The KIJHL Notebook: New Wave – Bill Ohlhausen division


This week in the KIJHL Notebook, the New Wave of rookies in the Bill Ohlhausen division is the focus with the head coach-GM of each team providing a scouting report on each player. This wraps up the Notebook series on rookies.


Princeton Posse
Jackson Gush (2007- 6-0, 160-pounds) The local product is skilled, brings energy and plays with a high pace. 

“He’s learning the ropes of junior hockey, and had a good showing at the BCHC Prospects and he’s a guy who plays prominently in the middle,” said Mark Readman. “He’s learning how to play right on both sides of the puck and his strides are going to continue.”

Bryton Morrow (2005- 6-5, 190-pounds) The Stony Plain, Alta. product plays with pace and has the ability to elude opponents.

“He’s producing at a high offensive rate for us (22 points in 21 games) and is a threat every single time he’s on the ice. He’s continuing to learn how to play in the tougher areas and is contributing on the power-play (five points) and is giving us an edge every single night.”


Vinay Junek (2005- 5-11, 170-pounds) Junek, Yorkton, Sask., product, has been a stud with 25 points in 23 games and is currently on a league high 11-game point-streak with six goals and seven assists. 

“He’s probably been one of our top performers – one of our most complete players. There is no one way to use him. He plays such a smart three-zone game, but he’s got the skill to make guys miss and can be relied upon in the defensive zone.”


Jace Shuttleworth (2005- 5-11, 175-pounds) Shuttleworth is a good two-way player, who has helped on the penalty-kill. The Penticton product has seven points in 18 games.

“He’s got cerebral skill in soft space, and is really good at protecting pucks and is finding ways to play faster and a bit harder.”


Justice Loewen (2005- 5-11, 165-pounds) A hockey nut from Calgary, Loewen’s a high energy player who needs to be told to stay away from the rink and get rest.

“He’s a high skill, high octane guy, who has explosiveness and can contribute in different ways.”

He’s producing offensively with 21 points in 23 games. He’s been a complement to a line with Anmol Garcha and Brennan Watterson.

“He’s still a guy that is slippery offensively, plays with pace. He goes to the hard areas and makes life hard on the defensive groups.”


Brody Ryerse (2005- 5-11, 165-pounds) The St. Albert, Alta., product is filling a checking role and has been good in face-offs. He brings a consistent work ethic.

“He’s a guy that’s always eager to get better, always asking the coaching staff for extra little tips or tricks and leans on the veteran group. He brings an aspect of size and physicality that has been beneficial when he’s been in the lineup (he’s played nine games).”


Carson Hebert (2005- 6-2, 175-pounds) The Bonnyville, Alta., product possesses high-end skill, including with the puck, and is a shooter. 

“He wants to make offensive plays, but also brings a physical element as he loves when games get on edge and people want to play outside the lines or within. He can match it and doesn’t back down.”


Sidney Brill (2005- 5-11, 170-pounds) The Henderson, Nev., product is a smart player who rarely makes mistakes with the puck and is an exceptional defender.

“He’s got some slippery offence to him, and a cannon of a shot that he needs to work on hitting the net with.”


Ben Dods (2005- 5-10, 167-pounds) Skating ability is his best attribute and he has been able to produce offensively, with six of his 11 points coming at 5-on-5. The Chilliwack product has also seen power-play time due to injuries.

“He adds a calm presence to our backend and never really panics, no moment ever really gets too big for him.”


Jeffrey Stewart (2005- 5-11, 175-pounds) Stewart, a Yorkton, Sask., product, is a hard defender that plays a physical game and makes it tough on opponents to create offence.

“He’s more of a rugged defenceman and is coming along way with his ability to break pucks out while making quality decisions.”


Nathan Scott (2005- 5-10, 175-pounds) The Penhold, Alta.,product is an offensive dynamo playing his third season as a blueliner and has “high octane ability.”

“He’s a phenomenal skater. If you’re watching him, he kind of looks like Quinn Hughes. He’s going to be the first guy back to stop a rush, but also has the ability to use his legs and get up ice and help on the offensive end as well.”


