The British Columbia Hockey Conference announced today the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League roster that will compete in the second annual BCHC Prospects Game on Tuesday, November 28th at the McArthur Park Arena in Kamloops, BC.
The KIJHL’s roster selection process has been guided by head coach Dave Hnatiuk, assistants Briar McNaney and Jiri Novak, and operations manager Lance Morey over the past month. Prospects Game rosters are composed primarily of 2006- and 2007-born players, with a maximum of six 2005-born players eligible to be selected.
In goal, the KIJHL will be represented by Nick Kunyk (Fernie Ghostriders) and Nathan Preston (Princeton Posse). Kunyk has posted a 5-0-0 record in his first KIJHL season with a 1.66 goals-against average and .939 save percentage that rank second and fifth overall among goaltenders, while Preston boasts a 7-1-0 record accompanied by 2.38 GAA and .918 SV%.
The blueline is led by Ben Edwards (Grand Forks Border Bruins), who recently re-joined the Border Bruins from the WHL’s Victoria Royals, and Max Chakrabarti (Creston Valley Thunder Cats), who sits second in assists and third in points amongst KIJHL defenders. They are joined by Brayden Gosselin (Summerland Steam), Tate O’Brien (North Okanagan Knights), Conner Grainger (Kimberley Dynamiters) and Will Caputo (Beaver Valley Nitehawks).
The team’s forward group is highlighted by a pair of Sicamous Eagles forwards in Owen Dewitt and Hayden Evans, who are both among the KIJHL’s Top 5 scoring leaders with 25 and 21 points. Not far behind are the trio of Tie Schmuacher (Spokane Braves), Tysin Mulligan (Columbia Valley Rockies) and Levi Astill (Grand Forks Border Bruins), who sit seventh, eighth and tenth respectively. Jake Phillips-Watts, Thomas Clarke and Teghan Mullin will all represent the host Kamloops Storm, while Nathan Simm and Connor Drake (Beaver Valley Nitehawks), Jordan Brunham (Castlegar Rebels) and Jackson Gush (Princeton Posse) round out the roster.
“Our staff faced a number of difficult choices in narrowing down the group that will represent the KIJHL at the 2023 BCHC Top Prospects Game,” says Hnatiuk. “We’re excited to get our team together and begin our off-ice preparations so that these players can capitalize on the opportunity to showcase themselves on a big stage.”
The KIJHL’s Top Prospects will travel to Kamloops on Monday, November 27th where they will practice and attend an event banquet prior to the game the next day. The 2023 BCHC Top Prospects Game will face off at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 28th and will be broadcast on Flo Hockey.
2023 KIJHL Top Prospects Game Roster (click to download):