After a season which saw them change coaches just before the calendar turned to 2020, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks were awaiting a second-round match-up with the Trail Smoke Eaters when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season.
The Backs were one of the rare teams whose leading scorer was a defenseman after Akito Hirose put up 51 points in 57 games. He’s off to college this fall but Salmon Arm general manager Brooks Christensen and head coach Tyler Shattock have some solid pieces to build upon going forward.
Returning up front is Noah Wakeford, who was second in scoring behind Hirose with 18 goals and 50 points in 58 games. After Wakeford, there is a bit of a drop off in point production, but rookies Drew Bennett and Coalson Wolford had solid performances in their first BCHL seasons with 28 and 21 points respectively. Simon Tassy and his ten goals are set to return as well.
On defense, no one will replace Hirose, but Hunter Sansbury and his 24 points as a rookie is encouraging. He had 15 power play points, including all three of his goals. In total, four defensemen are eligible to return, so having that amount of experience on the back end should benefit.
The Silverbacks will start from scratch between the pipes as both Ethan Langenegger and Grant Adams are off to school this fall.
The depth chart is based on coaches going with a 23-man roster of 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.
*All college commitment years are collated from each player’s profile on the Silverbacks roster on the BCHL website.
Luke Mylymok (University of Minnesota-Duluth)
Nick Unruh (Dartmouth College)
Daniel Rybarik (University of Alaska-Anchorage)
Jeremy Gervais (Lake Superior State University)
Antonio Andreozzi (Brown University)
Akito Hirose (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
Ethan Langenegger (Lake Superior State University)
Grant Adams (St. Lawrence University)
William Poirier (aged out)
Lucas Breault (aged out)
(* indicates an open spot – assuming the team goes with 13 forwards and eight defencemen)
Nick Martino (00)
Logan Shaw (00)
Noah Wakeford (00)
Drew Bennett (00)
Simon Tassy (01)
Coalson Wolford (01)
Jarrod Semchuk (02)
Sam Schofield (02)
Hunter Sansbury (00)
Devan Newhook (00)
Kieran Ruscheinski (01)
Zach Gabruch (01)