Garrett James Photography

Rivermen add forward Ashton Taylor

The Langley Rivermen front office is continuing to work hard during the offseason to improve their roster for 2020-21. Since COVID-19 has canceled spring prospect camps they have had to rely heavily on their scouts and connections throughout the hockey world to find high-level players. And it looks like they found another, on Sunday they announced they have received a commitment from 2003 born forward Ashton Taylor.

The 17-year-old from Kamloops, BC is excited to make the jump to the BCHL. “I am honored to sign a commitment to the Rivermen. I played for Bobby Henderson in the past and it was a great experience. It’s a privilege to play in the BCHL, it is one of the best junior A programs in North America. I can’t wait to play for and be part of the Langley community.”

Taylor is a 5’10” 170-pound forward who played for the Okanagan Hockey Academy Red Prep team last year in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. During his time with OHA, Taylor had a point per game, scoring 14 goals and adding 21 assists in 35 games.

Prior to playing prep hockey in the Okanagan, Taylor played bantam with the Yale Hockey Academy and a year in the British Columbia Major Midget League with the Thompson Blazers. Last season he was also affiliated with the Rivermen and suited up in two BCHL games.

Langley head coach Bobby Henderson is impressed with what he saw when Taylor entered the lineup. “Rivermen fans got a small sample of what Ashton’s capable of this past season in the two games he dressed. He was able to jump into the lineup midseason and contribute each shift with his speed and grit. Ashton has continually improved offensively each season and we’re excited to watch him as he continues to grow as a player.”

Rivermen connection

The connection between the Rivermen and Taylor started back in peewee spring hockey when he played on a team that was coached by Henderson. “We’re really excited to add Ashton next season,” Henderson said. “I had the pleasure of coaching Ashton as a peewee in our Jr. Rivermen program. I was immediately impressed with Ashton’s desire to succeed. He loves to win and is motivated to play at the highest levels.”

The Rivermen pride themselves on finding not only great players but great people in the community. The hope is for Taylor to buy into the program Henderson wants to see happen on the ice, which shouldn’t be a problem according to his new coach. “His team-first approach fits right into what we are continuing to build on. We are confident Ashton will represent Langley and the Rivermen organization to the highest standards.”

Garrett James Photography

As of right now, it is unclear as to where Taylor will fit in the lineup. But if he is able to build off of the season he had last year and chip in some offense, he will be a great addition to the Rivermen. Especially since he has already proven he can compete at the junior A level with his two games as an affiliate player last season.