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 Osoyoos Coyotes, the KIJHL defending President’s Cup winners. They won 33 of their 42 games last season and played in the Okanagan-Shuswap Conference Finals.
Here’s a look at their new wave of rookies with insight from Head Coach Carter Rigby.
Forward, Okanagan Hockey Academy Prep U18
Last season Rampone had 18 points in 32 games and Rigby is excited to bring him on because of the depth he adds to an “already great core up front.”
“Austin’s a hard worker that competes in all 200 feet of the ice and has an edge that I want from all my players,” said Rigby of the Penticton product. “Last season we could have used some more grittiness and I expect Austin to bring that style every day to our group.”
Rigby added that not only is Rampone a good hockey player, he’s a great young man that carries himself like a pro and will be great in the community. Another important factor that Rampone brings the Coyotes staff likes is being local.
Defenceman, U18AAA Cariboo Cougars
Last season in 35 games, Leslie had 19 points and played one game as an affiliate for the Coquitlam Express in the BCHL. The Prince George product also saw action with the Coyotes during the Teck Cup playoffs in the Okanagan Conference finals against Revelstoke, playing a top role and didn’t look out of place.
“We’re extremely excited to land a player like Zach to help our back end. Zach is a very smart defenceman, who brings players to him, while distributing the puck up ice with ease. He has a solid frame that makes it hard to battle him in the corners and he won’t take anything from anyone. Zach’s a great young man with potential to move on in hockey and we can’t wait to see him for this season.”
In the last three seasons with the Cougars, Leslie had 27 points in 73
Forward, U18AAA Cariboo Cougars
Last season Pacheco was nearly a point-per-game player for the Cougars with 32 points in 36 games. Rigby is excited to bring in Pacheco, who adds to “our already great core group of skilled players up front.”
The Kitimat product is a smart, skilled forward who finds the back of the net and can dish it to teammates.
“We play with speed and skill and Chase will fit in perfectly with our group.”
Defenceman, Calgary Royals U18 AAA
Quinn had three points in 34 games for the Royals last season.
“Quinn is steady on the backend and skates well for his 6-3, 200-pound size, while also handling the puck well. Last season we needed a stay-at-home defencemen who can skate and play and we expect Sean to be a massive help to our defensive game.
Forward, Swift Current Hurricanes U18 AA
The Swift Current product had 17 goals and 27 points in 34 games for the Hurricanes. He also played two games with the Legionnaires U18 team.
“Kurts is an extremely quick skater, who grinds hard and will be tough to get off pucks. He brings the grit to our front end, but also has skill to put the puck in the net when he wants to.”
Forward, Prairie Hockey Academy
Last season the Medicine Hat, Alberta product had 28 points in 35 games in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. He added another six points in four playoff games.
“Kieran is a very skilled playmaker who skates extremely well. He will be a great asset to our skilled front end, helping on the offensive side. He can also play on the PK and plays with a ton of confiden