Ian Skinner heads west in search of more ice-time

Dave Kearsey
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Ian Skinner participates in a Colemans Western Kings practice in this 2012 file photo.

CORNER BROOK  Ian Skinner wasn’t getting to play very much so he asked his advisor to find him another place to pursue his love of the game.

He believes he found what he was looking for in Saskatchewan.

The 18-year-old former Western Kings forward started the season with the Smith Falls Bears of the Ontario junior A hockey league, but has since found a new gig with the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Skinner said he wanted a change of scenery after it became clear he wasn’t going to get much playing time with the Bears.

“At the rate I was playing I wasn’t going to play as many games as I wanted,” said Skinner, who took a few minutes to talk about his new team from the St. John’s Airport Monday en route to Corner Brook.

He figures he only played half of his team’s games with the Bears before his advisor worked out a trade with the coach of the Hawks who was a friend of his.

Life is certainly better now for the talented forward known for his energy and strong work ethic. He has found comfort in his new community.

“I like Nipawin because the team is really close, the coaching staff is great and the community is great as well as all the people in the community,” he said.

He also likes the brand of hockey the 12-team league has built its reputation on over the years.

“I like the hockey. To me it’s more aggressive. It’s a harder style of hockey,” he said.

Of course, life can only be better for him if he finds himself playing more and that’s been the case since he joined his new club.

“It’s my first year junior I don’t expect to be on the first or second line. I just go out and every single game I got to have a strong work ethic and energy for the team,” he said.

He’s looking forward to spending the holidays with family in Corner Brook, but the Hawks resume play Dec. 30 so it will be a short visit home.

He knows what will have to be foremost on his mind when he gets back with the team.

“I just have to come back with the same attitude that I have to work hard for my ice-time and I got to deserve it,” he said.

Organizations: Smith Falls Bears, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.Skinner

Geographic location: Ontario, Nipawin, Corner Brook

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