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 Princeton Posse. The Posse finished third in the Bill Ohlhausen division last season with 15 wins in 42 games. They advanced to the Teck Cup playoffs losing in the first round to the Osoyoos Coyotes.
Here’s a look at their new wave of rookies with insight from Head Coach Mark Readman.
Forward, North West Hawks U18 AAA
The Burnaby native had 14 points in 36 games last season. He followed that up with a strong playoff offensively, earning four points in six games.
“Kassius was one of our first additions in preparation for this season. He comes from a program and staff that we are familiar with and have had players from in the past. Kass is an extremely hard working individual who is driven for success. He plays hard in all zones, plays any forward position and can help create some offence. He is a Swiss army knife that I believe we are fortunate to have in our program.”
Forward, Lethbridge Hounds U18 AA
Last season for the Hounds, Rajcic had 26 goals and 46 points in 34 games. He also played two games with the U18AAA team and had an assist in two games.
“Zac’s a hard working kid who knows the game well and comes from a great hockey family and we are confident he will mesh well with our group. Zac will bring a strong 200-foot game and has some high end skill that helps him be a threat whenever he’s out there.”
Defenceman, Lethbridge Hurricanes U18 AAA
Sterling-Ponech had three assists in 30 games for the Hurricanes last season. The Lethbridge native played in six playoff games, earning an assist.
“Grady is an elite defender first and foremost. The kid is silky smooth on his skates and swallows up space really quick on attacking players. We are excited to have Grady on the back end and think he will be a key piece to a strong D-core this season.”
Forward, Prairie Hockey Academy U18 Prep
The Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan native had 17 points in 36 games last season, and was nearly a point-per-game player in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League playoffs with three assists in four games.
“Brennan is a player we are excited about adding to our forward group. He is a versatile guy who can play in all situations and had a nice season last year with PHA. He really came on in the second half with a strong showing at the championships in Penticton this spring. He has great pace to his game with a strong mix of skill and compete.”
Forward, Thompson Blazers U18 AA
Ward produced just over a point-per-game for the Blazers with 19 points in 18 games.
“JJ is very mature for his age. He has a good understanding of the game along with what it takes to compete at our level game in and game out. He came in and impressed at our spring identification camp in Logan Lake this April, and he’s a guy with loads of potential. With a strong compete level, plays with pace, and not afraid to play the game in the hard areas, JJ is a nice addition for our group.”
|Kieran Roy (Forward) & Josh Roy (Defenceman)
Penticton U18 Tier II
Kieran had 20 goals and 32 points in 20 games for his Penticton team, while his brother Josh had six points in 16 games.
“Josh and Kieran are fantastic additions and played games for us last year as affiliates, we knew them well. They have qualities in their games that are hard to ignore. Kieran has this knack of being slippery and finding space offensively, and is continually creating offence. Josh is this hard working two-way D-man that can make plays under pressure, then finds a way to be up ice as a threat. Both are high character guys who love the game and we can’t wait to see them grow and contribute this year.”
Defenceman, St Albert Crusaders U18 AA
The St. Albert, Alberta native produced at nearly a point-per-game for his team on the blueline with six goals and 30 points in 32 games. He added three assists in eight playoff games.
“Logan was a guy we identified early and he played for a program that traditionally has produced a lot of strong players in our league. Logan is big, can defend quickly, and obviously his point totals stand out for a D-man. He is capable of playing hard minutes at both ends of the ice and is another strong addition to our D-core.”
Forward, Sherwood Park Crusaders U18 AAA
The Sherwood Park, Alberta native had five assists in 14 games last season.
“I love Tyson’s game. Last year he had a small sample size, working through some injuries, but I think he is a guy that we are fortunate to have. He is a guy we think again plays a full 200-foot game, and the more he plays, the more he will start to create offensively. He’s really smart and can be played in any situation the game presents.”