Kamloops Blazers draft teen while he is evacuated from Fort McMurray wildfire

Nicksha Eric
Image Credit: LA Media/Hockey Alberta

KAMLOOPS - The Kamloops Blazers' future and the evacuation of Fort McMurray have little in common, but one young hockey player is a part of both.

Nicksha Eric, 14, of Fort McMurray found out he was going to be joining the Blazers organization just two days after he was evacuated from his hometown with flames bearing down. He says he hasn’t been focusing on his home, since there isn’t much he can do.

As for the bantam draft, he has mixed but positive emotions: surprise, relief, happiness and honour.

“I was hoping (to be drafted) since a few teams had spoken to me," Nicksha says.

He’s looking forward to joining Blazers.

“I’ve heard nothing but positive things about Kamloops as a city and the organization as a whole,” Nicksha says.

His father Milan Eric was more concerned about the safety of the family and didn’t hear about his son being drafted until a friend sent him a message of congratulations.

Milan says his son getting drafted by Kamloops is a huge privilege.

"That’s an opportunity that not many 14-year-olds have," Milan says. "He lived his dream right at that moment."

The Erics were evacuated from Fort McMurray on Tuesday, May 3 and eventually made it to Edmonton where they are now staying in a condominium owned by one of Nicksha’s former coaches.

Nicksha says he’s coming to Kamloops for the Blazers' rookie camp in June, though its expected he will return to his team in Fort Saskatchewan next season.

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