Miner flying with Eagles, planes

Photo: Ashley Potts

by Kate Moloney | AHL On The Beat

Colorado Eagles goalie Trent Miner has had an impressive 2023-24 season, having played in 11 games and producing a .913 save percentage. When not on the ice, however, Miner has taken up an impressive hobby: becoming a pilot.

Miner was drafted in 2019 by the Colorado Avalanche, and became certified to fly in 2020. And as he continues to focus on his hockey career, he looks forward to being able to fly again soon.

Miner grew up in Brandon, Man., and began skating as soon as he could walk. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Canada shut down all hockey-related activities. Miner, then 19 and playing junior hockey with Vancouver of the Western Hockey League, was unable to practice and focus on furthering his skills.

He decided to go to school and started working towards his pilot’s license.

“I was terrified of flying as a kid,” Miner said, “and then one of my best friends’ dad owned a little plane and took me up, and that just sparked my interest from there.”

After this experience, Miner was very intrigued with planes and flying, and the pandemic allowed him to explore that interest. He has recorded roughly 60 hours of flying and has flown single-engine planes during his training, including Cessnas and other piston aircraft. When COVID-19 restrictions relaxed, Miner refocused his attention to his hockey career, and began his pro career with the Eagles when the AHL season started in early 2021.

Because he has been unable to return to Canada to accumulate flight hours, Miner must re-certify in order to fly again. He is looking forward to the opportunity to go back to take some courses and a written exam, but training for hockey is his number one priority at the moment. The Eagles netminder has loved his time with the team so far.

“The guys here have always been super supportive and friendly, and always welcomed everyone with open arms,” said Miner.

He enjoys sharing his passion for flying with his teammates.

“They definitely have some questions about what I have learned,” Miner said. “It’s fun to share with the other players since it isn’t a common thing to do. I am definitely going to get back into it whenever the day comes where I can’t play anymore.”

As there are many different routes Miner could take regarding his potential flying career, he is unsure which path he is most interested in. Due to COVID-19 requirements, he was unable to take his family on a plane ride, and when hockey resumed, his schedule grew more demanding. As a result, his primary objective for his future flying career is to be able show to his family what he learned and take them for a flight.

Miner is looking forward to building on the Eagles’ current position for the rest of the season. He said the team is ready to “get stronger and keep winning games, hopefully to build into the playoffs.”

Not only has Miner been a promising goalie for the Eagles, but he also has built an impressive resume by taking the time to learn how to fly. The 22-year-old has demonstrated that if you set your mind to anything, you can succeed.