Owen Spannier is excited to attend school 20 minutes from home at UBC-O, while he plays for the Okanagan Lakers.
The Lakers are an expansion team in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League and Spannier is one of their latest Kootenay International Junior Hockey League product signings. The Winfield native is excited to play for the Lakers while he studies management.
Spannier, who turns 20 in November, has had interest in that program and felt now is the time to begin his education in that field. Plus, the North Okanagan Knights forward wanted to play college hockey while doing it.
“There are some good hockey players on that team. We have a group chat going and it seems like a pretty good group so far,” says Spannier, who had 29 points in 57 career Kootenay International Junior Hockey League games.
Spannier, who got his first shot of KIJHL experience at 17 as an affiliate with the Knights, played as a rookie with the Sicamous Eagles in 2019-20 and had nine goals and 24 points in 48 games. Spannier loved the ice time the players received in Sicamous and said the coaching staff pushed them to be better players.
With the Knights, Spannier loved asking coach Dean McAmmond questions. He also enjoyed hearing McAmmond’s stories about playing with Jarome Iginla in Calgary, but also learning ways to make plays. Spannier loved learning from McAmmond’s coaching staff with Tony Guerra and Liam McOnie and he looked up to McAmmond because he played in the NHL. When Spannier affiliated with the Knights, he had two goals and four points in six games giving him confidence he could play in the league. He really appreciated the opportunities McAmmond gave him and during his time in the KIJHL, the six-foot-three, 215 pound forward developed a grinding style with playmaking ability.
“I can find a way to get the job done,” says Spannier, who loved his time in the KIJHL.