As preseason is underway, the Fernie Ghostriders are ready to start the 2021-22 KIJHL regular season.

The biggest difference for the Ghostriders this season may be who’s behind the bench after the team hired Head Coach and GM Ty Valin over the summer.

BCHLofficials said the Ghostriders have 12 players returning to the team this year and five first-year players.

“Everybody is key. I’m a big believer in that,” says Valin. “Everybody is in that dressing room for a reason and plays a role. I’m going to lean on them early into the season a lot harder, especially through training camp and practices. I’ve put the responsibility on all of them early on in different ways.”

The five first-years joining the roster are defensemen Cole Fisher and Hayden Grabas and forwards Rylan Cardinal, Kolby Hennessy and Cole Fournier.

“Everybody has been fun to watch. They have really embraced making the jump to the Junior level and putting their work boots on when they come to the rink,” says Valin.

Valin told BCHL officials that they are excited for the season to start and everyone knows their roles.

“We want to be competitive and brought in people that want to compete every day. The expectation is no nights off. We’re establishing that right now with our group and they have embraced it well.”

“They are buying in. They understand what their jobs are and they are learning the new system, the new structure I’m bringing in and they are embracing it. They are not afraid to ask questions and want to learn the game and excel every day. We’re going to learn to play the right way.”

The Ghostriders will play the Creston Valley Thundercats on October 1st for the season opener.