This week in the KIJHL Notebook, the New Wave of rookies in the Doug Birks division is the focus with the head coach-GM of each team providing a scouting report on each player.
Owen Dewitt (2007 – 6-2, 175 pounds) The local product has hit the ground running leading the team in points with 27 in 18 games, earning himself a spot on the KIJHL prospects team for the BCHC Prospects Game in Kamloops. His 27 points also leads all KIJHL rookies.
“He has a lot of tools and a huge upside.His work ethic and desire to perform and get better is really driving his results right now,” said Eagles head coach-GM Nick Deschenes.
Dewitt skates well and creates space with his great awareness.
Hayden Evans (2006 – 6-0, 170 pounds) The Revelstoke product has made a significant impact leading the Eagles with 14 goals and his 24 points rank him second.
“He’s so good at creating turnovers, finding pucks and has patience,” said Deschenes. “He will drive the play and almost doesn’t need to play defence because he has the puck all the time”
He has a high IQ, sees the ice very well, and has received good setups from his linemates. Evans will join Dewitt on the KIJHL Prospects team.
Everett Boutcher (2005 – 5-11, 160 pounds) The Lake Country product “is a feel good story because he comes from Winfield midget Tier 3.”
That’s considered a few levels below where players normally enter the KIJHL from, yet he’s third on the Eagles with 18 points in 17 games.
“He has a very high IQ and he’s been very opportunistic finding chemistry with Hayden Evans and Dewitt. He can make plays and isn’t afraid to shoot the puck. He’s adjusted quicker than we had anticipated.”
Caleb Dehoog (2005 – 6-0, 180 pounds) The Salmon Arm product has been able to net eight goals in 16 games from being strong on his skates and handling the puck to create offence for himself.
“He’s got a good shot and probably wants to have a few more assists, but he’s been very opportunistic,” said Deschenes as Dehoog has nine points. “He brings offensive ability and he’s just going to continually get better as he gets more comfortable.”
Ashton Angle (2005 – 5-9, 180 pounds) He’s very tenacious and aggressive on the puck, which helps Angle lead the forecheck at both ends and work the puck down low in the offensive zone. “He’s responsible and really has a complete game,” said Deschenes, of the Lethbridge, Alberta product with eight points in 13 games. “He’d like to connect more offensively and is trying to find ways to create more.”
Sacha Munro (2006 -6-3, 195 pounds) The local product just joined the Eagles from Alberta and brings size. Deschenes said he can control corners and get to the net.
Brendan Calahasen (2004 – 6-1, 185 pounds) Calahasen, a Cochrane, Alberta product skates well and brings a physical element.
“He’s got a high-end shot. When he gets opportunities to shoot the puck, he’s likely to convert.” Calahasen has seven goals and 13 points in 16 games.
“He’s definitely been a good addition to our group.”
Nick Wright (2005 – 6-0, 190 pounds) Wright played with Calahasen at the Edge Academy and has “finesse to his game.”
“He has the puck on his stick a lot, looking to make plays and is capable of scoring.”
Wright has six goals and 12 points in 18 games and played half of last season as a defenceman, giving him a strong understanding for strong defensive play.
Riley Kelly (2006 – 5-9, 165 pounds) The Newgate, B.C. product has been in and out of the lineup having played four games. Kelly was slowed by injury, but is “a bit of a pitbull.”
“He is explosive and tenacious on pucks.”
Devon Barclay (2005 – 6-3, 200 pounds) The Grande Prairie, Alberta product is viewed as a “old school power forward.”
“He’s got the ability to take pucks to the net and has also played some defence a couple times this year holding his own. He’s very much a valuable piece to our team as far as his versatility.”
Barclay has 10 assists in 13 games.
Kalan Dickie (2005 – 6-2, 191 pounds) Dickie is a steady, stay-at-home defenceman that can play physically.
“He battles in the corners, comes up with pucks and blocks shots.”
The Regina, Saskatchewan product has two assists in 11 games.
“He is starting to get more comfortable with the league and adjusting to the speed. He’s having more success and is finding options to move the puck. The strength for him is his physicality.”
Vadim Liakhov (2004 – 6-5, 215 pounds) Liakhov skates well and uses his size and “has a lot of skill.”
“He has the tools and is learning how to put them together.”
With three assists in 12 games, “he checks a lot of boxes and there’s a big upside to him.”
Gabe Bergeron (2005 – 5-10, 150 pounds) The Calgary, Alberta product is proving to be a capable goalie with five wins in seven games.
“He is finding his game, adjusting to quicker shots. He has a strong work ethic and is really embracing his opportunity.”
He has a 2.29 goals against average and .916 save percentage.
Nolan MacPherson (2005 – 6-1, 185 pounds) MacPherson has character and is one of the hardest workers Head Coach Jan Ludvig has been around.
