The West Kelowna Warriors, despite finishing second to last in the BCHL this past season, have one of the most intriguing cores eligible to return in 2020-21.
The Warriors have only two players from the 2019-20 roster moving on to college in defenseman Jake Harrison (University of Nebraska-Omaha) and forward Levi Stauber (Michigan Tech).
Among the 19 players eligible to come back are those who were the youngest on West Kelowna’s roster in 2019-20, leading scorers John Evans and Tyler Cristall. The 18-year-olds had 50 and 41 points, respectively. Evans is committed to the University of New Hampshire and Cristall is off to St. Lawrence University, both in September 2021.
Carter Wilkie should improve on his 33 points and Elan Bar-Lev-Wise thrived after being acquired at the deadline from Vernon by putting up ten points in 16 games.
On the blueline, Nicolas Ardanaz was one of the top rookie defenders in 2019-20 and his 32 points were fourth overall on the Warriors. He is one of six defensemen who can return, including three 20-year-olds in Ryan Novecosky, Addison Macey, and Maxime Dumas, who didn’t report after being acquired from Cowichan Valley at the deadline.
Both goaltenders are eligible to return to the Warriors with Johnny Derrick the incumbent number one after playing 38 games last season. He finished with a 10-17-0 record along with a 3.30 goals-against-average, a .904 save percentage, and two shutouts. Riley Morgan, who’s going into his final year of junior hockey, was brought in at the trade deadline to stabilize things behind Derrick.
The depth chart below 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 Warriors roster on the BCHL website.
Jake Harrison (University of Nebraska-Omaha)
Levi Stauber (Michigan Tech University)
(* indicates an open spot – assuming the team goes with 13 forwards and eight defencemen)
Carter Wilkie (00)
Brendan Pigeon (01)
Holden Kodak (01)
Ryan Upson (01)
Colby Elmer (01)
Drew Vieten (01)
Deegan Mofford (01)
Jacob Brockman (01)
Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (01)
John Evans (02)
Tyler Cristall (02)
Ryan Novecosky (00)
Maxime Dumas (00)
Addison Macey (00)
Corey McCann (01)
Skyler Cameron (02)
Nicolas Ardanaz (02)
Riley Morgan (00)
Johnny Derrick (01)