The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League 2021-22 season begins Oct. 1. Leading into the season we are providing previews on each of the teams.
Next up are the Sicamous Eagles in the Doug Birks Division. The Eagles split their two games prior to the cancellation of the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. Gerald Bouchard steps behind the bench for his first full season after being hired just prior to last Christmas. Due to their ice plant going down in July, it’s been a challenge for the Eagles to get started, but they held their main camp in Armstrong in mid-September.
Key Returnees: F- Jacob Tudan.
Tudan played a game last season and joined the Eagles from the Philadelphia Junior Flyers U18AAA program. In two leagues, he combined for eight goals and 16 points in 28 games in 2019-20.
Rookies to Watch:
“There is a lot of talent on this team,” says Bouchard, adding that they possess leadership qualities. “There are a lot of guys that have a great shot at moving up next year.”
Among the talented newcomers are forward Dmitry Dyskin, born in Russia and defenceman Jace Ticknor.
Dyskin – CHBA Rangers U18 AA (Hockey Calgary) “He has phenomenal skill – a very skilled hockey player. He’s going to be somebody that is fun to watch.”
Ticknor- Eastman Selects U18AAA “I can see Jace possibly next year moving up to the Junior A level. He is phenomenally skilled and sees the whole ice and is offensive. He is a great skater. I’m hoping he is going to turn into one of our top guys this year.”
Season outlook: “I’m liking what the team looks like,” says Bouchard. “The management did a really good job pre-scouting, getting these guys to come to main camp. We are a younger team compared to the past year. We have one 20-year-old, five 19-year-olds, the majority of the team is 18. We wanted a younger team because I joked with the guys, “I don’t want any of you back next year.”
The Eagles goal is to have the players move up to the Junior A level, where they can play for a couple years.
Coach’s quote: “We’re probably going to be a fast, creative team. I like the energy of the kids. We have a pretty unique situation in Sicamous with having The Nest there, a dorm where we have the guys stay. Dealing with the core that just started out, they have already bonded really well together. They are anxious to start.”
Philippe Lessard – University of Jamestown Jimmies (ACHA – Division 1)
Trevor Ebeling – Okanagan Lakers (BCIHL)
Borys Protsenko – Canmore Eagles (AJHL)
Charles Obobaifo – Kindersley Klippers (SJHL)
Ezra Chan – Salmon Arm Silverbacks (AJHL – still with them)