“He has intensity, is quick on the forecheck, and a guy you can slide through the lineup. Whatever assignment you give him, he’s going to do it well. He’s relentless and drives the net hard. He creates opportunities for other people and allows us to score goals.”
MacPherson has five points in 11 games.
Jaden Beauchamp (2005 – 5-10, 170 pounds) The St. Albert, Alberta product recently joined the team from the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves. He collected his first point, an assist on Rory Mumford’s first KIJHL goal, to give the Storm a 1-0 lead in a 4-3 win over the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Tuesday.
Austin Barrett (2005 – 5-10, 175 pounds) Barrett is a highly skilled player, one of the most talented as far as puck skills.
“He has big offensive upside as his one-on-one play is at a high level and he has a great wrist shot.”
Barrett has three points in 13 games.
Teghan Mullin (2007 – 5-10, 150 pounds) The local product has been “probably the biggest surprise” and is a very smart player, who is calm with the puck. He will play for the KIJHL Prospects team.
“There is no panic in his game. He has a great shot and is a good all-around player who needs to get stronger. Once he puts on some size, he could be a really good player.”
Mullin is fourth on the Storm with 12 points in 16 games.
Thomas Clarke (2006 – 5-11, 190 pounds) Clarke is a super character “built like a truck.”
“He is just scratching the surface. We’re going to see another solid power forward, who can hit and he’s got good skills too.”
The Telkwa, B.C. product has eight points in 15 games. He joins Mullin on the KIJHL Prospects team.
Lochlan Stefanishyn (2005 – 6-3, 200 pounds) Stefanishyn has got high-end skill.
“He has a big time shot and is one of those guys, who could become a very dominant player at our level.”
Stefanishyn has 10 points in 16 games.
Sam Zulyniak (2005 – 6-2, 180 pounds) The local product has “a monster shot.”
“He brings a lot of character. Every time I look at him he’s got a big smile on his face. Guys like that are very important on any team.”
Zulyniak has eight points in 13 games.
Brendan Green (2005 – 5-9, 160 pounds) Green has offensive upside and is tenacious. The Clearwater product is quick on the forecheck and drives the net hard.
“He is more skilled than most people realize and his production is going to come up as he feels more comfortable.”
Rory Mumford (2005 – 6-3, 185 pounds) The local product is working hard at being a steady two-way blueliner, who can move the puck. He has defended well and has one goal in 13 games.
Hudson Clarke (2005 – 6-0, 180 pounds) Ludvig, who has worked as an NHL scout for the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins, calls it a big statement, but he views the local product as “a Cale Makar at our level.”
“He’s a great skater with unreal edges. His agility and mobility is something to watch,” said Ludvig. “He’s got a big offensive upside and is a competitor.”
Kade Lawlor (2006 – 6-0, 175 pounds) Ludvig describes Lawlor as a worker, who has seen a climb in minutes from 9:28 average, playing a season high of 20:22 against Osoyoos. He brings a physical style, is raw and is getting better each day.
Dawson Holitzki (2004 – 6-1, 160 pounds) Holitzki has won five of his seven games.
Ludvig said he sees a strong future for the Kelowna product.
“He understands that he has to pay his dues and is watching Colton Phillips-Watts and is learning. In the future and next year, he is going to be a stud.”
Holitzki has a 2.43 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
Jackson Haywood (2005 – 5-9, 135 pounds) As the third goalie, Haywood sees a lot of action during difficult practice drills. Ludvig figures the local product will play next season, and has a future in the league.
Hudson Scrimshaw (2005 – 6-1, 175 pounds) Scrimshaw brings a physical presence and has a really good shot. Head Coach Jiri Novak likes that the Red Deer product can contribute on the power-play, with six points, and with his size, “can make a difference for us.”
“He can protect the puck, has a quick release and is probably more of an offensive guy.”
He has four goals and 10 points in 15 games.
David Yoon (2005 – 5-10, 168 pounds) Yoon is relied on at both ends of the ice for the Grizzlies and plays a physical game.
“He is fast, which we like and an unselfish player. He’s effective on the penalty-kill and has a good shot, though he is learning to get into the scoring areas.”
The local product has three points in 13 games.
Reid Ashcroft (2005 – 6-1, 160 pounds) Ashcroft is skilled and has a good work rate, always wanting to be first in line in the gym.
“I like how he plays in the offensive zone, as he can make a play, but he’s struggled with finishing.”
The Sherwood Park, Alberta product has five assists in 12 games.
Jalen Forsyth (2005 – 5-9, 152 pounds) Forsyth is a good skater and has one of the best work rates on the team.
“He is good on the PK.”
The Calgary product has four points in 14 games.
Jake Neufeld (2005 – 5-10, 153 pounds) Neufeld’s smart and a really good skater. Novak really likes his game using the winger as a centre.
