Nanaimo will have an imposing presence in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League this hockey season with the signing of former Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association player Malakai Andy.
Andy, 17, will be playing with the Nanaimo Buccaneers Junior B VIJHL.
At six-foot-five-inches tall weighing 205 pounds, the Buccaneers announced Andy will serve as a power forward and bring strength and speed to their lineup.
Andy will attend Grade 12 in Nanamio during the season and has so far had an exhibition win and loss with the team.
“It’s good,” Andy said of being a part of the Buccaneers. “I like it here and it’s a great opportunity for me.”
Andy, who is from the Nuxalk Nation and Williams Lake Indian Band, said his hockey idol is Jordin Tootoo, the first Inuk NHL player.
For Andy, he hopes in achieving his own goals other First Nations youth in Williams Lake will push to realize their own dreams.
“You just have to keep pushing through adversity, work hard, believe in yourself and you’ll get there.”
Andy also thanked his parents Alethea Andy and Joseph Sandy “for supporting me with everything I needed to get here.”
Last season Andy played in Prince George with BC Hockey’s north central zone team, which he said helped prepare him for Junior B.
He was scouted by the Buccaneers during try outs for the Team BC National Aboriginal Hockey player selection camp.
Andy plans to be back home in time for his 2020 high school graduation in Williams Lake.