Centennials announce Wes McLeod as Head Coach


MERRITT, B.C.: The Merritt Centennials are proud to announce that Wes McLeod has been hired as their head coach-assistant general manager.

McLeod, 31, joins the Centennials after spending the last two seasons as head coach of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds in the B.C. Elite Hockey League. This past season McLeod guided the Thunderbirds to first place with a record of 30-5-1 and advanced to the BCEHL’s semifinal round. 

“McLeod’s experience in building the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds program, connection with players in the B.C. landscape, as well as his passion and energy to build our program is what we like about him,” says Centennials owner/general manager Brad Anstey. “His technical and tactical knowledge, along with confidence gives us the assurance that he is our guy to lead the development of our program. Our ownership group feels his experience and success will carry over with us in the KIJHL. His vision for the players, team and our community was important to us.”

McLeod says it means a lot to him to get this opportunity and represents a chance to lead and have a positive impact on the players, volunteers and staff in the organization as well as the Merritt community.

“Getting the opportunity to build a Junior A team from scratch is one that doesn’t come up every day, and to be able to do it in a passionate hockey community like Merritt was too good to pass up on,” says McLeod, a KIJHL alum, who played for the Kimberley Dynamiters in the 2010-11 season. “I like my teams to play a fast, up tempo, forward checking brand of hockey. The Nicola Valley Memorial Arena is a smaller ice surface, so finding players who are comfortable playing through contact and in tight areas is important for us to be successful.”

Anstey added he and Mcleod share a vision of building the Centennials with a passionate culture that supports players with their hockey development and life skills.  

“We vision an organization with players that have the passion to learn everyday with a work ethic and discipline to play a skilled game combining speed, energy, physicality with a high compete level.”  

Before joining Fraser Valley, McLeod spent four seasons with the Valley West Giants program in the BCEHL. In 2017-18, McLeod was an assistant coach for the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons.