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Next Generation: Trail Smoke Eaters

Smokies head coach and general manager Tim Fragle is set to begin his fourth season behind the bench and has made several additions to the roster through recruiting and trades. He gives us a scouting report on this year’s new Smokies players.

New recruits

Adam Barone (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
  • Previous team: Cobourg Cougars (OJHL)
  • College commitment: Lake Superior State University

Barone was Cobourg’s top point-producer from the back end, leading all Cougars defencemen with 36 points in 38 games on four goals and 32 helpers. He also played for Team Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge where he had two points in six games and won a silver medal.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He’s an experienced defenceman who has had good production the last few years. We see him as a top-end defenceman on our team. He’s a big pickup for our defence corps.”

Gryphon Watson-Bucci (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Sudbury, Ont.
  • Previous team: Boston Hockey Academy (16U AAA)
  • College commitment: Merrimack College

Watson-Bucci led his 16U team in scoring last year with 127 points in 75 games after piling up 47 goals and 80 assists.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He has a high IQ. He’s really tenacious and gritty with an exceptional skillset and he possesses a strong shot. We like his ability to play any forward position.”

Trip Pendy (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Far Hills, N.J.
  • Previous team: New Jersey Rockets (18U AAA)
  • College commitment: Brown University

Pendy piled up the points last year with the Rockets 18U team, finishing second in team scoring with 101 points in 82 games across all competition. He also played prep school hockey with Delbarton School where he had 17 goals, 30 assists and 47 points.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Trip brings a lot of speed and skill to our group. He has a track record of producing offence and we hope that will translate to the BCHL level.”

Jack DesRuisseaux (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Manchester, N.H.
  • Previous team: Tabor Academy (USHS-Prep)
  • College commitment: Sacred Heart University

DesRuisseaux was a top scorer for two different clubs last year. He led his high school team at Tabor Academy with 34 points in 26 games and was also second in team scoring with the GBL Bruins 18U team after putting up 36 points in 24 games, just two off the team lead.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Jack is a 200-foot player. We really like his versatility. He also has good instincts. We tracked him for some time. and we think that he fits the way we like to play. We’re excited to have him.”

Michael Risteau (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.
  • Previous team: Benilde-St. Margaret’s School (USHS-MN)
  • College commitment: Western Michigan University

In his third year playing at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Risteau compiled 32 points in 27 games. He also played for Team SIT Financial Services in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League and totaled 11 points in 18 contests.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Michael plays with a high energy level and has a lot of speed to his game. He also has a very high skillset.”

Lucas Marshall (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.
  • Previous team: Wenatchee Wild (BCHL)

Marshall played his rookie season in the BCHL last year with Wenatchee where he had four goals and six assists for 10 points in 44 games.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Lucas is a big addition for our group. We played against him last year and, as the season went on, he just continued to improve. We like his defending ability and his mobility, which will help improve our defence corps this year.”

Jack Kennedy (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Granby, Mass.
  • Avon Old Farms School (USHS-Prep)

Kennedy was the highest-scoring blueliner on his high school team last year at Avon Old Farms, contributing two goals, 19 assists and 21 points in 28 games. He also played 24 games for the Buffalo Regals 18U program where he again was the top-scoring defenceman with 14 points in 24 contests.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Jack skates really well and is a good defender. He’ll play an important role on our team this year. He’s just so well-rounded and that’s what we like most about his game.”

Corson Maguire (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
  • Previous team: Bishop Kearney Selects (18U AAA)

Maguire is coming off a strong offensive season last year with the Bishop Kearney Selects. He totaled 53 points in 73 games across all competition.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Corson is a one-shot scorer. He’s a worker and is super competitive. He fights for everything. We think he fits nicely with the way we like to play here.”

Callas Pierce (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Prince Rupert, B.C.
  • Previous team: RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna (CSSHL U18)

Pierce put up 70 points in 83 games last year with RINK Kelowna on 23 goals and 47 assists.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Callas has a high motor and plays all 200 feet of the ice. He earns everything. He’s a player that isn’t flashy, but is really effective. He’ll bring a lot of energy to the group.”

Ryan Parker (2005, G)

  • Hometown: Sooke, B.C.
  • Previous team: Pacific Coast Academy Prep (CSSHL U18)

Parker spent the past five seasons in the Pacific Coast Academy program, working his way up from the U15 program all the way to being the starting goaltender for the U18 team last year. He put up solid numbers in 2022-23, posting a .921 save percentage and a record of 13-8-1 with one shutout.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Ryan is a good-sized goaltender. He has great athleticism and a high compete level. We tracked him for a long time. He’s got a really high ceiling at the BCHL level.”

Patrick Reilly (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Avon, N.J.
  • Previous team: New Jersey Rockets (18U AAA)
  • College commitment: Princeton University

Reilly played the past two seasons with the Rockets 18U team. In 2022-23, he put up eight goals and 21 assists in 40 games across all competition. He also suited up for Christian Brothers Academy in New Jersey, where he played the past four seasons.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He’s a good-sized right-shot defenceman with a high compete level. He’s a good puck mover and has proven to be able to provide offence from the back end. We’re looking forward to adding him.”

Nathan Dominici (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Trail, B.C.
  • Previous team: Beaver Valley NiteHawks (KIJHL)

Dominici played Junior B for Beaver Valley the past two seasons. In 2022-23, he was the team’s leading goal scorer with 23 and their leader in points with 41 in 39 games. Dominici also scored his first BCHL goal last year in one of the three games he played as an affiliate with the Smoke Eaters.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He’s a local player who played some games with us last year, so we know what we’re getting with Nathan. He’s a physical forward who is hard to play against and brings a lot of speed. He also has a great shot.”

Cameron Johnsen (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Victoria, B.C.
  • Previous team: Pacific Coast Academy Prep (CSSHL U18)

Johnsen had six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 30 games last year as the captain at Pacific Coast Academy. He also has two games of BCHL experience as an affiliate, one with the Cowichan Valley Capitals in 2021-22 and another with the Smoke Eaters last year.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Cameron will bring some size and a high IQ. He’s a worker. He puts in extra time to improve his craft. We’re excited to bring him in.”

Jack Ketsa (2005, D)

  • Hometown: St. Albert, Alta.
  • Previous team: Northern Alberta Xtreme Prep (CSSHL U18)

Ketsa scored four goals and added 11 assists for 15 points in 26 games last year, one off the team lead in points by defencemen.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“Ketsa brings some size on the back end and has very strong puck skills. He’s got a great shot from the point as well. We really like his high IQ level.”

Rémi Lapalme (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Varennes, Que.
  • Previous team: Coeur d’Alene Hockey Academy Prep (CSSHL U18)

Lapalme averaged nearly two points per game with CDA last year, piling up 15 points in just eight matches.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“He brings a lot of grit to our group and is extremely hard to play against. He had a great year producing offence last year. He also has a really good shot.”

Acquired via trade

Jason Stefanek (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Yorba Linda, Calif.
  • Previous team: Wenatchee Wild (BCHL)
  • College commitment: Dartmouth College

In his rookie year in the BCHL last year, Stefanek had 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points in 53 games with the Wild. He was acquired by Trail in a trade on June 5.

Fragle’s scouting report:

“We coached against him last year and liked him as a player. We feel that, in an increased role, he’s going to progress. He had a good first year in terms of production, but we expect him to take another step this year and play an important role in our group.”


Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Pendy, DesRuisseaux, Risteau, Reilly), CSSHL (Pierce, Parker, Johnsen, Ketsa), Tami Quan (Dominici), Garrett James Photography (Stefanek)