Salmon helps solidify goaltender position for Kings

One area RDC Kings hockey head coach Trevor Keeper doesn’t have to worry about next season is in goal.

One area RDC Kings hockey head coach Trevor Keeper doesn’t have to worry about next season is in goal.

Despite losing Kraymer Barnstable, who finished his eligibility, the Kings have veteran Mike Salmon, who is heading into his fourth season, and second-year Devon Fordyce returning along with newly signed recruit six-foot-seven Troy Trombley of Sherwood Park.

Salmon proved to be one of the premier netminders in the Alberta Colleges Men`s Hockey League last season, and was especially strong down the stretch and in the playoffs. Salmon finished third in the ACAC with a 2.57 goals-against-average and a solid .926 save percentage and was a second team all-star. He posted a 10-4-1 record. In the playoffs he helped lead the Kings into the semifinal where they lost to a powerful, and undefeated NAIT Ooks.

The 23-year-old native of Red Deer, who will be with the Kings for two more years, was happy with his season but would rather talk about the team`s play late in the season.

“I`m happy with the way the season went but I think the team was playing real well heading into the playoffs,” he said. “We went through a stretch early in January where we couldn’t buy a win, but once we broke out of that we were like a new team. Once we started to score it lifted everyone up and it made my job a lot easier. I think that’s why we were successful.”

Salmon said he could look back and remember specific instances when he could see the difference in the team play late in the season after breaking out of their slump.

“The defence and forwards were making the extra effort,” he said. “They were strong in our zone, which of course helped me.”

Keeper liked what he saw from Salmon.

“As a third-year guy he stepped up as one of our leaders,” he said, adding he likes what he sees for next season.

“Devon has a year under his belt and knows the league and what to expect and Troy comes in with some Western Hockey League experience. They will be a good group.”

Fordyce saw brief action last season, but impressed Salmon.

“As goaltenders we would be on the ice 20 to 30 minutes prior to practice and work on a variety of things and that was basically Devon’s idea,” he said. “We were able to work on specific things and Devon was creative and had good ideas.

“He didn’t play a lot, but had a great attitude and excellent practice habits and work ethic.”

The only negative Salmon could see from last year was not making at least the ACAC finals.

But he believes they’re headed in the right direction.

“Our goal has always been to reach the final, if not win it,” he said.

“We have several guys still here from our first year (three years ago) and see the difference in the dressing room and on the ice. There is a different feel in the room. More leadership and more belief in themselves.”

Trombley played with Kamloops, Tri-City and Saskatoon in the WHL.

He spent the 14-15 season with Melville of the SJHL and Bonnyville of the AJHL. This past season he played with Fort Saskatchewan in the Chinook Hockey League.

Keeper also announced Thursday that Red Deer native Dustin Gorgi has committed for next season.

Gorgi, 21, played this season with Battlefords of the SJHL, scoring 28 goals and 31 assists in 58 games. The six-foot-two, 190-pound right winger previously played for the Olds Grizzlys and Grande Prairie Storm. He also was with the Telus Cup winning Red Deer Chiefs in the 2012-13 season.

As for this year’s edition of the Kings, Keeper has a solid group returning, which could even be stronger by the time the season opens.

Dylan Baer, Mike Statchuk, Tanner Butler and Alex Marcinew will be back on defence for sure with possibly David Heath, a second-team all-star, and Blair Mulder back. Mulder is recovering from a concussion sustained in a snowmobile accident and will return if cleared.

“I’ve been talk with three high-end defenceman and if we get two of them it will solidify the defence,” said Keeper, who has a solid group back up front, led by Pat Martens, Tyler Berkholtz and Riley Simpson, who were together most of the season on the top line.

Two of the team’s top rookies last season – Dylan Thudium and Ben Williams – will also be back along with Connor Patchett, Jordan McTaggart, Kirk Fountain and Logan Sceviour. Jody Sick and Regan Wilton may also return.

“Last year we had 10 rookies and have nine back and with the veterans returning we have a solid group,” said Keeper. “We do have solid leadership with Riley a fifth-year guy and returning captain, along with Berkholtz, Marten and Sceviour.

Thudium proved to be one of the pleasant surprises last year.

“He was a walk-on and because he wasn’t sure he wanted to play he came into camp a bit overweight, but worked hard and finished as our fourth leading scorer. He’s working hard already preparing for next season.”

Adding Trombley and Gorgi is just the start of Keeper’s recruiting.

