Former Merritt minor hockey product practises with the Cents

By on November 29, 2017
Talon Zakall. (Photo courtesy of James Dewars/


Last week, 15-year-old defenceman Talon Zakall was in town practising with the Merritt Centennials for a few days. Born and raised in the Nicola Valley, Zakall played all of his minor hockey in Merritt until last season when he suited up for the tier 1 bantam Kamloops Jr. Blazers.

This season, Zakall is enrolled at the Yale Hockey Academy in the Fraser Valley. He plays on the Academy’s Elite 15 team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). In 20 games so far with the Lions, Zakall has netted four goals and added 13 assists for 17 points (good for fourth in scoring amongst all defencemen in the 11-team league).

Centennials’ head coach and GM Joe Martin said that bringing in players of Zakall’s age and calibre for a look-see during the season is a regular occurrence with nearly all BCHL teams.

“You want to keep an eye on what’s out there,” said Martin. “Talon’s having a good season at Yale. I talked to his coach, [former Centennial] Derry Menard, and he said that he’s really been enjoying coaching Talon, and likes the way he’s playing and progressing.”

Martin went on to add, “earlier this season we had [current Centennial] Nick Wick’s younger brother, Garrett, up here, and right now we have a pair of players from Hazelton in for a few days. Frazer Dodd is playing for the 100 Mile Wranglers of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League this season, and is currently the team’s second-leading scorer. He APed for us in Prince George a while back and got an assist.”

Joel Patsey, the other Hazelton player slated to skate with the Cents, is presently a defenceman with the Wranglers, who played for the Cariboo major midgets last season.

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