Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)

Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

––Kamloops This Week

An online fundraising campaign has been launched upon news that Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk was paralyzed in a snowboarding accident this weekend (Jan. 23-24).

Sopotyk, 19, is from Aberdeen, Sask., though it has not yet been stated where the accident occurred.

The online fundraiser had collected more than $68,000 as of Sunday night (Jan. 24) and is being organized by Kathleen Zary of Saskatoon, mother of fellow Kamloops Blazer Connor Zary.

The money being raised will be used to support any possible renovations needed at the Sopotyk home, health-care costs and any additional supports the family may require.

The Kamloops Blazers issued a statement after learning of the accident.

“We are devastated at the news of Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk. Kyrell suffered a life-altering injury this weekend,” the statement reads. “He is a tremendous young man and an exemplary representative of our hockey club. The Blazer family is behind Kyrell and the Sopotyks. At this time, we will respect the privacy of his family.”

Sopotyk played with the Prince Albert Mintos under-18 team before being drafted by Kamloops in the 2016 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. In two seasons with the Blazers — 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 — he played 107 games, notching 45 points.

On Nov. 11, 2019, Sopotyk was injured when he was checked from behind in a game against the Kelowna Rockets. He missed a number of games as a result of that injury, which saw him careen head-first into the boards at Sandman Centre. The player who delivered the hit, Pavel Novak, received an eight-game suspension.

In a statement on the fundraising page Sunday, Zary said the community response has been overwhelming.

“We ask that you keep the entire Sopotyk family in your hearts at this time.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

RDuring a short downpour of rain, Sickle Point Committee member, Renee Halo Martin,  gives a green ribbon to Kaleden supporter Michael Bland. (Submitted)
100 cars lineup to get green ribbons to save Sickle Point

The Kaleden committee has until June 1 to raise $1 million

Penticton fire crews put out hot spots at a controlled burn that got a little close for comfort at Riva Ridge Estates March 8, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Controlled burn comes close to Penticton homes

Residents of Riva Ridge Estates got out their hoses before fire crews arrived

The goal of the group is to help women owned businesses recover from the pandemic and to assist women to become angel investors and women owned or co-owned businesses to better access capital.
Okanagan women’s investor fund launched to aid women-owned businesses

Twenty-five women have formed a new Okanagan angel investment fund

It's tick season in South Okanagan.
Tick season has started in South Okanagan

A Penticton adventure company collected 200 ticks last year to be studied for Lyme Disease

Granfondo is going ahead in Penticton this September. (Western file photo)
BREAKING: Granfondo is a go in Penticton

Axel Merckx pushed the event to September in hopes of a ‘full Fondo experience’

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Royal Dismissal

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

(File photo)
RCMP seek witnesses after 2 different reports of man chasing children in Kelowna

Both incidents occured around Dougall Road in Rutland

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Noah Vaten(left) having a cigarette out front of the Kelowna Law Courts on a brief break during his manslaughter trial on March 8, 2021. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Accused Kelowna killer ‘blacked out’ on cocaine, kicked cop shop window looking for help

Video of Noah Vaten’s interrogation shown during manslaughter trial details night of Canada Day killing in the accused’s own words

Most Read