his decision to jump to college hockey was to be closer to home.
“Powell River made it so comfortable for me,” he said. “It has been a great town but it was also really difficult moving that far across the country. Going to Cornell and being that much closer to home is going to be nice.”
A scratch golfer, Donaldson, who now lives in North Carolina, said he is going to take a few weeks off to hit the golf course before he begins training for when the Ivy League school’s hockey camp starts in the fall.
Evans, who is back home in North Delta, is already training, trying to become faster and stronger for next year. Although he is playing another year of junior, he wants to be ready for his commitment to University of Connecticut in 2018/2019.
“On any level you have to be prepared for the next jump,” said Evans. “Obviously, I’m pretty fast, but for the college jump I want to be a little bit quicker. I want to have a quicker release on my shot, too.”