Jaxson Black (2005- 6-1, 165-pounds) Has had a tough start with an injury, then missed more time from taking a hard hit.

“Blacker contributes in different ways and is an excellent shot  blocker, and great on the penalty kill. He’s a hard, aggressive defender in our end, plays heavy, plays hard against the opposition’s best players. He’s got a tremendous hockey IQ and the ability to contribute offence.”


Nathan Preston (2005- 6-3, 165-pounds) The Penticton native has been rock solid while playing tough competition. He has 11 wins in 13 games with a 2.54 goals against average and .918 save percentage. He was named the KIJHL Player of the Game in the BCHC Prospects Game in Kamloops.

“He’s just a gamer. Whenever the games get high, he’s managing to stay calm, and  move on from last goals. My favorite thing about him is he is never satisfied with his play. He’s consistently chasing to get better and has really been a top performing goaltender all season.”


Gabe Osmond (2005- 5-10, 145-pounds) The Edmonton native is a “Steady Eddy” in the net and not much knocks him off his game. Osmond has won eight of 10 games with a 2.30 GAA and a .915 SP.

“He’s been a good, calm, effective presence back there. He’s been steady at tracking pucks, working through a bit of the heavier traffic. He has given us solid goaltending when the team’s needed it.”


Kelowna Chiefs
Xavier Burgher (2005 – 6-3, 190-pounds)  The Fort St. John product has range. While he isn’t overly physical, he uses his size to move pucks in and out of defenders and traffic. 

“He has a goal-scorer’s touch and deceptive release,” said Travers Rebman of Burgher, who has six goals and eight points in 13 games. 

Austen Rayburn (2004 – 6-0, 170-pounds)  The West Kelowna product is a quiet, dependable player. 

“He anticipates well and is very good on the PK because of that. He has a great shot.”

Rayburn has eight points in 22 games.


Joseph Melichar (2005 – 5-11, 174-pounds) The Hradec Kralove, Czechia product is a very skilled player learning to play within a system and using teammates at the right time to be an elite player. He has seven points in 19 games.  

“He’s not afraid to be physical, skates, shoots and handles pucks at a high level.” 


Lucas Alexander (2005 – 5-10, 160-pounds) Alexander has unexpectedly been one of the Chiefs’ most valuable players. 

“He is a huge piece of our PK and a very smart, dependable player. He has the tools to play in any role.”

The Lethbridge product has missed some time to injury and has three points in 17 games.


Ford Gilbert (2005 – 6-0, 175-pounds) Ford has a high ceiling and has shown glimpses of what he’s capable of and the Edmonton product is a strong skater with puck-handling ability.  

“He’s still adjusting to the physicality and grind of the league.”


Campbell Pinsonneault (2005 – 5-11, 180-pounds) The Gravelbourg, Sask., product has proved to be a nice addition. Second in rookie points on the team with 12 in 25 games, Pinsonneault is a low maintenance, hard-working player. 

“He skates well, plays very physical and can get his shot off in small areas. If his puck-handling keeps progressing, he will become a very hard to piece to deal with in our lineup.”  


Hunter O’Neal (2005 – 6-0, 170-pounds) The Calgary product had a very strong start out of the gate and has become one of the offensive leaders. He’s second on the team with 16 points in 25 games – eight were in his first 10 games. 

“Hunter has hockey sense combined with strong skating ability and good hands. He is learning to play on the power-play which is a new role for him and he has a nasty side (56 penalty minutes).”


Tyler Schmidt (2005 – 5-9, 170-pounds) Schmidt’s skill level is very high and it allowed the Chiefs to use him as a forward for stretches. The Calgary product skates fundamentally well, yet there is room to improve and he knows where to move the puck and make plays. He has four assists in 22 games.

“He has seen time on the top and flank of the power-play and is still progressing well.” 


Aiden Cotroneo (2005 – 6-1, 185-pounds) The Kelowna product has been a welcome addition, eating up 20-25 mins a game and sometimes more. Cotroneo has two goals and eight points in 24 games.

