KIJHL team preview: Summerland Steam

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.

We begin in the Bill Ohlhausen Division with the Summerland Steam.

Key Returnees:

F-Tristan Weill, Ethan Swift, D- Cole Waldbillig, G- Ben Lewis, Colton MacAulay.

Steam Head Coach & GM Nick Deschenes says Lewis and MacAulay are ready to handle goaltending duties, while Weill and Swift, 16, are poised to have an impact in the league. Waldbillig is entering his third season with the Steam.

Rookies to Watch:

D-Brody Elchyson (2003) IHA Prep – He is a smart, mobile defenceman that makes good passes and has offensive upside. “We are looking for him to have an impact on our blueline,” says Deschenes.

F- Marc Ducharme (2003) Shawnigan Prep – Ducharme is trending up and has worked hard to improve his game in recent years. “He has the skills and ability to adjust quickly to junior hockey and we hope his learning curve remains steep.”

F- Grayson Chell (2003) Pacific Coast Academy Prep – Chell is a solid, all-around player who is responsible with and without the puck. “We’re looking for him to get out of his comfort zone and grow his game.”

F- Prezton Stewart (2005) OK Rockets U16 – Stewart has the ability to be an impact player at 16. “There may be an adjustment period, but we believe he’s up for the challenge.”

Season Outlook:

We are moving in a different direction by dressing a younger team,” says Deschenes. “Half of our players are still of midget age. We may have a rocky start, but I anticipate we will find our stride by Christmas. We will be leaning on our goaltenders to keep us in games. They are both poised to have good seasons and we’re excited to see them carry our group along.”

Coach’s Quote:

We will be a fast, skating, hardworking young group that will be fun to watch. We believe our group will be one of the hardest working in the KIJHL. Even though our youth and inexperience will play a factor early on, we believe we’ve identified players willing to learn and be hungry to get better.

Players advancing: 

Ty Banser – Okanagan Lakers – B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League

James Johnston – CCHL- Hawkesbury Hawks

Ethan Grover – Lawrence Tech – American Collegiate Hockey Association