When the Burnaby Winter Club announced the start of a new academy program two years ago, the announcement was met by a solid mix of enthusiasm and skepticism.
Most enthusiastic were the proponents of the E15 program, mostly parents of players graduating from bantam triple A teams whose kids were not quite ready to make the big leap to Major Midget, and who did not relish the prospects of playing Midget hockey in a home association where midget hockey might be tier two or lower, or even if tier one, not treated ‘seriously.’
The E15 solution the offered by the BWC Academy was really a no-brainer for many who wanted to continue the intensity of training they were getting at Bantam AAA, and to continue to develop in a fully committed athletic environment.
The U18 prep program, on the other hand, was viewed by many as an unsure proposition. Would there be enough interest to sustain the program, would the results be successful enough to attract more players in year two?
Mid-way through year two, the skeptics have been pretty much silenced.
The E15 program has been a runaway success, with this year’s squad currently running a 24 game win streak.
The team is being lead by three NSWC BA1 grads, Angus Crookshank (23G-21A-27 GP), Evan Walls 21G-17A-27 GP and Eathan deJong (20G-18A-20GP).
The U18s, while they have less success in the win column (9-10-0 in CSSHL league play), are now very competitive against top calibre competition.
A number of players from last year’s E15 team have elected to remain in the academy and play for the prep team, including leading scorer Keyvan Mohktari (23G-18A-41Pts), and #2 scorer, Brady Chin (16G-9A). Other returnees include Justin Lee, Aiden Bar-Lev-Wise, Jackson Jong Min Lee, and Max Daerendinger.
In the thick of it all, is the new BWC hockey director, Mako Balkovec, who is returning to his roots in the Lower Mainland, after having headed up high school hockey programs in Wisconsin, where he was twice State High School Coach of the Year.
Balkovec has been thrown into the Academy program even more deeply than first anticipated. When returning U18 head coach, Ben Cooper was called up by the Vancouver Canucks to run their video program in late August, Balkovec stepped in to fill the gap.
“My ultimate goal was to coach, so it’s worked out great. I’m very pleased with how things are progressing for the prep team. We’ve beaten Delta and had a great game against OHA, and although we lost 6-4, the team played outstanding,” he said in a recent interview.
The team has also defeated #1 Banff, and just lost a very close 4-3 game vs #2 Delta, in Delta.
“But the level of development we’re delivering is more important than a winning record. A lot of our guys have been affiliated with both junior A and junior B teams, and are getting a look at the next level,”
“We’ve had two guys go straight from the E15s to the BCHL, three guys to Major Midget, three to Junior B.
“This year we’ve had six kids practice in the BCHL, and three affiliated with the BCHL, two have played in the BC Major Midget league.”
Balkovec says the program’s objective is to have E15 head coach Leland Mack and assistant Jordie Armon-Jones show great value and to graduate more players to the prep team.
So far, it looks like the program is definitely on track.
