If patience is a virtue, Caedon Bellmann is its poster child.
The Spallumcheen hockey goalie continues to work out locally while awaiting his travel and work Visa which will permit him to continue his playing career overseas in Europe.
Bellmann, 21, should be in Diö, Sweden right now, training with the “village’s most famous sports team,” Diö Golf HK, founded in 1929.
Diö, with its 900 residents, is located in the southern part of the Scandinavian country, 10 kilometres north of the town of Älmhult. It’s known for being the home of a wheelchair manufacturer, a furniture factory, and its hockey squad. The teams play in the eight-team Södra (South) E Division of Sweden’s HockeyTrean (Third Division).
Bellmann has a plane ticket now booked for Sept. 7 to go and join his new club.
“It’s a lower level of pro hockey, semi-pro hockey I guess,” said the quiet netminder, who has spent the summer working on the family farm.
The former goalie for his hometown North Okanagan Knights of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League has been working with former Knights bench boss Bryant Perrier, who has become Bellmann’s hockey life coach. It was Perrier who put Bellmann in contact with the Swedish club and helped facilitate the goalie signing a one-year deal.
“I’m super excited and a bit nervous,” said Bellmann. “This is something new and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I’ve heard the league is very competitive and the players are super skilled. I’ve had a chance to play on the bigger (European) ice surface a couple of times, and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Since leaving the Knights after the 2019-20 season, Bellmann’s patience has been tested, and rewarded, several times.
He went cross-country to play in the Junior A Superior International Junior Hockey League with the Red Lake (Ont.) Miners, only to have the season wiped out by COVID.
Then it was back to the farm in Spallumcheen, helping out parents Brad and Jennifer, when he got a chance to resume playing hockey in B.C. in 2021-22 with the Pacific Junior (B) Hockey League’s Langley Trappers. He compiled a 16-8 regular-season record in 27 appearances, and was 2-1 in the post-season before an injury relegated him to the bench.
The Trappers won the league, the PJHL playoff title, and finished the year winning the Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial Junior B title.
For his final year of eligibility, Bellmann returned east to Ontario to play in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League with the Northumberland Stars. He played in just 10 games with the Stars before being dealt to the Meaford Knights, where he got into just one regular-season contest.
He’s looking forward to a fresh start in pro hockey.
“It’s definitely going to be challenging,” said Bellmann. “While I’m there (Sweden), I hope to experience the culture and I hope I can play and have the opportunity to move up to a higher level.”