“He has recently been thrust into a top-pairing role with guys out and has been very dependable. He is a go-to on the PK and is learning to play on the power-play. He is hard to play against with his size and reach and always brings a top-tier work ethic.” 


Jake Kessler (2005 – 6-1, 180-pounds) Kessler plays with Cotroneo receiving top-pair minutes and situations. Kessler leads the Chiefs blueline with 10 points. 

“He plays a simple, honest game and is very low maintenance. He has good size and can play physical and has underrated skills that often show through. He has been great on the PK, blocking shots on the flank regularly and is learning how to play on the power-play.”


Fraser Davis (2005 – 5-11, 180-pounds) A broken wrist delayed the Kelowna products season start, but he is now catching up and progressing quickly. Fraser has played 11 games and scored his first KIJHL goal in his first game on Nov. 3.

“With improvement in his gap, edgework and transitional skating, he could easily turn into a top-pair defenceman in this league at 19-20. He handles the puck well and looks for plays to make. He also brings a physical side and as his stick-on-puck improves, he will be very solid.” 


Sid Chadi (2004 – 6-2, 192-pounds) Chadi can be very effective when he uses his range. The Edmonton product is learning to use his stick to kill plays. 

“He has made huge strides in learning when to get down the wall in the offensive zone and hold pucks in and get pucks on net. With some work on edges and transitional skating, trusting his instincts he can be a force. He has added some nice skills in changing shot angles to get pucks through.” 


Liam Wright (2005 – 5-8, 165-pounds) Wright earned a roster spot by skating quickly and making simple plays. The Calgary product has a good stick and can kill plays. 

“He’s good at getting pucks away quickly before lanes close up and has nice puck-handling tools as well. He can be a guy that surprises many with where he will get to in another year or two.” 


Derek Sparks (2005 – 6-1, 161-pounds) Sparks is probably the most technically sound Chiefs goalie and has played five games with an .859 SP and a 4.35 GAA.

“I believe he has an extremely high ceiling if he wants to push himself to that. He shows flashes of a higher level goalie and we believe he is going to bring that as he finds his groove. Derek came from a situation last year where he didn’t play a lot of games so he is still adjusting to the demands of a game and being prepared.”


Osoyoos Coyotes
Asher Makway (2006-5-11, 165-pounds) He’s starting to develop into the player the Coyotes envisioned.
“He’s got a lot of speed, a lot of grit. He’s one of those players that’s in your face at all times. He’s not afraid to get into the dirty areas,” said Ken Law.
The Trail product is the brother of former Beaver Valley Nitehawk, Judah Makway who plays for the BCHL Smoke Eaters.
“He skates really well and is starting to pick up the systems.”


Bronson Seymour (2005 – 6-2, 205-pounds) The Fort McMurray, Alta., product was acquired from the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines and scored a goal in his first game, then got injured and hasn’t played since his debut Nov. 3. However, he’s close to returning.

“He’ll inject a lot of offence, has a tremendous shot, and is a great skater. He’s not afraid to get into those dirty areas. He’ll go end-to-end and he sees the ice really well.”


Jonas Bourchier (2006 – 6-2, 170-pounds) The Rossland product skates well and plays a physical style as a power-forward. 

“I think by the end of the season, he will be turning some heads.”

Bourchier has five points in 19 games.


Scott Dyck (2005 – 5-9, 160-pounds) The Kelowna product has a tremendous shot.

“If you put them in a target shooting contest, he’d probably win most of them. He’s just got a real eye for the net, finds the quiet areas and it’s on his stick and off his stick.”

His defensive play has come along nicely making him dependable. He leads the Coyotes with 10 goals and 15 points in 21 games.


Logan Messer (2006 – 6-0, 170-pounds) The Cranbrook product has been a pleasant surprise centering the top line and contributing in all areas. He has 11 points in 18 games.

“He backchecks well, gets back quick and helps out down low. He will engage the opponents’ net and he’s a pass-first player..”


Caden Cygan (2005 – 5-11, 165-pounds) The Warburg, Alta., product is coming into his own as he’s adjusted to the league’s speed and now he’s one of their quickest players.