Below are the BWC Academy rosters this year:
U18 Prep Team Roster – 2014-2015, Year 2:
|1||Nico Lopes||G||01/01/1998||5’5||130||BWC Elite 15s||Free Agent||West Vancouver, BC|
|3||Ben Raffler||D||01/01/1998||5’10||160||Whistler Midget A1||Free Agent||Whistler, BC|
|4||Kyle Henderson||D||01/01/1998||6’2||175||BWC Elite 15s||Free Agent||Port Moody, BC|
|6||Mack Gray||D||5’10||153||BWC E 15||Free Agent||North Vancouver|
|9||Keyvan Mokhtari||F||01/01/1998||5’8||140||NW Giants MML||Free Agent||Burnaby, BC|
|10||Max Daerendinger||D||01/01/1998||6’0||165||BWC Elite 15s||Kamloops Blazers||Vancouver, BC|
|11||Brady Chin||F||07/11/1998||5’9||155||BWC Elite 15s||Free Agent||Burnaby, BC|
|13||Liam Evenson||F||5″11||170||BWC E 15||Free Agent||Maple Ridge|
|14||Aidan Bar-Lev-Wise||F||01/01/1998||6||175||BWC Elite 15s||Free Agent||Vancouver, BC|
|15||Jonny Sheardown||D||01/01/1999||5’10||170||BWC Bantam AAA||Free Agent||Burnaby, BC|
|16||Cyrus Valk||F||01/01/1997||6′||150 lbs||Sherwood Park||Free Agent||North Vancouver|
|17||Justin Lee||F||01/01/1998||5’7||126||BWC Elite 15s||Free Agent||North Vancouver, BC|
|18||Colton Gerlib||D||5″10||145||BWC E 15||Free Agent||Kamloops|
|20||Daniel Kim||D||01/01/1998||6’1||190||Burnaby Minor Midget AAA||Free Agent||Burnaby, BC|
|23||Braeden Lau||F||01/01/1997||5’7||140||BWC Prep||Free Agent||Burnaby, BC|
|24||Tristyn Olson||F||01/01/1998||5’8||145||OHA Varsity||Free Agent||Abbotsford, BC|
|25||Jackson Jong Min Lee||F||01/01/1998||6′||185||BWC Elite 15s||Free Agent||Incheon, South Korea|
|28||Devan Purhar||D||01/01/1998||5’9||150||BWC Prep||Free Agent||Burnaby, BC|
|35||Jack Stradiotti||G||05/02/1998||5’11||165||BWC Elite 15s||Free Agent||Delta, BC|
|37||Liam Lytton||F||01/01/1999||6′||180||Pursuit of Excellence Bantam AAA||Prince George Cougars||Vancouver, BC|
|38||Jacob Lacasse||F||01/01/1998||5’8||125||Delta Academy Elite 15s||Free Agent||North Vancouver, BC|
|40||Connor Alderson||F||01/01/1998||5’9||160||New Westminster Midget A1||Free Agent||New Westminster, BC|
E15 Roster, 2014-2015 team – Year 2
|Number||Photo||Name||Pos.||Height||Weight||Date of Birth||Shoots||Previous Team||Hometown||Player Classification|
|2||Emilio Salas||D||6’2.5||219||01/01/1999||R||Burnaby Minor Bantam AAA||Burnaby||Free Agent|
|5||Logan Bromhead||F||5’5||128||01/01/1999||R||Coquitlam Bantam AAA||Coquitlam||Free Agent|
|6||Mack Gray||D||5’9||149||01/01/1999||L||NSWC Bantam AAA||North Vancouver||Free Agent|
|7||Evan Walls||F||5’3.5||142||01/01/1999||L||NSWC Bantam AAA||North Vancouver||Free Agent|
|8||Angus Crookshank||F||5’6||152||01/01/1999||L||NSWC Bantam AAA||North Vancouver||Free Agent|
|12||Ethan De Jong||F||5’8.5||139||01/01/1999||R||NSWC Bantam AAA||North Vancouver||Free Agent|
|13||Liam Evenson||F||5’11||175||01/01/1999||R||BWC Bantam AAA||Maple Ridge||Kootenay Ice|
|18||Colten Gerlib||D||5’11||146||01/01/1999||R||POE Bantam AAA||Kamloops||Free Agent|
|19||Ben Poisson||F||5’10||143||01/01/1999||L||Vancouver T-Birds Bantam AAA||Vancouver||Free Agent|
|21||Nate Pelletier||F||5’9||152||01/01/1999||R||Coquitlam Bantam AAA||Coquitlam||Free Agent|
|22||Scott Rademaker||D||5’8||153||01/01/1999||L||BWC Bantam AA||New Westminster||Free Agent|
|26||Liam Watson-Brawn||D||5;10.5||146||01/01/1999||R||Vancouver T-Brids Bantam AAA||Vancouver||Free Agent|
