According to Carter Yarish, Blackfalds Bulldogs fans can count on him to provide a healthy dose of offence.
The 18-year-old (’03) forward from Prince George, British Columbia score 23 times in 40 games during his first year (2019-20) with the Cariboo Cougars U18 AAA program. He added 26 assists for 49 points that season.
Yarish impressed enough to tack on two more games as an affiliate player with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings.
As for 2020-21: zero games played due to the COVID-19 pandemic when most players laced up for at least a handful.
“I worked a lot on my spacing in my first year with the Cougars, so finding soft areas where I can get my shot off, plus I played with good teammates all year. Nico (Myatovic) was good at finding me; we had some chemistry and I had a hot stick,” says Yarish, a right-handed right winger.
“When I’m at my best though, I’m also physical, and I can get in and grind on the forecheck.”
Yarish will find some familiarity too when the 2021-22 AJHL season begins as he looks to the blue line and sees Wyatt Wilson.
Wilson and Yarish teamed together for Yale Hockey Academy Prep during the 2018-19 Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) season.
Yarish led Yale’s U16 club in scoring with 10 goals and 18 assists in 34 games, also suiting up for four games with the U18 group.
“I’m definitely more suited to offence, but I do also take pride in the D-zone for sure. Being a hard worker is one of the biggest parts of my game, outworking and winning battles, and being a menace out there,” says Yarish, a Canucks turned Winnipeg Jets fan who wants nothing to do with any comparison to Brad Marchand.
“But being a younger guy, I still have to prove myself. Nothing will be given, so I’ve got to in there and make my mark.”
Off the ice, Yarish’s passion is something hockey fans don’t like to think about during the season, and that’s golf.
“I really care about golf. I got a job this spring at a golf course, so I’m golfing three to four days a week right now, plus I’m on the range almost every day,” he says. “I actually really only got into it seriously last summer, but have played it my whole life on and off.”
Yarish lays claim to a 14-handicap.
But when he isn’t on the golf course, the recent Prince George Secondary graduate really is honed in on hockey and what it’ll mean to be a Bulldog.
“The goal of playing junior hockey is to get a scholarship, but that said, I just don’t know what I want to be in life yet. I’m still working that out,” he says.
“It’s honestly pretty cool and it’ll be a great opportunity to come to Blackfalds and set the standard for guys to come there in the future. We’re going to be the first guys who’ve ever done it for that club and we’ll be looked up to in the community.”