Percival named recipient of Jaxon Joseph Memorial Scholarship

Kaleb Percival

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is pleased to announce Beaver Valley Nitehawks defenceman and team captain Kaleb Percival as the third recipient of the Jaxon Joseph Memorial Scholarship.

Joseph was one of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos killed in a tragic bus crash on April 6, 2018. He started his junior hockey career in the KIJHL with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in 2015 before moving on to play in the B.C. Hockey League and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Joseph’s goal was to play college hockey, and the $2500 scholarship named in his honour is intended for an individual who shares his athletic and academic aspirations while having displayed a commitment to community involvement.

Percival says he’s honoured and happy to receive the scholarship and the money will help significantly with his post-secondary education.

“With Jaxon being a Beaver Valley alumni, it definitely means a lot more, too,” he says.

Percival knows Nitehawks alum who played with Joseph and added his “legacy has lived on in Beaver Valley.”

Kaleb Percival was an integral piece to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, and will now continue his hockey journey with the University of Jamestown Jimmies. Jennifer Small photo

“The way he conducted himself around the rink, it has definitely carried on,” says Percival. “It’s quite an honour to get a scholarship under his name.”

The Nelson product will be heading to the University of Jamestown in North Dakota, where he will play for the Jimmies in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, and study Exercise Science.

Percival made his mark on the ice during his three seasons in Beaver Valley, appearing in a total of 149 regular season and playoff games. He was an offensive contributor on the Nitehawks’ blueline from the time he entered the league, scoring 26 goals and recording 111 points, including 42 points in 46 postseason appearances. Following the 2023-24 regular season, Percival was named the Neil Murdoch division’s Top Defenceman and Most Valuable Player.

Academically, Percival thrived in his high school studies and graduated from J.L. Crowe Secondary in Trail with a 3.86 GPA while achieving straight A’s in his Chemistry, English and Pre-Calculus courses.

He has also shown a strong commitment to giving back in the community by helping with bingo hall clean-up, supervising at Fruitvale Community Night, assisting community members move in and out of homes, and bringing cookies and hot chocolate to the homeless he met in downtown Trail. He also picked up garbage to beautify his former high school and volunteered at a kids camp in Montrose.

Percival’s favourite community activity to do was keeping a section of highway clean that the team was responsible for three or four times a year.

“I’ve always found that fun to do just because you walk with your teammates and all the cars that go by give you a honk,” he says. “You can tell that the community appreciates what you are doing for them.”

Meeting the homeless through the team chapel program was meaningful, seeing a bit of what their life is like. Percival says that head coach-general manager Terry Jones is a big advocate for doing lots of volunteer work.

“It’s great that he has our players doing that,” he says. “It teaches you a lot at a young age. The biggest thing is not sitting back and watching. Get involved, even if it might be uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to go out of your way to help someone. The little things in the community can make such a difference.”

“We’re very excited to learn that Kaleb has been awarded the Jaxon Joseph Memorial scholarship,” says Jones. “We feel that Kaleb is the perfect recipient. He’s a great teammate, a hard-working and dedicated player, and a top-notch leader, citizen and person. Selfless, humble and kind — these are qualities that Kaleb and Jaxon both shared as members of the Nitehawks.”