KIJHL Notebook


The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season is now three weeks old. The landscape of where teams sit in their respective divisions so far has changed from last season. Some teams are seeing early returns from the strong play of their rookies, while others are benefitting from trades for experienced players. This weeks KIJHL Notebook dives into how some players are producing for their respective teams.

Eddie Mountain Division

Kade Leskosky leads the Kimberley Dynamiters with seven goals, which accounts for 25 per cent of their offence. Last season Leskosky scored nine goals in 31 regular season games, then added nine in the playoffs. Of Leskovsky’s goals, one is a game-winner and he’s among three players to lead the league with seven goals.
Rookies Keenan Ingram and Lucas De La Salle lead the Columbia Valley Rockies with five goals, while Ingram leads in points with nine. Fellow rookie Carson Devine is third on the team in points with seven points and has a game-winning goal. In goal, Ewan McDevitt, is 3-0 to start his junior career with a 2.33 goals against average and .939 save percentage.
Linemates Dayton Nelson and Kort Kisinger lead the Fernie Ghostriders with four goals each, while Nelson has netted two game-winners. Nelson is tied with Ethan MacDuff, the third member of his line with nine points, while Kisinger has eight. Gaege Johnson is the top rookie point producer on the team with four assists. Since joining the Ghostriders from Kelowna, goalie Reed McLennan has won one of three games with a 2.89 GAA and a .893 SP. His win was by shutout.
Twenty-year-old Cranbrook product Jordan Lario of the Golden Rockets is among three players leading the league with seven goals, and is tied for 13 points. The Rockets (23 goals total) offensively are led by Lario, Levi Lamotte (nine points), Nick Morin (eight points) and Kade Cochlan (seven points). Two of Lario’s goals are game-winners.
The Creston Valley Thunder Cats have nine goals in four games. Reece Nelson, Luke Chakrabarti and Nikolai Morrison each have two goals. Nelson leads the team with four points.
Neil Murdoch Division
Hometown product Nathan Dominici leads the Beaver Valley Nitehawks with five goals in seven games, and is the points leader with nine. Joel Smyth has seven points, while rookie Beau Manegre is third with seven assists, which leads all first-year players on the team in points.
The Grand Forks Border Bruins are led offensively by three players they acquired in trades before the season started. Cody Laybolt leads with five goals in seven games, and has a game-winning goal. Laybolt also leads the team with eight points, while Tyson Tokarz and Spencer Horning have seven and six points, respectively. Second-year goalie Ethan Shebansky has three of their four wins.
Rookie Evan Calder leads the Castlegar Rebels with four goals and eight points in seven games. Fellow rookie Daytn Kulynych also has four goals, to go with six points. Second-year defenceman Calvin Morrison has three goals in seven games. Morrison, 17, had one goal in 33 games with Beaver Valley last season.
With 17 goals in seven games, the offence has been spread out for the Nelson Leafs. Six players are tied with two goals, while four players lead the team with four points. Dylan Mowery, rookie Jason Scott and Bennett Anklewich have game-winning goals.
Bill Ohlhausen Division
A recent 12-goal performance for the Osoyoos Coyotes has made them the highest scoring team in the league. The Coyotes are led by forwards Zach Park, seven goals, Jack Henderson and Coletyn Boyarski (five each). Defenceman Hunter Harwood, acquired from the Port Alberni Bombers, leads the team in points with 13 in six games. Henderson has 10, while Carter Yarish, who came from the Blackfals Bulldogs in the Alberta Junior Hockey League has 10 points in five games.
Rookie Kassius Kler leads the Princeton Posse with seven points in six games, including being tied with second-year forward Andrew Karam with three goals. Karam is second in points with six in five games. Rookie goalie Nate Glenn has won his first three games with a 2.33 GAA and a .926 SP.
Austin Cameron leads the Summerland Steam with seven points, all assists, in six games. Rookie Connor Nicolay leads the team with three goals. The Steam have 13 goals on the season.
Kevin-Thomas Walters, who returned to the North Okanagan Knights from the Junior A level, leads the team with five goals in four games, while rookie Connor Sankey has three goals in five games. Two of Walters’ goals are winners. Walters also leads the team in points with seven, while Sankey has five. Brodie Pearson, acquired from Creston Valley, has three points in five games. In goal, Austin Seibel has been stellar with three wins to go with a 1.53 GAA and a .962 SP.  His played earned him an affiliation with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Generating offence for a young Kelowna Chiefs team has been a challenge early with five goals in five games. The Chiefs are led by rookie Aiden Morcom, who has two of their goals. Jaxson Boettcher leads the team with two assists.
Doug Birks Division
Brandon Gallo leads the Revelstoke Grizzlies with eight points on the season, while Carter Bettenson has four goals, closing the cap on rookie Wyatt Sorken, who has six. The goaltending tandem of Jozef Kuchaslo and Owen Albers have combined for five wins with a 1.76 GAA and a .932 SP.
Nate Bentham leads the Sicamous Eagles in goals (four) and points (eight). The Eagles offensive contributions are spread out with rookies Zack Brandson (five points), Sean Smith (four points) and Daniel Kroon (four points) having 13 points between them. Damon Cunningham has won two games with a .949 SP and a 2.00 GAA.
Ryan Larsen leads the Kamloops Storm with four goals and six points in five games. One of his goals is a winner, while Harrison Ewert is second on the team with three goals. He also has a short-handed tally.
Rookie Jalen Davidson leads the Chase Heat with three goals and they have 15 on the season. There are four players tied with two goals. Davidson, Kieran Armitage and Aiden Brown lead the team with five points. In the Heat’s weekly report, they wrote that newly acquired forward Carter Spring recorded his first goal against the Princeton Posse.
Still seeking their first point of the season, the 100 Mile House Wranglers have 11 goals in five games. Bryce Burnett and Jack Mulder each have three goals and four points to lead the team. Rookie Tyler Smoluk leads in assists with three.