Summerland Steam captain Cole Waldbillig has committed to play for the Okanagan Lakers in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League.
Steam Head Coach-GM Mark MacMillan says his two-year captain “is a great all-around player.”
“He’s a great kid, great competitor and comes to the rink wanting to win,” says MacMillan. “He plays hard every night, does a lot of things well and is a very smart player. He moves the puck well, has a good shot. There is not a lot lacking in Cole’s game.”
Waldbillig credited the repetition of games, including playoffs, to helping him develop.
“Being on the ice and making decisions, paired with video, really helped me to develop,” he said. “I feel like being a veteran player in the league gave me a lot of confidence and poise when I had the puck, and coach Mark gave me a ton of opportunity and the capacity to try out different things in practice and games.”
Playing for the Steam allowed Waldbillig to improve his decision-making in small areas and taught him the importance of implementing a physical component to his style of play.
“I was never the guy to make highlight reel hits, but even just rubbing guys out and separating the hands from the body really helped me to minimize entries into the defensive zone, and contain offensive threats from the corners,” he said.
Joining the Lakers is a good fit for the West Kelowna resident as he’s already in this third year studying at UBC-O, and playing for the Lakers was a logical fit that made for an easy transition from the KIJHL. There is also the factor of having former teammates on the Lakers who will help him feel comfortable in the dressing room.