Trail Smoke Eaters make coaching hire

Trail Smoke Eaters

The Trail Smoke Eaters have found their man

Cam Keith, an assistant coach last season with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Cincinnati Cyclones, was named the Smokies head coach on Sunday.

Keith’s high level of professionalism, work ethic and knowledge proved major assets to the Cyclones franchise.  The Smoke Eaters are confident that Cam will bring those same attributes the BCHL.

“My past experience in Trail and my roots in the Kootenays have drawn me back to Trail hockey and the BCHL,” said Keith.  “My history with the Trail community gives me the confidence and pride to recruit the character players that best exemplifies Trail Smoke Eaters hockey. “I am deeply honored to be selected as the head coach for the Trail Smoke Eaters and look forward to giving back to a community that gave me so much.”

Keith is a native of Nelson, B.C. and spent the last two years as an assistant coach with Cincinnati, a Nashville Predators affiliate. Prior to that, he had a 10-year pro playing career which spanned three leagues. In 146 games in the American Hockey League (AHL) with Hartford, St. John’s and Peoria he amassed 36 points, (14 goals, 22 assists).  In 213 regular-season games in the ECHL with the Pensecola Ice Pilots and the Alaska Aces, he scored 54 goals along with 98 assists for a total of 152 points. He won the Kelly Cup ECHL title with the Aces in 2006, finishing seventh in Aces playoff scoring with 12 points (six goals and six assists) in 17 games.

Keith also played in the Central Hockey League, Italy Serie A, and DEL-2 (Germany), the second highest level in that country.

The 35-year-old played NCAA Div. I hockey for University of Alaska-Fairbanks where he accrued 100 points with 41 goals and 59 assists in 144 games.  He finished in the Nanooks top-six in scoring during each of his four seasons.

As a BCHL player, Keith suited up for the Victoria Salsa in 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.  He played for the Trail Smoke Eaters during the 1999-2000 season and in 54 games had 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 points.