Whitehorse Daily Star

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HUMBLE BEGINNINGS – Yukon skip Thomas Scoffin throws a rock as sweepers David Aho (left) and Mitch Young get started during a game at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Napanee, Ont., in February 2012. IanMacAlpine/THE WHIG-STANDARD

Scoffin to join Bottcher rink for Grand Slam event

Thomas Scoffin has received the call to the big leagues.

By Marcel Vander Wier on November 2, 2015

Thomas Scoffin has received the call to the big leagues.

The longtime Yukon curling standout will play second for Brendan Bottcher’s rink at the National in Oshawa, Nov. 10 to 15.

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event will be televised on Rogers Sportsnet. The elite series of men’s and women’s curling events, which are part of the World Curling Tour, features the world’s best teams.

Bottcher’s Edmonton rink is currently ranked eighth in the world.

Bottcher’s regular second, Brad Thiessen, will be representing Alberta at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, being held simultaneously in nearby Toronto.

Usually a skip, the 21-year-old Scoffin said he doesn’t mind throwing weight and sweeping for Bottcher.

“It will be a change for me, but I’ve got the skillset,” he said. “I’ve played peels and draws before, so I’ll just go out there and try to execute. I’m joining a really, really good team and I just want to fit in.

“I’m super humbled to have this opportunity so early in my competitive men’s curling career,” he said, noting the Yukon’s “tight” curling community has played an important role in all of his achievements.

“I’ve accomplished a lot in the past decade, but I’ve had a lot of help along the way from the community of Whitehorse.”

Other members of Bottcher’s group are third Tom Appelman and lead Karrick Martin – Kevin Martin’s son.

Scoffin will take on some of the world’s top teams during the event, as Bottcher’s rink is in the same pool as current Olympic champion Brad Jacobs, defending Brier champion Pat Simmons and Sweden’s Niklas Edin.

Still, the University of Alberta student didn’t sound fazed in an interview this morning.

“”I’m not nervous yet,” Scoffin told the Star. “I’m just super excited to be participating in a Grand Slam event. It will be the biggest competition I’ve played in so far, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Currently the skip of the University of Alberta Golden Bears varsity rink, Scoffin said he will enter the provincial Brier playdowns this season, but his “ultimate goal” is to see his rink repeat as Canadian Interuniversity Sport champions.

Scoffin was the obvious choice to replace Thiessen, said Team Bottcher’s coach Rob Krepps.

“He has all the same knowledge of systems and strategies as Team Bottcher,” Krepps said. “They come out of the same program. ... I’m sure he’s going to perform very well.”

Scoffin last represented Yukon at the 2012 Canadian juniors in Napanee, Ont., where the territory finished tied for fifth with a 7-5 record.

Ironically, Bottcher’s Alberta rink won that national junior title.

The following year, Scoffin led Alberta all the way to the junior final, before falling to Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone in Fort McMurray, Alta.

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