Michael MacLean, Summerland Steam, 2015-2017
Not long ago, just last season in fact, you could find Penticton native Michael MacLean plying his trade in the KIJHL for the Summerland Steam. He spent two full seasons in Summerland, amassing 10 goals, 21 points and 240 penalty minutes over 82 games before catching on with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats to start the 2017/18 season.
In 23 games with Lloydminster, MacLean has notched six goals and six assists for 12 points and 106 penalty minutes while playing an ‘energy’ type role for the Bobcats.
Going back a couple of seasons, the 6 foot 6 inch, 245 pound MacLean came from the Penticton Minor Hockey program and made the 2015/16 Summerland Steam squad out of camp as a 17-year old.
“He caught our eye right away, obviously with his size. Guys who are 6’6″ and 240 at age 17 don’t fly under very many people’s radar,” Said now Steam GM Mike Rigby, who was the team’s Director of Player Development at the time of MacLean’s arrival.
“We knew of Mike far before he arrived at our camp, obviously with growing up and playing minor hockey just down the road. We always saw him as a hard worker who knew how to use his size and length to his advantage, and we’re always looking for that combination.”
That hard work and determination, as well as the size and length MacLean possesses has now not only turned into a regular AJHL gig with the Bobcats, but has also caught the attention of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds are not unfamiliar with KIJHL alumni, as one of their assistant captains, Zach Andrusiak, spent time with the North Okanagan Knights and the Kamloops Storm back in 2014/15 and 2015/16.
The Thunderbirds recently signed Mike MacLean to an Affiliate card, and got him into his first WHL action this past Friday against the Prince George Cougars. He recorded one shot on goal in his debut.
“We’re very happy for him and not at all surprised,” Said Rigby, “He’s proof that no matter how much the odds are stacked against you, if you’re determined to put in the work that’s necessary to get you where you want to go, there’s a chance you can get there. I’m glad Mike has earned himself the chance to show people what he’s all about.”
MacLean will now return home for the Christmas break, as Lloydminster doesn’t play again until December 29th when they host the Whitecourt Wolverines.
The Summerland Steam would like to congratulate ‘Big Mike’ for his accomplishments, and commend him for his hard work, dedication, and will to continue to improve.