Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)

Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

––Kamloops This Week

An online fundraising campaign has been launched upon news that Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk was paralyzed in a snowboarding accident this weekend (Jan. 23-24).

Sopotyk, 19, is from Aberdeen, Sask., though it has not yet been stated where the accident occurred.

The online fundraiser had collected more than $68,000 as of Sunday night (Jan. 24) and is being organized by Kathleen Zary of Saskatoon, mother of fellow Kamloops Blazer Connor Zary.

The money being raised will be used to support any possible renovations needed at the Sopotyk home, health-care costs and any additional supports the family may require.

The Kamloops Blazers issued a statement after learning of the accident.

“We are devastated at the news of Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk. Kyrell suffered a life-altering injury this weekend,” the statement reads. “He is a tremendous young man and an exemplary representative of our hockey club. The Blazer family is behind Kyrell and the Sopotyks. At this time, we will respect the privacy of his family.”

Sopotyk played with the Prince Albert Mintos under-18 team before being drafted by Kamloops in the 2016 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. In two seasons with the Blazers — 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 — he played 107 games, notching 45 points.

On Nov. 11, 2019, Sopotyk was injured when he was checked from behind in a game against the Kelowna Rockets. He missed a number of games as a result of that injury, which saw him careen head-first into the boards at Sandman Centre. The player who delivered the hit, Pavel Novak, received an eight-game suspension.

In a statement on the fundraising page Sunday, Zary said the community response has been overwhelming.

“We ask that you keep the entire Sopotyk family in your hearts at this time.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

The Fraser River is seen west of Williams Lake from Doc English Bluff Ecological Reserve. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Tsilhqot’in National Government appeals Gibraltar Mines’ permit to discharge into Fraser River

Permit amendments fail to adequately protect the environment and human health, says TNG

The Horsefly Community Hall will be the site of a mobile vaccine clinic March 19, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Six COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open in Cariboo Chilcotin

100 Mile, Alexis Creek, Big Lake, Horsefly, Williams Lake and Tatla Lake

A Williams Lake area family living on Knife Creek Road lost everything to a house fire on Wednesday, March 3. (Photo submitted)
House fire destroys rural family home south of Williams Lake

The Macdonalds built their home on Knife Creek Road about 30 years ago

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Public input sought for B.C.’s police act review

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read