|27||Nolan Welsh||F||5’9||150||01/01/1999||R||BWC Bantam AAA||Whistler||Free Agent|
|29||Sho Takai||F||5’6||136||01/01/1999||R||Coquitlam Bantam AAA||Coquitlam||Free Agent|
|30||Kolby Matthews||G||5’10||128||01/01/1999||L||Coquitlam Bantam AAA||Coquitlam||Free Agent|
|34||Zakery Myrowich||G||6’2.5||164||01/01/1999||L||Notre Dame Bantam AAA||Victoria||Free Agent|
|36||Jessie Young||F||5’9||147||01/01/1999||R||Coquitlam Bantam AAA||Coquitlam||Free Agent|
|39||Jacob Callas||D||5’9||170||01/01/1999||R||Burnaby Minor Bantam AAA||Vancouver||Free Agent|
|41||Jonathan Stein||F||5’1.5||103||01/01/1998||R||Langley Eagles Bantam AAA||Langley||Free Agent|
E15 Team Roster Year 1: 2013-2014
|1||Nico Lopes||G||5’6″||130 lbs||L||02/07/1998||West Vancouver, BC||Hollyburn Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|2||Aidan Bar-Lev-wise||F||5’10”||165 lbs||R||05/12/1998||Vancouver, BC||Kamloops Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|3||Sam Atkins||D||5’8″||155 lbs||R||09/25/1998||Vancouver, BC||Pursuit of Excellence Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|4||Clint Colebourn||D||5’10”||155 lbs||L||11/25/1998||North Vancouver, BC||North Shore Winterclub Bantam AAA||Drafted – Kamloops Blazers|
|6||Ryan Pouliot||D||6’0″||168 lbs||R||05/26/1998||North Vancouver, BC||North Shore Winterclub Bantam AAA||Drafted – Saskatoon Blades|
|7||Spencer Hunter||F||6’2″||175 lbs||L||03/07/1998||Vancouver, BC||Vancouver Thunderbirds Bantam AAA||Drafted – Seattle Thunderbirds|
|8||Callum Volpe||D||5’10”||180 lbs||R||05/08/1998||Coquitlam, BC||Coquitlam Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|9||Ryan Hogg||F||5’8″||130 lbs||R||12/03/1998||Duncan, BC||Cowichan Valley Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|10||Max Daerendinger||D||6’0″||160 lbs||R||03/19/1998||Vancouver, BC||Vancouver Thunderbirds Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|11||Brady Chin||F||5’8||145 lbs||R||07/11/1998||Burnaby, BC||North Shore Winterclub Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|12||Kevin Wong||F||5’7″||130 lbs||R||10/23/1998||North Vancouver, BC||North Shore Winterclub Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|13||Aidan Bate-Smith||F||5’10||165lbs||R||03/12/1998||West Vancouver, BC||Hollyburn Country Club Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|14||Kyle Henderson||D||6’1″||170 lbs||R||03/10/1998||Port Moody, BC||Port Moody Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|15||Taylor Seganfreddo||F||5’8″||155 lbs||L||04/16/1998||New Westminster, BC||New Westminster Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|16||Jackson Jong Min Lee||F||5’10”||165 lbs||R||12/07/1998||Incheon, South Korea||Burnaby Winterclub Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|17||Justin Lee||F||5’7″||135 lbs||R||11/16/1998||North Vancouver||North Shore Winterclub Bantam AA||Free Agent|
|18||Mateo Coltellaro||F||5’10”||165lbs||R||01/29/1998||Burnaby, BC||Burnaby Winterclub Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|19||Kyle Johnson||F||5’9″||160 lbs||R||06/03/1998||Port Moody, BC||Port Moody Bantam AAA||Free Agent|
|35||Jack Stradiotti||G||5’8″||145 lbs||L||05/02/1998||Delta, BC||South Delta Bantam AAA||Free Agent|