More Kootenay International Junior Hockey League players are landing roster spots at higher levels.
The Nelson Leafs are advancing Jack Karran, Caiden Kreitz, Kalem Hanlon and Tulsen Fawcett to the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL).
Karran, a Grand Prairie native, who will join the Selkirks Saints, was awarded the Leafs’ Most Valuable Player, Playoff Valuable Player and Most Popular team awards. He captained the team and over three seasons and grew on and off the ice.
“He led by example every night,” says Leafs coach Adam DiBella. “Jack will make the jump into the BCIHL seamlessly based on his natural skating ability and his hockey IQ. Jack dominated every game with his offensive, defensive and physicality last season. For our money, there was not a player in our league last season who could dominate a game the way Jack could with those three key attributes.”
Kreitz, who will join the UVic Vikes, was named the KIJHL Goalie of the Year and Neil Murdoch Goalie of the Year. DiBella says Kreitz will fit seamlessly into the UVic program.
“We expect Caiden to be a top goalie in the BCIHL,” he says. “Caiden’s goaltending strengths being his positioning and his ability to understand the flow of the game.”
Hanlon is a dynamic skating defenceman who will join the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves. DiBella says Hanlon will make an effortless transition to junior A and his “natural skating ability allow him to play the style that the game dictates.”
Hanlon was the Leafs’ Rookie of the Year.
Fawcett is joining the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs and possesses the ability to dictate a game.
“He seemed to always be joining the rush and pushing the pace of the game,” says DiBella. “Tulsen loves defence, but that doesn’t stop him from putting up numbers. The jump for Tulsen will be smooth as he has proven himself to be a versatile player who will do whatever is asked of him.”
DiBella expects the Leafs to move two to three more players to junior A at the start of the coming season.
Along with Cedric LeSieur, the Castlegar Rebels announced that Dallas Goodwin is headed to Concordia University Wisconsin in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II. The product of Fort St. James played 175 games with the Rebels, scoring 17 goals and 64 points. Read more about Goodwin here.
Colby Sherlock of the Sicamous Eagles will join Marian University Sabres in the ACHA. Sherlock was recruited by coach Chris Frederickson at the KIJHL Showcase in Kamloops. Frederickson likes that Sherlock is a veteran of four years in the KIJHL and views him as a goal scorer. “Colby will immediately make an impact for our program on and off the ice, and we are super excited for him to come to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin,” says Frederickson.
Sherlock, who put up 29 goals and 57 points in 157 KIJHL regular season games.
“Colby is a goal-scorer and uses it multiple ways when it comes to scoring goals,” says Frederickson. “Colby can use his speed in which he uses to go hard to the net with the puck. He uses his hockey sense to get open in those soft areas and score with his hard shot.”
Sherlock is their first KIJHL recruit, which the program hopes sets the trail for more.
The Selkirk College Saints get the 100 Mile Houses’ most valuable player and division MVP in Garrett Hilton. He led the Wranglers with 37 goals and 72 points in 49 games. In his career, the Prince George native scored 71 goals and 140 points in 135 career regular season games. He added 22 points in 26 KIJHL playoff matches.
The Osoyoos Coyotes have another player moving on in Adam Diotte. He is committed to joining the SJHLs Notre Dame Hounds. The Calgary native collected a goal and seven points in 41 games for the Coyotes, then added another two points in four playoff games.
The Columbia Valley Rockies are advancing Ben Kelsch, Cooper Krauss and Fraser McMann to the collegiate level. Kelsch is joining Finlandia in the National Collegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA) Division III, while Krauss and McMann will remain teammates on the University of Central Oklahoma in the ACHA Division I.
Congrats to all these players and good luck this season.