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Nanaimo Clippers father and son Naylor duo accentuate BCHL campaign

Father and son have found a creative and healthy balance. For Nanaimo Clippers goaltender Jordan Naylor, Clippers general manager and head coach Darren Naylor is “dad at home and coach at the rink.
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Handout pic of Nanaimo Clippers goaltender Jordan Naylor for Cleve story. Credit: Gary Dorland, Nanaimo Clippers

Father and son have found a creative and healthy balance.

For Nanaimo Clippers goaltender Jordan Naylor, Clippers general manager and head coach Darren Naylor is “dad at home and coach at the rink.”

They have been doing this since bantam days on the Lower Mainland, “so it feels normal,” said the younger Naylor.

“My dad treats me like every other player at the rink. And as a goaltender, I deal more with my goalie coaches and don’t deal with my dad as much as the skaters do.”

Naylor was busy in making 36 saves in Saturday’s 6-1 B.C. Hockey League loss to the Victoria Grizzlies.

“We have a 24-hour rule in which we don’t talk about the game between ourselves in that time span after it ends,” said Darren Naylor.

“We have been doing this for a while now that it’s become second nature.”

Darren Naylor, 52, played in the major-junior Western Hockey League for the Victoria Cougars, then in the minor pros from Jacksonville, Florida, to Anchorage, Alaska. He wanted his son to have as much authentic junior hockey involvement as possible, so Jordan does not live at home, but with a billet family in the Harbour City.

“I wanted him to have the true junior experience,” said Darren Naylor, whose Cougars teammates over two seasons from 1987 to 1989 included Len Barrie, Micah Aivazoff, Clayton Young, Joel Savage and Jackson Penney.

In his third season with the Clippers, Jordan Naylor is part of a strong crease presence in the BCHL Island Division. Luke Pearson of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs is headed to become an NCAA Div. 1 Ivy League player next season at Yale and Carter Woodside has put in some solid performances with the Grizzlies and made 26 saves Saturday.

“There is a lot of talent in this division and this league,” said Jordan Naylor, 20, who is not yet committed, but hopes to land a university playing position for next season.

“Every goalie can stop the puck in this league. It’s that one or two extra things you can do that will make you stand out more. I feel I position myself well and am a good skater who can handle the puck.”

Island Division-leading Victoria (10-3) got a goal and three points in the Saturday matinée from Ellis Rickwood. The slippery forward from Brantford, Ont., has been inundated with NCAA Div. 1 offers and is being touted for the 2021 NHL draft. Rickwood was leading in BCHL scoring, pending late results from games Saturday night.

Henri Schreifels, committed to NCAA Div. 1 RPI, scored two power-play goals and had an assist. Three other NCAA Div. 1-bound Grizzlies Andrew Amousse (AIC), Isack Bandu (Northern Michigan) and Jake Veilleux (UConn) had a goal and assist each. Tristan Fraser replied for the Clippers (5-6).

Pearson and his Alberni Valley mates (6-2-2) were playing the Cowichan Valley Capitals (2-9-1) in a late-finishing game Saturday night.

Nanaimo and Alberni Valley play today and the Grizzlies and Capitals meet on Tuesday night.

Each team in the BCHL Island Division is playing 20 games, all in the Weyerhaeuser Arena hub at Port Alberni.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com