“He had a bit of a hard time at the beginning, but we’ve found a way for him to play and he’s really effective for us. He has a good shot.”
The Calgary product has six goals and nine points in 13 games.
Kuy Schmirler (2005 – 6-1, 178 pounds) Schmirler is effective in the offensive zone and possesses a really good shot. Novak says he has struggled to finish, but “he is playing how he wants and has found his rhythm.”
“Now he is more confident and a really good player for us,” said Novak of the Calgary product with five points in 13 games.
Jett Patola (2005 – 5-11, 167 pounds) Acquired from the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers, Patola is a high-skilled player who is patient with the puck.
“He is trying to figure out how to play, especially in the D-zone. In the offensive zone, he is dangerous.”
Patola has seven points in 10 games.
Alexander Bronswyk (2005 – 5-10, 164 pounds) Novak likes the local product who plays a solid, simple game.
“He works hard and is getting rewarded (eight points in five games). He has a good shot and is more patient with the puck. He isn’t turning over the puck.”
Bronswyk is tied for third on the Grizzlies with 10 points in 14 games.
David Ander (2005 – 6-0, 175 pounds) Ander is a good skater, who is offensive minded with a really good shot.
“He can play similar to Brad Marchand and get under people’s skin. It’s his game playing with that bite.”
The Calgary product has seven points in 10 games with just six penalty minutes.
Nicholas Buckley (2005 – 5-10, 150 pounds) Buckley has a really good shot and continues adjusting to the pace.
“He is getting there, and can be a tone setter, willing to play physical.”
The Calgary product has five points in 13 games with 24 penalty minutes.
Jaxson Walker (2005 – 6-1, 185 pounds) The Beaverlodge, Alberta product has yet to play due to an injury.
Faris Meddeb (2005 – 5-9, 160 pounds) Meddeb is a mobile blueliner who makes a strong first pass.
“I really like how he plays and he is more confident. He recognizes where he has to move the puck a where he can be more patient with it.”
The Calgary product has five points in 14 games.
Cole Gartner (2006 – 5-10, 190 pounds) Gartner plays a simple physical style.
“We believe he will make an impact in the second half of the season.”
The Vernon product recently played a season-high 18 minutes, 31 seconds.
Diego Smith (2005 – 5-11, 140 pounds) Smith plays a gritty style, finishing his checks and gets under opponents’ skin.
“He is good on the puck and isn’t afraid to jump into the rush.”
The Brandon, Manitoba product has five points in 14 games with 16 penalty minutes.
Kaidon Mah (2005 – 6-0, 152 pounds) The Regina, Saskatchewan product has dealt with injuries and they hope to have him back soon as he’s a mobile blueliner with the puck.
Kyle Federico (2005 – 6-3, 185 pounds) Another mobile defenceman that jumps into the offence to make plays.
“He has a really good shot and brings some physical play.”
Federico, a Calgary product, is the cousin of former captain Raymond Speerbrecker and has five points in 11 games.
Andrew Morris (2005 – 5-10, 160 pounds) Morris is another mobile defenceman who can handle the puck and is deceptive with it. Novak believes Morris, who has two assists in nine games, will be really good.
Louis Adler (2005 – 6-4, 185 pounds) The Montreal product has been a surprise going 4-0 with a 1.75 GAA and a .930 SP as he learns from Jozef Kuchaslo.
“He has made crucial saves and can learn a lot from Joe and will be a really good goalie.”
Keiran Strauss (2005 – 6-0, 175 pounds) Strauss brings a bit of everything as he plays big, skates well and has good hands.
“He offers us a lot that makes our forward group better,” said head coach Brad Fox of the St. Albert, Alberta product, who is third on the team with 12 points in 15 games.
Ethan Keddie (2005 – 6-0, 168 pounds) Keddie has skill and a high ceiling. The Grande Prairie, Alberta product has two assists in 11 games.
“Ethan is learning right now the importance of being consistent and can be a good power forward. He has a poise about him with the puck and makes good plays. He needs to keep his feet moving as he is a strong skater.”
Markus Baron (2005 – 5-11, 167 pounds) Baron is the son of retired NHLer Murray Baron and Fox believes there is a high ceiling for the Kamloops product who does a lot well.
“His IQ is exceptional and there is progression in understanding how to be that player day in, day out. He is learning quickly and has an accurate shot with a good release. He also makes good decisions with the puck.”
Maddux Seguin (2005 – 6-0, 175 pounds) Seguin is an under the radar player with a skillset. The Whitecourt, Alberta product is learning to play at the Junior A level and skates well. He has one goal in six games.
Lynden Robertson (2004 – 5-9, 162 pounds) Robertson is a smooth skater who has a high IQ and good vision. He’s able to move and pass the puck well and is counted on in every situation averaging 18:47 of ice time.
“He’s good on draws (57 %), PK, and he can quarterback a power-play.”
