Story from BCIHL.ca
The BCIHL has a long history of successful Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) alumni who continued their competitive careers at the college level. Since 2006 the BCIHL has seen nearly 200 former KIJHL players enter the league, helping establish and grow the collegiate game in B.C.
As the BCIHL eyes expansion into the Okanagan with prospective teams now recruiting in Kelowna and Kamloops, the league hopes to see an influx of KIJHL graduates earn their post-secondary education while playing hockey. More information about the BCIHL’s expansion efforts within the Okanagan can be found online at bcuniversityhockey.ca
Dallas Calvin (Trail, B.C.) served as captain of the Selkirk College Saints during his three-year run with the team, prior to playing his senior year with the Vancouver Island University Mariners. Calvin won the Teck Cup with the Beaver Valley NiteHawks in 2014, capping an impressive 82-point season, and joined the Saints in one of the strongest BCIHL recruiting classes on record.
“The KIJHL is a great stepping stone for young athletes who wish to play college hockey. I had the opportunity to play for a great team and great coaches. This gave me the ability to learn and develop all areas of my game in order to be able to move onto the next level,” says Calvin, reflecting on his time in the KIJHL.
After winning a BCIHL championship in his first season with the Saints, Calvin took home a number of BCIHL honours including First All-Star Team, Rookie of the Year and the BCIHL scoring title in 2018 with 41 points 23 games.
Kenny Batke (Vernon, B.C.) is set to make his USports debut with the TWU Spartans this year after four seasons in the BCIHL. Batke also played four seasons in the KIJHL with the Revelstoke Grizzlies, earning the captaincy in 2014.
Batke has become a leader in the community, according to Spartans head coach Barret Kropf. His journey from the KIJHL to USports while earning his degree at TWU and two BCIHL championships is a shining example of what makes a successful student-athlete.
Ryan Edwards (Trail, B.C.) played four seasons with the Beaver Valley NightHawks before joining Selkirk College.
When asked about how the KIJHL prepared him for life in the BCIHL, Edwards (aka Eddy) says learning to balance school and hockey was pivotal.
“With the KIJHL being a strong league, the competitiveness was high throughout the season which allowed me to step into the BCIHL my first season and feel like I was able to play at that higher level,” says Edwards.
Edwards’ impressive run from 2013-2017 earned him a KIJHL championship, KIJHL Most Sportsmanlike Player, two BCIHL championships, BCIHL First All-Star Team and two BCIHL Second All-Star Team nods.
Lyndon Stanwood (West Vancouver, B.C.) played two KIJHL seasons as the Kamloops Storm netminder before stints in the BCHL and NCAA, finally landing in the BCIHL at Simon Fraser University. At five-foot-nine, Stanwood was considered small by most goaltending standards, but his positioning and athleticism would earn him the BCIHL’s best GAA, save percentage, First All-star Team, Top Goaltender and MVP in 2017. Stanwood played the 2018/19 season on a professional contract with Jonstorps IF in the Swedish Division 2 league, finishing with a 15-8 record and .905 save percentage.
The list of KIJHL goaltending standouts doesn’t stop at Stanwood (see what we did there?). Chris Hurry (Summerland, B.C.) played with the North Okanagan Knights and Summerland Steam before joining Selkirk College in 2012 and setting the bar for future KIJHL goaltenders such as Stanwood. Hurry won a BCIHL championship with Selkirk College and finished the season with a stellar 1.87 GAA (1.67 in playoffs). Hurry would transfer to USport’s University of Waterloo and finish his degree after three seasons with the Warriors.
Other notable KIJHL alumni who have earned recognition in the BCIHL include Patrick Zubick (Castlegar Rebels, Selkirk College, Simon Fraser University), Jordan Wood (Kelowna Chiefs, Selkirk College), Kam Crawford (Grand Forks Border Bruins, Osoyoos Coyotes, Selkirk College), Brock Munro (Nelson Leafs, Okanagan College), Dave Mann (Summerland Sting, Okanagan College), Justin Mulholland (Beaver Valley NiteHawks, Simon Fraser University) and Michael Boisvert (Beaver Valley NiteHawks, Thompson Rivers University).