KAMLOOPS — It's not very often you find a defenceman leading your team in scoring, but Blazers blueliner Joe Gatenby is doing just that.
The 20 year old started his career playing for his hometown Kelowna Rockets before getting traded to Kamloops for the 2016/ 2017 season.
With 41 points in 47 games this year, Gatenby is the only d-man in the WHL to lead his team in scoring.
"You know it's a lot of things, it's maturity, I've always been a guy that everyday I'm trying to get better, and I think I have gotten better everyday this season," said Gatenby. "Kamloops last year they gave me a big opportunity to start to grow my offensive game and this year I really think I'm coming into my own."
Gatenby isn't just putting up the offensive numbers, he is also leading the way defensivily at plus seventeen.
Teammate Jermaine Loewan appreciates the guidance Gatenby has had on his game as well as with the younger players.
"In the room he tries to keep the guys focussed and he's been really good for our guys in the last few years here and I'm just thankful to have a guy like that on our team," said Loewan.
He hopes that in his last year he can create a lasting impression on Kamloops and with the young players on his team.
"Being an older guy I really relish the opportunity to try and be a role model," said Gatenby. "You know being a leader, is you want to lead by example and you want to be someone they can look up too in the situations when they don't know. Maybe they're a little bit confused, there's a lot of up and downs in this league and you want to be someone solid that they can look up too."
Blazers Head Coach Don Hay says Gatenby is always leading by example and looking for ways to improve his game.
"He's a real good role model for everybody, I really am impressed with Joe, how hard he works, how hard he competes every shift, every practice," said Hay. "He's a true professional playing junior hockey."
Gatenby will look to keep his impressive season going when the Blazers take on the Portland Winterhawks in a three game set this weekend.
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