“He just seems to find a second gear when he gets an opening. He’s becoming very valuable to us.”

Cygan has nine points in 19 games.


Rylan Konecsni (2005 – 5-8, 145-pounds) The Kelowna product is good in all three zones and trusted on the penalty-kill. He has eight points in 16 games.

“He generates a lot of speed and he kind of drags guys along with him,” said Law. “He plays bigger than he is. He’s a guy that skates and handles the puck well. He’s got a heck of a shot and he likes to find those quiet areas.”

Hayden Murphy (2004 – 5-11, 150 pounds) The Oliver product has worked hard to become a dependable player.

“We’re taking our time and bringing him along slowly and he’s kind of risen to the occasion. He’s not going to score a lot of goals, but he gets in people’s way and forechecks very well.”

Nelson Webster (2005 – 6-0, 160 pounds) The Winfield product has the ability to pull away from opponents with his speed and has finished on breakaway opportunities. Webster has scored four goals in three straight games.

“He keeps improving every game, and is a player that took a bit of time to get his feet going. Now that he’s got them going, he realizes speed is one of his biggest assets.”

Webster is third on the Coyotes with 13 points in 21 games.

Duke Kersting (2004 – 5-9, 170-pounds) Acquired from the Ontario Junior Hockey League, the Warrenton, Miss., product has good hockey sense.

“He’s a guy that is pretty solid defensively. He gets pushed off the puck easier than I’d like, so we’re working with him on balance stuff and making sure he competes in a crowd. He’s got nice hands that releases a really good shot.”


Vadim Liahkov (2005 – 6-5, 215-pounds) Acquired from the Sicamous Eagles, Liakhov has been a real pleasant surprise. He plays on the first pairing with captain Levi Brewer and has settled the back end down.

“He’s not afraid to jump in a little bit on offence and has good size and a real good reach. He’s come in and he’s been everything we wanted him to be.”


Jordan Gale (2005 – 6-0, 180-pounds) The younger brother of Coyotes forward Jared Gale, Jordan is becoming the blueliner the Coyotes envisioned. He skates well and gets involved.

“He’s starting to figure out that the defensive part should come first before you head up ice. We’ve done work with him and he’s becoming a pretty “Steady Eddy” on the back end.”


Gage Latimer (2005 – 6-2, 200-pounds) Work ethic is his biggest asset and he’s willing to do whatever is asked of him.

“He’s gets caught here and there, but he’s very coachable. He’s improving every day and starting to come into his own and we can trust him.”


Hunter Arntsen (2005 – 6-2, 175-pounds) “If he was on a team that was doing a little better than us, he’d probably be up in the leaders of the pack. He gives us a chance to win every game.”

The Dinsmore, Sask., product won five of his 16 games and has a 3.56 GAA with a .911 SP.

“He is an honest goaltender that just loves traffic, shots and he’s faced a lot of them. We are sometimes outshot 60 to 14 or 15 and are starting to level that out now. He’s just ice cold. He doesn’t panic on anything. He’s just so calm, cool, and collected back there. He’s like a duck, he’s just letting the water roll off his back.”

Hayden Lee (2004- 6-0, 170-pounds) The Denver, Colo., product is really quick, and covers the net well. He’s won two of his five games and has an .874 SP.

“We’re working with him on staying a little more upright and not getting encroached. He’s thriving with it right now, playing really well.”


North Okanagan Knights
Laszlo Istvanffy (2005- 6-3, 212-pounds) The Gibson, B.C. product is a strong forward who uses his size effectively. He has nine points in 21 games.

“He can possess the puck and create chances by being physical and getting to the net. He’s really good in front of the net and with his soft hands, has scored, including on a few breakaways with some really nice moves.”

Carter Will (2005- 5-11, 165-pounds) The St. Albert, Alta., product is an offensive threat every shift. Will has five goals and six points in nine games since being acquired from Summerland.

“He’s got a great shot and very good offensive instincts. He’s been doing a good job and found ways to contribute offensively.”


