As soon as Seth Kriese started playing hockey, he wanted to do that while getting an education.
The Osoyoos Coyotes forward-turned defenceman is getting that chance with the expansion Okanagan Lakers in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League.
Kriese, who has played 129 career regular season games in the Kootenay International Hockey League over four seasons (including the one cut short due to the pandemic) says entering the BCIHL is a good stepping stone from the KIJHL.
Kriese joined the Coyotes as an affiliate at 15, practicing with the team all season, then joining them full-time when his minor hockey season ended.
In his rookie season as a forward in 2017-18, Kriese scored seven goals and had 16 points in 42 regular season games. He moved to the blueline the following season because the Coyotes needed a defenceman and that switch allowed him to improve his overall game and understand how to play defensively strong. The five-foot-eight, 155-pound blueliner improved against faster and stronger players.
Kriese is an offensive defenceman who is strong in his zone.
When he learned about the Lakers program, the Osoyoos native wanted to play for them. The proximity to home is a bonus.
“It will be nice to be close to home while still getting the experience of being on my own and really having to become an adult,” says Kriese, 19, who will attend Okanagan College and study to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration to specialize in accounting.