The Kamloops Blazers’ roster appears to be set for Friday’s regular-season opener against the visiting Kelowna Rockets.
The Blazers got down to 25 players on Monday by assigning forward Brock Balson, a 19-year-old from Kamloops, to an undisclosed junior A team.
Balson, 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, was a third-round selection by the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL’s 2008 bantam draft. He had three points in 48 games with Prince Albert but was released prior to the start of the 2011-12 season.
Balson then played for the BCHL’s Salmon Arm SilverBacks, picking up 19 points, including 10 goals, in 20 games, before joining the Blazers in November.
Balson and his good friend Ryan Hanes were the two Kamloops natives on the Blazers’ roster as the start of this year’s training camp approached. However, Hanes was released last month and now is with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals. Hanes was one of five 20-year-olds on the Blazers roster, and WHL teams are allowed to dress only three per game.
With the release of Balson, the Blazers are carrying two goaltenders, eight defencemen and 15 forwards.
That doesn’t include defenceman Austin Madaisky, 20, who has been assigned by the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets to the AHL’s Springfield, Mass., Falcons. They open training camp on Sept. 28.
Game time on Friday is 7 p.m., at Interior Savings Centre.