A professional hockey player who got his start in Sicamous has been honoured by his Junior B team, who retired his jersey number.
Cody Franson played all of his minor hockey years in Sicamous after growing up in the district. He then went to play Junior B hockey with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, where he would be drafted by the Vancouver Giants and go on to play in the NHL.
With the Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks, Franson played just under 600 games and a total of nearly 1,000 games as a professional.
The Beaver Valley Nitehawks recognized Franson’s talent early on and have now retired his jersey number within their organization.
Retiring a jersey number honours the player by preserving the memory of their game. Nitehawks head coach Terry Jones said Franson was incredibly worthy of the recognition.
“Our alumni and team executive agreed that Cody’s hockey career was significant in that he had an outstanding career in the NHL, was a Memorial Cup winner, World Junior winner and that he had his Junior start with the Nitehawks,” said Jones, who ran the Nitehawks during Franson’s time with the team.
“As a 16-year-old, he helped our team to the KIJHL title and showed incredible development over the course of the year, all the while being a humble, modest, hard-working young man and respected teammate.”
Franson’s family expressed pride in sharing his hockey history and reflected on his early years when they heard about the award.
“It was amazing,” said Franson of receiving the phone call, expressing a fondness for his early career years and an appreciation for Jones’ continuous support.
The ceremony in Beaver Valley Franson was supposed to attend to took place Aug. 19, and nearly 200 supporters and current former staff and players attended the alumni golf tournament and banquet. Due to wildfires in the Okanagan and travel disturbances, Franson wasn’t able to make it, but said he has been invited to attend a home game this upcoming season and Jones confirmed a small ceremony will precede the game whenever Franson is able to come.
Franson’s jersey, 88, will hang in the rafters of the Beaver Valley Arena.
The NHLer attended a hockey school in Sicamous in mid-August, joined by fellow Sicamous native Shea Weber.