Marshall Porteous has wanted to play college/university hockey since he was four.
Along with the former Kelowna Chiefs captain fulfilling a lifelong goal signing with the expansion Okanagan Lakers in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League, Porteous says playing for the Lakers feels redeeming following two seasons cut short due to the pandemic.
“I feel very fortunate to continue playing hockey in Kelowna, a city I have had the pleasure to call home for the past four seasons,” the Calgary native says.
Porteous began his Kootenay International Junior Hockey League career with the North Okanagan Knights. As a 17-year-old, he had four goals and five points in 32 regular season games. Over the next three seasons with the Chiefs, the six-foot, 180-pound forward scored 20 goals and 36 points in 76 games – adding two goals in 18 playoff games.
“My time in the KIJHL exposed me to some of the best talent I’ve ever shared the ice with. That exposure, paired with professional-level coaching and dedication from the team and league, really helped me develop my game into what it is today. It got me to the level I needed in order to advance into collegiate hockey,” says Porteous. “The relationships and bonds I made in that league will be lifelong, and I think I’m especially grateful for that part of it.”
Porteous transformed himself from a fourth line grinder into a two-way forward with offensive ability.
“Hopefully I’ll keep building off my previous and personal-best seasons, finding the back of the net as much as possible,” says Porteous, who had 17 goals and 29 points in 46 games in 2019-20. “During my recruitment in late June, most of what the coaching staff and I discussed had to do with my leadership ability as well as the points I began adding to my resume. I think they’re looking for me to bring that leadership to the group to keep us tightly knit, as well as looking to have me continue producing offensively.”
He’s excited to be part of the Lakers inaugural season, something Porteous says not many players can say they’ve done, at any level. With the Lakers program connected to UBC-O, where he has been studying, Porteous already feels the close tie. Attending school while playing in the league, Porteous says he learned valuable lessons about dedication and focus as a student-athlete.
“There was an expectation from my coaches that we as players did the best we can in both the classroom and on the ice, which are values I will continue to carry with me as I complete my Bachelor of Arts in political science, and then eventually start moving towards my ultimate goal of attending law school,” says Porteous. “Without those types of values being instilled in me, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to have realistically reached that final goal.”