By Emanuel Sequeira, KIJHL Communications Manager
The dream to play professional hockey in Europe was planted in Shawn Campbell’s mind while he watched his father Scott in Germany.
Scott spent 13 years with six professional hockey teams in Germany after a four-year career with Colorado College in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It was while in Ausburg, where Shawn was born, that he met his wife as he played for the Ausburger Panthers in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
Now Shawn, a graduate of the Nelson Leafs, gets the shot he dreamed of with the Stuttgart Rebels.
“It’s amazing. I’m really looking forward to this,” says Shawn, who had interest from another German club when they found out he had a German passport.
Shawn thought he was done playing after a career season in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). The Castlegar native set career highs in goals (31) and points (50) in 39 games.
“I thought this was definitely my best season. Just everything was connecting,” says Shawn.
“I didn’t think I was even going to be playing hockey this season because I was doing an apprenticeship (cooling and refrigeration) and in the summer I had to get surgery on my hand.”
Shawn now plans to pursue massage therapy in a couple of years.
This season his scoring and penalty killing improved the most. Campbell loved his time in the KIJHL saying everything was awesome and thank the Leafs and Castlegar Rebels organizations for the great career he had. He credits coaches Bill Rotheisler and Mario DiBella for developing him into the player he is now.
“Without them, I probably wouldn't have had as good an experience in the KI,” says Shawn, who also thanked his parents for driving him to practice when he was younger and training him to get ready for each season.
With the next chapter taking him to Europe, Shawn is excited to explore the continent more and move up in the leagues. Listed at five-foot-eight, 172 pounds, Shawn knows he will be playing against a lot older men and it will be a lot more competitive.
Yet, it’s all he has dreamed about doing.