The KIJHL (Kootenay International Junior Hockey League), has been a breeding ground for NHLers for the better part of fifty years.
Players such as Greg Adams, Ray Ferraro, Adam Deadmarsh, Chuck Kobasew, Barret Jackman and Shea Weber just to name a few, have skated in the Jr.B barns and started honing their craft at an early age in league.
Just north of the U.S. border sits the second highest city in Canada, a gem that overlooks the beautiful Kootenay River Valley and the Rocky Mountains to the east...the junior hockey hotbed of Kimberley B.C.
It is there the Kimberley Dynamiters play in front of cheering hometown crowds at the Civic Centre.
For those whom have never witnessed a junior hockey game it is here where hockey is played at it's purest and most passionate. This is where players and coaches alike are competing for the true love of the game.
The rich hockey history was bolstered by the 1936 Kymberley Drillers that won the Alan Cup, then represented Canada in the 1937 World Championships in London England.
The Drillers took home gold, going undefeated in 8 straight games and outscored the competition 60-4.
In recent years the club has turned out NHLers Dave Scatchard, Drayson Bowman and homegrown grads Mike McBain and Jason Wiemer.
Kimberley has also sent a long list of players to the BCJHL, WHL and the Collegiate route, giving them credibility as a solid junior hockey organization.
For players looking to take the next step, there are few better places to play than the "City of Festivals".
Now it is a new group of youngsters that look to follow in the footsteps of past Nitro greats.
Names like Corey Allen, Mike Nelson and youngster Taylor McDowell hope to be the recent Dynamiters to make the jump to the next level, and be the role models for the hockey players of tomorrow.
There is something to be said for the Coaches and volunteers whom devote their time to the junior leagues of hockey, and for some of the best look no further than the "Bavarian City of the Rockies", Kimberley B.C.
Maybe the best kept secret in junior hockey?
Though I may have just let that secret out.