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Grizzlies den member profile: Jack Fialkoff

In January, the Victoria Grizzlies signed a new goaltender, bringing in 2004-born Jack Fialkoff. He joins the Grizzlies after playing for the North American Hockey League’s Philadelphia Rebels.

Fialkoff is the latest goaltender to sign with a British Columbia Hockey League team mid-season. Others include Ethan Morrow putting pen to paper with the Cowichan Valley Capitals and Vincent Lamberti joining the Powell River Kings.

Fiakloff is also one of the latest players from the Rebels to join a BCHL team. The other former Philadelphia Rebel is Latvian-born forward Kristians Samitis β€” a new player with Powell River. Fialkoff and Samitis were teammates in Philadelphia earlier this season.

This article is about Fialkoff’s path to Victoria. His journey begins in New Jersey with the Hitmen hockey program.

Three seasons in New Jersey

In 2017-18, Fialkoff played for the Jersey Hitmen 14U AAA Minor team and the following season, he jumped to the Hitmen Major squad.

During the 2018-19 season, Fialkoff played 30 games with the 14U AAA Majors, finishing with a record of 14-9-2, a sparkling 1.66 goals-against average, a .942 save percentage, and six shutouts.

As a 15-year-old in 2019-20, Fialkoff was with the New Jersey Hitmen 16U AAA team. He got into nine games that season and posted a 5-4 record, a 2.84 goals-against average, a .904 save percentage, and one shutout.

Playing in Upstate New York

After three seasons in New Jersey, Fialkoff moved to the Bishop Kearney Selects hockey program. The program plays out of Bishop Kearney High School in Irondequoit, New York. Irondequoit is a suburb of Rochester, New York.

At 16, Fialkoff dressed in 24 games for the Selects 16U AAA team. Once again, he had a stellar goals-against average of 1.92 and a solid .926 save percentage. The following season, the New York City product played for the Selects 18U AAA team in a pair of different leagues.

Fialkoff played 42 games for the Selects in the 18U AAA league and nine games in the Northeast Pack Hockey League 18U league. He went 28-9 with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. His numbers were just as good at the NEPACK 18U level, posting four shutouts, a .923 save percentage, and a 1.89 goals-against average.

That same season, Fialkoff also gained experience with the U.S. National U18 team but didn’t play in any games of record.

From the City of Brotherly Love to B.C.’s capital

For the 2022-23 season, Fialkoff joined Philadelphia of the NAHL. As an 18-year-old rookie with the Rebels, Fialkoff served as the backup to starter Jakub Krbeck. In 14 games, Fialkoff had a record of 2-7 with a 3.72 goals-against average and an .895 save percentage.

To start 2023-24, he got into 23 games for the Rebels, posting a 3.36 goals-against average, a .905 save percentage, and a 9-12-1 record. Fialkoff’s final game with Philadelphia was Jan. 20 and the last Rebels game he started was the day before. Philadelphia lost both games to the Maryland Black Bears.

Fialkoff is one of the newest players to join the Grizzlies after they traded for 2003-born defender Ranvir Gill-Shane from the Merritt Centennials. Before coming to the BCHL, Gill-Shane played in the Ontario Hockey League β€” 66 games for the Ottawa 67’s and 57 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Goaltender Oliver Auyeung-Ashton suffered an injury before Victoria’s late-January road trip into the interior of B.C. and as a result, the Grizzlies brought in Fialkoff, who has one more season of junior hockey eligibility.

Fialkoff’s first start in the BCHL was the Grizzlies’ Feb. 2 game, a 4-2 loss to Powell River. He made 31 saves in the home outing.

Once Auyeung-Ashton starts attending Colgate University this September, the Grizzlies can retain Fialkoff and Bresson to form a new goalie tandem for next season.