The Summerland Steam announced this past week that two new additions have been made to the team’s coaching staff ahead of the start of the 2016.17 KIJHL Season on September 9th. The team announced the additions of former player Olli Dickson (2012-2014), and 2016 Allan Cup Champion (Lacombe Generals, formerly Bentley Generals) Carter Rigby, who will join Head Coach John Depourcq and Assistant Coach Jordan McCallum behind the bench.
Dickson, now 23, played 165 games in the KIJHL as a player split between the Kimberley Dynamiters and the Summerland Steam. In his 165 regular season games, including 94 with the Steam, Dickson picked up 31 goals and 63 assists for 94 points and racked up an astonishing 734 penalty minutes over his five KIJHL seasons. He currently sits third in the history of KIJHL statistics in the penalty minute category.
Known for his rugged style of play and ‘never say die’ attitude, Dickson became a leader on nearly every team he played on during his junior career. He was also an integral part in leading the Steam on the most improbable worst-to-first run I’ve ever witnessed during the 2013.14 season. For those that don’t remember or maybe don’t know, Dickson and his fellow teammates sat in 5th place on November 1st, and collected points in 29 of their final 33 games to win the division title on the final weekend of the KIJHL Season.
“I’m very excited to join John, Jordan and Carter behind the bench and come back to the place I finished my playing career,” Says Dickson, who spent the past two seasons as an Amateur Scout for the Kimberley Dynamiters. “I have a lot to be thankful for from my last two season in Kimberley, and I learned a lot from both Mike Reid and Jerry Bancks in my time there. I’m happy to bring the things I learned from them about the hockey world back to Summerland and put my knowledge to use.”
When asked what drew him back to the Steam organization after a couple of years away, Dickson’s response was very simple. “Johnny and Gregg have built one of the best organizations in the KIJHL and I’m excited to be a part of this coaching staff. We’ve got a great leadership group in place with ‘Grizz’ (Alex Williams) and Hads (Calvin Hadley), and after having a great year last year I think we’re primed for another great one this year.”
Dickson will join Jordan McCallum and John Depourcq behind the Steam bench, alongside one of his oldest friends, Carter Rigby. When I asked him how special it would be to have Carter on the bench as well, Dickson left a glowing review of his longtime friend, saying “Carter is a proven winner at every level and will prove to be one of the best mentors to these young players that they could ever have.”
Rigby, 22, is one year removed from a playing career that included stops in the KIJHL, BCHL, WHL, ECHL, CIS, and most recently the Chinook Hockey League. He spent parts of six seasons in the WHL split between the Prince George Cougars, Kelowna Rockets and Swift Current Broncos, and knows his way around the hockey world. He also spent one season split between the KIJHL’s Osoyoos Coyotes and the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.
Upon the completion of his junior career, Rigby joined the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder and parlayed that opportunity into a camp invite with the Minnesota Wild before ending up with the University of Newfoundland in the CIS. Most recently, Rigby played for the Lacombe Generals (Formerly the Bentley Generals) in Senior AAA hockey and scored twice, including the OT winner, in the Allan Cup Final to help the Generals defeat the Southeast Prairie Thunder and win the Allan Cup.
“I’m very excited to start the next chapter of my hockey career as an assistant coach with the Steam,” Rigby said via text, “I think I can learn a lot from John as a coach, just as I did when I was a player. Coaching alongside probably my favourite coach I’ve ever had the chance to play for will be a lot of fun.”
When asked what kind of coach he thought he might be, Rigby replied “I’m not far removed from the game so I think I’ll be a guy who can bring a bit of a different element behind the bench, form a bond and be an outlet for the players.”
After such a long and successful playing career that spanned over six years, Rigby will now switch gears and jump behind the bench instead of routinely jumping over it. It will be a new challenge for the 22 year old Penticton native, and one that Rigby is excited to take on with good people all around him.
“I’ve always been told, even when I was playing, that I think the game too much instead of just playing it sometimes, and I think that’ll be something that makes me an asset to the Steam organization. I think as a group the team has a chance to be extremely dominant this year after the year they had last year, and if we can get off to a good start and get rolling early we’re going to be in for a great ride.”
Dickson and Rigby, along with Jordan McCallum, John Depourcq and the rest of the Steam staff will be all hands on deck for Main Camp, which starts on Friday at the Summerland Arena. Camp will finish with an exhibition game Sunday afternoon at 3PM vs the Princeton Posse. Tickets are just $5 at the door!
The Steam will open the 2016/17 Season on Friday, September 9th vs the defending Western Canadian Champion 100 Mile House Wranglers. Steam fans will not have to wait long to see a rematch of last season’s Okanagan Shuswap Conference Final that saw 100 Mile win in 5 grueling games.