Carson Haugan (2005- 5-11, 180-pounds) The Spruce Grove, Alta., product had a strong start to the season with four of his eight points coming in his first three games. Haugan has played 17 games.

“He has struggled a little bit of late, but is still finding ways to contribute and has very good vision, offensive instincts with a good shot.”


Tage Nanji (2006- 6-1, 180-pounds) The Vernon product has been a very good role player.

“He wants to contribute a little bit more offensively, but he’s been solid defensively and at his best so far he’s been a very effective forechecker and a good energy guy.”


Gage Parrell (2006- 6-0, 175-pounds) The Salmon Arm product leads the team in points with 25 in 20 games and McOnie said he’s “a dynamic offensive forward, with very good anticipation and feel for the game.”

“He’s done very well this season and even with this success that he’s had, he still has another gear to go at both ends and he’s gonna continue to work on that.”


Josh Greenough (2005- 6-1, 168-pounds) The Edmonton product was acquired from Revelstoke and has been very effective over the past three weeks. He has three assists in 10 games and McOnie said that doesn’t reflect the contributions that he’s made.

“He’s found a lot of success at both ends and is very strong on the penalty kill. He is looking to create more offensively and that will come with more ice-time and confidence.”


John McElmurry (2005- 5-10, 170-pounds) The Juneau, Alaska product is a skilled forward with a very good shot. He has untapped offensive upside.

“If he continues to play hard and smart, he’s gonna get a lot of offensive opportunities.

He’s turned up his battle level a lot, which has helped him create turnovers and keep the puck.” McElmurry has played nine games and is currently away from the team for family reasons.


Dane Dietz (2006- 6-0, 180-pounds) Over the past month, the Fort St. John product has found his game.

“He’s a high energy, two-way forward who brings a lot to the table. He’s very good in the face-off circle, on the penalty kill and another player who wants to contribute more offensively. He has to continue to play a complete game to create and earn those offensive opportunities.”


Nolan Kelly  (2005- 6-1, 190-pounds) The Calgary product is “a bull of a hockey player.”

“He has a very powerful skating stride and lays the body a lot and wins battles. He also has excellent hands and good puck skills, a great shot. He’s done a great job for us since acquiring him from Revelstoke earlier in the season.”

In 16 games, Kelly has six goals and 12 points.


Carter Hartt (2005- 6-1, 175-pounds) The Edmonton product was acquired early in the season from Fernie and has done an excellent job.

“He has found his groove and is playing with confidence as a two-way, mobile defenceman.”

Ian George (2005- 6-, 180-pounds) The Beaumont, Alta., product is a two-way blueliner who has been excellent and has nine points in 20 games. He has four assists in his last five games.

“He’s really taken a step over the past month-and-a-half and has started to contribute offensively and defensively. When it’s time for us to push and need a goal, he’s certainly helping out on the rush. He’s very good at picking his spots and knows when to hold the fort and play solid defence.”

Tate O’Brien (2007- 6-1, 185-pounds) The Salmon Arm product is an offensive-minded blueliner “who has shown flashes of being excellent and can certainly advance his game and play at another level.”

“Being young and figuring out how to play in the league is difficult even for 18-year-old rookies, but Tate has done an excellent job of managing that and keeping a positive attitude and being coachable.”

Bane Hildebrand (2007- 6-0, 190-pounds) The Penticton product is skilled and physical, but injuries have limited him to 11 games. 

“He’s done a good job of rebounding and finding ways to contribute. He’s effective at moving the puck, boxing opponents out and playing hard defensively.”


Michael Malinowski (2005- 6-0, 180-pounds) The Yorkton, Sask., product has been one of the hardest workers from day one.

“He’s an awesome kid, who the guys love to be around and he’s done a great job of being positive and encouraging while also demanding guys follow his lead in work ethic and energy.”

He has five wins in 13 games with a .901 SP.

“Mike is an athletic goalie who reads the game well and makes a lot of dynamic,

explosive saves. He’s ultra competitive and that’s a key.”


Summerland Steam
Christopher Campbell (2005- 5-10, 176-pounds) The Edmonton, Alta., native is a checking forward who looks to hit everything and forces turnovers.

