New Wave: Creston Valley Thunder Cats


The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League has an exciting new wave of rookie talent entering the 2022-23 season, which begins on Sept. 23. Leading up to the start of the season, we will highlight those players from each team.

Next in the New Wave series are the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. The Thunder Cats finished third in the Neil Murdoch division with 19 wins in 42 games and advanced to the KIJHL Teck Cup playoffs, losing a seven-game series to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

Here’s a look at their new wave of rookies with insight from former Head Coach Brandon Switzer.


Brent Calver/Okotoks Today photo
Trevor Bonham

Defenceman, Okotoks AA

The Okotoks defenceman had 22 points in 34 games last season, and also played three games with the Okotoks Bisons in the Heritage Junior Hockey League, earning one assist.

“He is a big, right-handed defenceman, who has a high ceiling. His brother played in the league so he’s familiar with the KIJHL.”

Jace Litoski

Defenceman, West Van Prep U18

The Airdrie, Alberta product captained the West Van team and had 12 points in 34 games. 

“He has a high ceiling as well as leadership qualities.”

Jacob Burnside

Goalie, OHA Black U17 Prep

From De Winton, Alberta, Burnside won 12 of 19 games last season with an .893 save percentage and a 3.70 goals against average.

“There is lots of potential with Jacob, who is a competitive goaltender who spent time playing with Harmon Laser-Hume at OHA.”

Brendan McKague

Forward, CNHA U18AA 

Last season the Calgary product had 10 goals and 17 points in 26 games.  McKague is described as a big, strong forward who plays a physical game. 

“He should develop into a top-end player who’s tough to play against.”

Cooper Walbaum

Forward, Weyburn AA

The Moose Jaw product captained his Wings U18 team and finished third in league scoring with 65 points in 34 games.

“He has high-end IQ and is a great leader.”

Travis Newhook

Forward, Whitecourt AA

Newhook produced 21 points in 29 games last season for the Wolverines.

“He is a speedy forward who has the tools offensively. Newhook comes from the same program as Zach Augot and Campbell McLean.”

Jayden Attwood 

Defenceman, OMAHA AA 

The defenceman produced five points in 16 games for his North Zone team.

“He is a right-shot defenceman who should develop nicely, and has the tools to be a great D-man in our league.”