BC Hockey has announced the final 20 picks for this year’s U16 team, which will compete in the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, October 28-November 1, at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.
The players were chosen from a short list of 25 who had advanced through a group of 44 attending a five day camp Nanaimo, BC in mid-July. One goalie, two D and two forwards were released.
This year the annual selection process started in late April with an invitational camp (formerly open) in Salmon Arm, comprised of 120 players.
The North Shore Winter Club, which won the Western Canadian Bantam Championships this spring, placed seven players on the final U16 roster, the most of any single organization.
Ten players were on Canadian Sports School Hockey League teams last season, clearly demonstrating the elite player shift toward the academies.
The Delta Academy, which beat NSWC in all four head to heads last year, placed three players on the team. Okanagan Hockey Academy placed four, Pursuit of Excellence placed two, and the Edge School (Calgary) placed one.
Two minor hockey associations also contributed. Richmond placed two, and Kamloops placed one.
Burnaby Winter Club also placed one.
Where they’re playing this year:
The academy shift continues into the current season, with nine U16 Team BC players electing to continue with or join academy programs, rather than play in the BC Major Midget league.
The three Delta grads are continuing in their home schools, playing with the Delta U18 team; while all four OHA grads are playing with OHA White.
One player, former NSWC goaltender Donovan Buskey, is playing in the PCAHA Midget Tier 1 league with the NSWC Midget A1s.
The remaining 10 players are on Major Midget teams, with the NW Giants organization leading the way with four former NSWC players. Two ex-NSWC players have moved back to their home catchment areas and are playing with the Valley West Hawks.
Two PoE players have moved to the Okanagan Rockets.
Kamloops’ Ryan Chyzowski is staying home to play for the Thompson Blazers, while Aldergrove’s Jordan Naylor is playing for the Fraser Valley T-Birds.
Leland Mack, head coach of the Burnaby Academy E15 team, is head coach of the U16 team, and had this to say regarding the picks this year:
“Some tough decisions, but we are happy with the team that’s going to Calgary. We have a good mix of smarts, skill and size. We will need to be 20 strong for the whole tournament. All four provinces are capable of winning. The entire group is honoured to represent BC and BC Hockey.”
The tournament kicks of October 28 with the first of three round robin games. The semi-final game, featuring third place vs second, goes on Halloween at noon, with the winner advancing to the gold medal game vs the first place finisher, and the loser going to the bronze game vs the fourth place team on November 1.
This year will mark the fifth year of the event. The first ever Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alberta in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft.
In 2010, the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup was not contested due to the Canada Winter Games.
In 2011, the Moose Jaw Warriors and Saskatchewan Hockey Association hosted the event at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
In 2012, the tournament was hosted in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena, the home of the WHL.
In 2013, the tournament was again hosted in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena. In 2014, the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup was not contested, again due to the Canada Winter Games.
Team Alberta is a three time champion of the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, capturing titles in 2009, 2011 and 2013 while Team BC won the event in 2012.
Team Make up – Mostly Januarys (see table at end).
This year’s roster includes eight January birth dates, with the remainder, but one, all falling in the first half of the year. The exception, 6’1″ 195 lb, Kabir Gill, of White Rock, who was born on October 8. Liam Kindree, of North Vancouver, is the elder statesman, born January 2, 2000.
Final Roster Team BC U16s
|1||Donovan||Buskey||North Van||29-Jan||6’2″||200||NSWC||NSWC A1|
|3||Ethan||Cap||North Van||17-Apr||6’2″||195||NSWC||NW Giants|
|4||Austin||Chorney||Abbotsford||23-Mar||6’1″||200||Edge School||Yale U18|
|5||Kabir||Gill||White Rock||8-Oct||6’1″||195||NSWC||VW Hawks|
|7||Luke||Zazula||Langley||18-May||5’8″||155||Delta HA||Delta U18|
|9||Brendan||Budy||Langley||6-Jun||5’8″||150||Delta HA||Delta U18|
|12||Keltie||Jeri-Leon||West Kelowna||19-Jan||5’11”||175||OHA||OHA White|
|14||Liam||Kindree||North Van||2-Jan||5’10”||175||NSWC||NW Giants|
|15||Riley||Krane||Dawson Creek||24-Jan||5’9″||165||OHA||OHA White|
|16||Jackson||Leppard||North Van||18-Jan||6’1″||180||NSWC||NW Giants|
|17||Matt||Mosher||White Rock||27-Apr||5’11”||175||Delta HA||Delta U18|
|19||Jackson||Shepard||West Van||28-Feb||5’7″||150||NSWC||NW Giants|
|HC||Leland||Mack||BWC Elite 15|
|AC||Jamie||Fiset||Ridge Meadows Flames|
|Dir Ops||Marty||Flors||Vanderhoof Bears|
Roster by Date of Birth: