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‘Unbelievable talent’: Member of inaugural Chilliwack Chief team dies

Joey Potskin was part of 1990-91 squad, following time with the Prince George Spruce Kings
Joey Potskin, seen here during the 1990-91 BCHL season, was the lone Chilliwack Chiefs rep on the league’s 60th anniversary team. News of his death has led to an outpouring of love for his talents on and off the ice. (Chilliwack Progress archives)

One of the first Chilliwack Chiefs has died.

Both the Chiefs and the Spruce Kings have posted on social media that Joey Potskin died recently, offering condolences to family and friends.

As a way of celebrating his greatest on the ice, the Chilliwack Chiefs dug up footage of then-assistant captain Potskin taking a penalty shot in the old Coliseum.

“You always sorta wonder, what’s he gonna do, shoot, or deke?” an announcer says on the undated clip. “Here he comes. Over the blue line, moving in, holds it, shoots, scores! Great move by Potkin. Made (goalie) make the first move, and just made a tricky little move and put it up there.”

Potskin was a beloved member of the team, and in 2022 he landed a spot on the BCHL’s 60th anniversary team.

He was one of the first to ever a don Chilliwack Chiefs jersey, coming to the city for the team’s inaugural season in 1990, from the Prince George Spruce Kings.

“Joey was an electrifying player to watch who had fans on their feet every time he was on the ice,” said Chiefs president Barry Douglas at the time. “He was a real fierce competitor and one of the Chiefs initial superstars.”

The organization shared the news of Potskin passing, at age 53, on their Facebook and Instagram pages on Feb. 3.

“The Chilliwack Chiefs would like to express sincere condolences on the passing of Joey Potskin,” they wrote. “Potskin was a beloved member of our Chiefs family and one of the best to ever wear the jersey. Our thoughts are with his former teammates, friends, and family.”

Jason Craig is one of those Chiefs teammates.

“As a former teammate, there was nobody more electric and big hearted than Joey,” he said. “Just an unbelievable talent.”

Potskin was also an accomplished baseball player, and well regarded in Indigenous hockey. Tributes are growing across social media to a man many consider a “trailblazer.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Joey Potskin makes BCHL 60th anniversary team

Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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