Carter Rigby and Olli Dickson are joining the Summerland Steam‘s coaching staff.
The Steam made the announcement on Wednesday.
Dickson played for the Steam in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League from 2012-14, while Rigby is a recent 2016 Allan Cup Champion (Lacombe Generals, formerly Bentley Generals) and joined head coach John Depourcq and assistant coach Jordan McCallum behind the bench.
Dickson, now 23, played 165 games in the KIJHL as a player split between the Kimberley Dynamiters and the Steam. Dickson picked up 31 goals and 63 assists for 94 points and racked up an astonishing 734 penalty minutes over his five KIJHL seasons. He currently sits third in the history of KIJHL statistics in the penalty minute category.
“I’m very excited to join John, Jordan and Carter behind the bench and come back to the place I finished my playing career,” Dickson said in a team statement on the Trolley Talk blog. “I have a lot to be thankful for from my last two season in Kimberley, and I learned a lot from both Mike Reid and Jerry Bancks in my time there. I’m happy to bring the things I learned from them about the hockey world back to Summerland and put my knowledge to use.”
When asked what drew him back to the Steam organization after a couple of years away, Dickson’s response was very simple. “Johnny and Gregg have built one of the best organizations in the KIJHL and I’m excited to be a part of this coaching staff. We’ve got a great leadership group in place with ‘Grizz’ (Alex Williams) and Hads (Calvin Hadley), and after having a great year last year I think we’re primed for another great one this year.”
Dickson joins one of his oldest friends, Rigby. When asked how special it would be to have Carter on the bench as well, Dickson left a glowing review saying “Carter is a proven winner at every level and will prove to be one of the best mentors to these young players that they could ever have.”
Rigby, 22, is one year removed from a playing career that included stops in the KIJHL, BCHL, WHL, ECHL, Canadian Interuniversity Sport, and most recently the Chinook Hockey League. He spent parts of six seasons in the WHL split between the Prince George Cougars, Kelowna Rockets and Swift Current Broncos, and knows his way around the hockey world. He also spent one season split between the Osoyoos Coyotes and the Penticton Vees.
Upon the completion of his junior career, Rigby joined the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder and parlayed that opportunity into a camp invite with the Minnesota Wild before ending up with the University of Newfoundland in the CIS. Most recently, Rigby played for the Generals in senior AAA hockey and scored twice, including the OT winner, in the Allan Cup Final to help the Generals defeat the Southeast Prairie Thunder and win the Allan Cup.
“I’m very excited to start the next chapter of my hockey career as an assistant coach with the Steam,” Rigby said via text. “I think I can learn a lot from John as a coach, just as I did when I was a player. Coaching alongside probably my favourite coach I’ve ever had the chance to play for will be a lot of fun.”
When asked what kind of coach he thought he might be, Rigby replied “I’m not far removed from the game so I think I’ll be a guy who can bring a bit of a different element behind the bench, form a bond and be an outlet for the players.”
It will be a new challenge for the Penticton native, and one that Rigby is excited to take on.
“I’ve always been told, even when I was playing, that I think the game too much instead of just playing it sometimes, and I think that’ll be something that makes me an asset to the Steam organization. I think as a group the team has a chance to be extremely dominant this year after the year they had last year, and if we can get off to a good start and get rolling early we’re going to be in for a great ride.”
The Steam’s main camp opens Friday at the Summerland Arena. Camp will finish with an exhibition game Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. vs the Princeton Posse. Tickets are just $5 at the door! The Steam open the 2016/17 Season on Sept. 9 vs the defending Western Canadian Champion 100 Mile House Wranglers.
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