Junior hockey player from Whale Cove shines in rookie year

Garren Voisey, 18, joined Thunder Bay North Stars in September

Garren Voisey, 18, grew up playing hockey with friends after school in Whale Cove. He now plays defence for the Thunder Bay North Stars junior hockey team. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

By Emma Tranter

Garren Voisey says he started playing hockey as something to do with his friends after school.

The 18-year-old from Whale Cove would head out to the community’s arena with a few hockey sticks and a handful of friends.

“I’d just go to the rink after school with my buddies. Shoot around, shoot pucks, skate around, you know,” Voisey said.

“I was all about hockey growing up.”

There was no hockey league in the community of about 500 people, Voisey said.

“There’s no hockey practice. No hockey games. I would just go out after school with my friends,” he said.

Voisey now plays defence for the Thunder Bay North Stars, a Superior International Junior Hockey League team based in the northwestern Ontario city.

Listed on the team website as being six feet tall and 179 pounds, Voisey had one goal and 10 assists in 27 games as of Jan. 25, and a mere two minutes in penalties.

Fresh into his rookie year, Voisey moved to Thunder Bay in September to join the team.

“I love it here, I’m very thankful to be part of this team. It’s awesome. It’s made me a better person,” he said.

Voisey played for Team Arviat before moving to Winnipeg when he was 13 to continue his hockey career, where he was hosted by a billet family.

From there, he continued to practise and improve his game before he joined the North Stars. Voisey scored the team’s winning goal in a game earlier this month, according to local news reports.

“The goal is always to get better. There’s a bunch of opportunities ahead of me,” he said.

Voisey expects to be with the North Stars for at least another year, and said he isn’t sure yet what comes after that.

“I’m just focusing on the moment and looking to get better each and every single day, and we’ll see what happens from here on out,” he said.

Voisey is also heading to the Arctic Winter Games next week as part of the men’s hockey team representing Nunavut.

Wood Buffalo, Alta., is the host community, but hockey will be played in Fort McMurray, about two hours south of there. It will be Voisey’s second time playing at the Games.

“It was an unbelievable experience and I think that kids in Nunavut should really try to be a part of it,” he said.

“Our team is really determined this year.”

For young Nunavummiut interested in playing sports, Voisey said his advice is to work hard.

“I think you should do what you love. There’s no replacement for working hard and trying to improve yourself and your craft,” he said.

“Just try to be better every single day, whether it’s at or work or school.”

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by real Jr A on

    Congrats on making the Jr A team.

    I want to take this opportunity to say this is a real Jr A team sanctioned by Hockey Canada. There’s a fake Junior league in Canada called the GMHL that calls itself a Junior A league…but you need to pay to pay. It’s a total scam. They prey on Nunavummiut teenagers who are decent Midget-level hockey players and tell them they’ve been selected for their training camp. If you pay the money you make the team. And it goes nowhere. The league is full of crooks, and you’re banned from Hockey Canada if you play in this league (meaning if you move back to Nunavut and want to register for Men’s Rec Hockey, you won’t be allowed because it’s under Hockey Canada).

    I see many fundraisers on Facebooks of parents raising money for their sons to go play on some random GMHL team in the middle of nowhere in Ontario or Alberta. If you know these people, please let them know that it’s a scam.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Metro_Junior_A_Hockey_League

    Spread the word! A Junior team wouldn’t make you pay a registration and they’ll usually pay for your travel and accommodations.

    I’d love for Nunatsiaq to do a story on this. I’m sure there’s dozens (if not over a hundred) Nunavummuit who’ve been conned by the teams in this league.

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  2. Posted by Doyourhomework on

    Most jr A teams in Canada charge a players fee now, the Sijhl charges a fee of anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 a year, and MJHL charges up to 8500.00 a year, academy’s charge anywhere between 22,000.00 to 60,000.00 a year. It’s a new reality in jr hockey.elite sport, high costs, do your homework and get the facts before, you sign anywhere, and a div 3 scholarship will cost you 30k U.S.A..

  3. Posted by Name Withheld on

    Beneficiaries in Nunavut usually don’t pay as they can ask for funding from NTI to send their children to south to attend hockey

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