“We’re talking with a number of players, keeping in touch, and will continue to until after the Royal Bank Cup,” he said. “We have two or three forwards close, but some don’t want to commit to early so they can see what’s out there.”

One thing Keeper is starting to do in recruiting is mentioning the new RDC hockey rink to open in the 2018-19 season.

“When I send a recruiting package out on email I include a link to the video on the new facility. I know guys are excited about it. Even some of the veterans joke they’ll take a year off then return so they could play in it.

“We’ll definitely start using it as a recruiting tool.”

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at www.rdc.ab.ca/athleticsblog.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Jayden Grubbe is one of three Rebels on the NHL Central Scouting players to watch list for the 2021 NHL Draft. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels seek consistency ahead of matchup with Hitmen

The Red Deer Rebels had to deal with a pang of regret… Continue reading

Quinn Mason died from an opioid overdose at the age of 23 in June 2020. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta mother whose son died from overdose advocates for ‘change’

It’s been about nine months since her son died from an overdose,… Continue reading

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday that the province was ready to move forward with Phase 2A and B in the coming weeks. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Majority of Albertans to receive first shot before June 30: Shandro

Shandro says all Albertans should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine by June 30

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Alberta’s Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer spoke on Thursday by webinar to Red Deer Chamber of Commerce members. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).
Alberta’s economic diversification is already underway, says Jobs Minister

From the geothermal to the TV industry, new jobs will be created, said Doug Schweitzer

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Quebec Premier François Legault chairs a virtual news conference Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. The premiers from the left are: John Horgan, B.C.; Jason Kenney, Alberta; Scott Moe, Saskatchewan; Legault, Quebec; Brian Pallister, Manitoba; Doug Ford, Ontario; and Blaine Higgs, New Brunswick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

The Edmonton Law Courts building is shown on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. An Alberta pastor accused of holding Sunday services that violated COVID-19 rules is appealing his bail conditions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jailed Alberta pastor should be able to lead services until his trial: lawyer

Jailed Alberta pastor should be able to lead services until his trial: lawyer

Seniors arrive for their COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in Olympic Stadium in Montreal on March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Premiers blame Ottawa for delayed COVID-19 shots; Ontario pharmacies to offer jabs

Premiers blame Ottawa for delayed COVID-19 shots; Ontario pharmacies to offer jabs

Actors, clockwise from left, Luke Bilyk, Aislinn Paul, Alex Steeler, Melinda Shankar, Annie Clark, Jordan Todosey, Jahmil French and Munro Chambers from "Degrassi: The Next Generation," are shown at a screening event, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, N.J. Friends of French say he was a gifted 'true artist' who 'wanted to be great'THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo/StarPix, Dave Allocca
Friends of Jahmil French say he was a gifted ‘true artist’ who ‘wanted to be great’

Friends of Jahmil French say he was a gifted ‘true artist’ who ‘wanted to be great’

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. At least 10 Ohioans have been charged in connection with the deadly insurrection at the U.S Capitol after being identified through social media and surveillance footage to the FBI. The group includes people linked to the Oath Keepers militia group who have been indicted on charges that they planned and coordinated with one another in the attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Capitol Police chief appeals for National Guard to stay

Capitol Police chief appeals for National Guard to stay

People gather on high ground and check for any sign of a tsunami near Whangarei, New Zealand, Friday, March 5, 2021. A powerful magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck in the ocean off the coast of New Zealand prompting thousands of people to evacuate and triggering tsunami warnings across the South Pacific. (Karena Cooper/New Zealand Herald via AP)
Powerful quake hits off New Zealand, prompting evacuations

Powerful quake hits off New Zealand, prompting evacuations

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 file photo, students discard food at the end of their lunch period as part of a lunch waste composting program at an elementary school in Connecticut. A United Nations report released on Thursday, March 4, 2021 estimates 17% of the food produced globally each year is wasted. That amounts to 931 million tons of food, or about double what researchers believed was being wasted a decade ago. And most of the waste — or 61% — happens in households, while food service accounts for 26% and retailers account for 13%. (Dave Zajac/Record-Journal via AP)
7% of food production globally wasted, UN report estimates

7% of food production globally wasted, UN report estimates

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wedneday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Efficacy figures of COVID-19 vaccines don’t tell the whole story: experts

Efficacy figures of COVID-19 vaccines don’t tell the whole story: experts

Most Read