The Red Deer product has 11 points in 13 games.
Jacob Bishop (2005 – 5-11, 160 pounds) The Kamloops product skates well and has the ability to shoot the puck when he has time. He has two assists in seven games.
Ethan Wencek (2005 – 5-9, 160 pounds) Wencek shoots the puck really well. He’s working on learning to be consistent as he has the skills to produce. The St. Albert, Alberta product has one assist in 12 games and averages 11:58 of ice time.
Roman Wahl (2005 – 6-4, 185 pounds) Wahl is a power forward, who plays hard. He can shoot the puck a ton, is a powerful skater, has great character. It’s about putting it all together.
Jace Koskimaki (2005 – 6-1, 205 pounds) The local 16-year-old has impeccable work habits. He comes in having played one season at the rep level and Fox said he has come a long way in a short period.
“He has a really high ceiling and it’s a matter of figuring it all out.”
He has averaged 8:57 of ice time in 12 games.
Declin Rowswell (2005 – 6-2, 200 pounds) Rowswell is a hard-nosed player, who will be a really good, consistent stay-at-home shutdown defenceman. The St. Albert, Alberta product averages 12:19 of ice time and is effective moving the puck and strong in one-on-one situations.
“He has the potential to put up offence, but has been a pretty good surprise.”
Carter Welke (2005 – 6-3, 185 pounds) Welke has soft hands and a high ceiling as he’s got great vision. The Camrose, Alberta product brings leadership as a former captain.
“He could be a really good player by the end of the year. He puts on 20 pounds and he’s going to be a hell of a force in any league.”
Welke has nine points in 15 games and averages 21:03 a game.
Graham Willey (2005 – 6-0, 148 pounds) Willey has a high compete level, skates well and works on his skills each day.
“He picks things up quickly. It’s figuring out how to play at his level. He will be a complete defenceman with a good skill set.”
The Salmon Arm product has averaged 14:10 in eight games.
Jobie Siemens (2005 – 6-0, 165 pounds) Siemens has amazing character and great work habits. The Kamloops product is playing well averaging 17:32 in nine games.
“He has a good first pass and strong decision-making. His compete level has picked up. Now that he’s turned that corner, I think we’re going to see him evolve nicely into a well-rounded defenceman.”
Luke Roberts (2005 – 6-3, 153 pounds) Roberts is technically sound and moves well. The St. Albert, Alberta product reads the game well and puts himself in good position.
“He competes and can handle the puck. There is a high ceiling for him.”
Roberts is 3-1-0 with a 2.81 GAA and a .912 SP.
100 Mile House Wranglers
Carter Boomer (2006 – 6-1, 185 pounds) Possessing speed, Boomer “actually likes to kill penalties” said Wranglers head coach Dale Hladun of the Williams Lake product who averages 2:24 of penalty-kill time a game.
“We’ve been really happy with Carter’s development.”
Boomer, who averages 14:40 of ice time a game, has two assists in seven games.
Alberto Kellgren (2005 – 5-11, 175 pounds) Acquired from the Grand Forks Border Bruins, the Alder Flats, Alberta product has a goal in four games since joining and has averaged 14:17 of ice time. Kellgren plays a two-way game.
“He is pretty good on the draw (50 per cent). He’s a very good utility player.”
Kelton Shinde (2005 – 5-10, 190 pounds) Hladun said the Terrace minor hockey product is “just starting to find his game.”
“He’s always had chances all year, but now he’s burying them,” said Hladun, as Shinde has 12 points in 18 games, good for third on the team. “He’s the type of player you can build a team around. He makes his teammates better.”
Shinde has a powerful build and is hard to push off the puck. He also has great hockey sense and is an offensive threat.
Eli Schwaller (2006 – 6-0, 160 pounds) Schwaller is a very strong player with skating ability and is learning to play away from the puck. He has one assist in five games.
Nicholas Sloane (2005 – 5-10, 178 pounds) The Leduc, Alberta product brings a high compete level, leadership and strong skating skills. He has three assists in 18 games, while averaging 18:42 a game.
Trent Thiessen (2005 – 6-7, 210 pounds) Acquired from the Chilliwack Jets, the Williams Lake product uses a stick a foot longer than his teammates.
“I think Trent’s going to be a force in our league over the next couple of years. He’s a stay-at-home blueliner, but is able to join the rush. With his long reach, he covers lots of ice and contains guys down low. He has two points in 10 games and played a season high 25:33 against Kelowna on Nov. 11.
Ivan Tolsma (2005 – 6-2, 175 pounds) The Leduc, Alberta product is a technical goalie looking to always improve. Tolsma uses the next practice to work on things or areas he struggled in. Hladun believes Tolsma has a bright future beyond the Junior level and has three wins in 11 games with a 3.92 GAA and a .898 SP.
“He always gives us a chance to win. He’s calm.”