“He’s a power forward,” said Morten Kjolby. “It’s his intensity and physicality in his game and incredibly enough, he doesn’t have a goal yet, but he actually has a pretty good shot.”

Eric Mullen (2005- 6-0, 165-pounds) The Calgary, Alta., product is a really good passer. “He’s good at holding onto and moving the puck.”

Joseph Krukowski (2005- 6-1, 161-pounds) The Airdrie, Alta., product is offensively gifted and a really good skater. 

“He comes through with a lot of speed and brings offensive abilities to the table. He’s starting to figure out how to score.”

Krukowski has three goals in his last six games and Kjobly wouldn’t be surprised to see him scoring in bunches soon.


Tanner Sunderman (2005- 6-1, 161-pounds) The Penticton product is a 200-foot centre, who skates well and his IQ stands out.

“He understands the game at a high level and his play without the puck at times is very impressive for his age. He’s definitely one of these guys that’s slowly adjusted to playing in the league and is getting better. We’re starting to see him turn and offer a little bit more offence.”


Kyle Cyr (2005- 5-11, 170-pounds) The Ottawa product’s strengths is his speed, but he’s also got a good shot, a really good release. Cyr leads all Steam rookies with 11 points in 21 games, including eight goals. 

“He’s a pure shooter. He’s adjusting to not getting as much space to shoot and brings a lot of offence to the table.”


Ethan Wencek (2005- 5-9, 160-pounds) The St. Albert, Alta., product is a good role player. 

“He’s good at getting in on the forecheck and is a smart player that is able to find space and hopefully with us he can get a little bit more offence out of that.” 

Wencek came from the Chase Heat in a trade and had one assist in 14 games.


Brander Lambert (2005- 6-0, 185-pounds) The Sherwood Park, Alta., product was acquired from the Castlegar Rebels, where he had two assists in six games and is offensively gifted.

“He’s a really good stick-handler and can create offense we hope he’s gonna bring that to the table when he finally gets to play.”

Lambert is away from the team due to illness.


Keaton Daley (2005- 6-1, 180-pounds) The St. Albert, Alta., product brings physicality while playing a defensive game.

“He’s can bounce everybody and he’s very much a defensive defenceman.”


Aden Miller (2005- 6-1, 185-pounds) Miller is similar to Daley as a defensive blueliner.

“He plays with physicality and offers a little bit more offence. He can jump into the play and has a good point shot.”


Brandon Walker (2005- 6-1, 165-pounds) The Sherwood Park, Alta., product uses his size as a defensive blueliner and has positions himself well.

“He’s really good at poke checking and turning the puck over.”


Tagg Moog (2006- 5-11, 150-pounds) The Penticton product is a technically skilled mobile blueliner.  

“He’s very much an offensive defenceman, who is used almost more as a forward. He has a good first pass.”


Brayden Gosselin (2006- 6-2, 201-pounds) The Summerland product is a 200-foot blueliner, who is really good at jumping into the play to be part of the offence. Gosselin played in the BCHC Prospects game. 

“He’s strong as a bear and is really good at defending around the net and adding physicality. What stands out most is he’s really good at joining the play and giving us some offence.”

Gosselin has nine points in 21 games and is the top producing Steam blueliner.


Madden Aubie (2006- 6-0, 165-pounds) The Penticton product is a puck-mover that plays a simple style.

“He’s a guy you don’t really notice and that’s when he’s playing his best and that means he is doing a hell of a job.”



Zackery Garnett (2006- 6-3, 170-pounds) The Penticton product has a calm demeanor and relies on his size.

“He doesn’t move very much and when he’s on his A game, he’s very calm and almost looks too simple when he plays.”

Garnett has played three games and has one win with an .816 SP.


Josh Muir (2005- 6-3, 174-pounds) The Calgary, Alta., product plays a more aggressive style and is strong around the net. He’s played six games and has an .867 SP.

“He is getting more comfortable and learning to fight through screens. He is a right-handed goalie that makes him a bit more special for the shooters to shoot across the body.”