For the second straight year, the KIJHL will host a Top Prospects Showcase. Hosted by the Kelowna Chiefs and the Rutland Arena, the Top Prospects game will feature the best players in the league aged 16-18 in the form of the Kootenay Conference squaring off against the Okanagan Shuswap Conference.
The KIJHL announced the rosters for the game, to be played January 13th at 2PM at Rutland Arena (West), on Tuesday and the Summerland Steam will send two representatives. Those two representatives are 18-year old Cody Swan and 17-year old Lukas Jirousek.
Jirousek, out injured since November 17th with an undisclosed injury, is said to be close to return and will hopefully be ready to play in the Showcase on January 13th. The 17-year old from Whitehorse, YT has played just 18 of Summerland’s 31 games to date, and has put up nine goals and 15 points in those contests. He uses his big body and heavy shot to create opportunities for himself and offense for his team, and that’s been missed by the Summerland Steam while he’s been out with injury.
Swan, meanwhile, has been the model of consistency for a Summerland Steam hockey club that’s lost A LOT of man games due to injury this season. The 18-year old from 150 Mile House, BC has played all 31 of Summerland’s games thus far, amassing 15 goals and 41 points to sit 2nd in team scoring. He’s done that while also only accumulating eight penalty minutes, and playing in all key situations for Head Coach John Depourcq and his staff.
Jirousek and Swan will join Team Okanagan/Shuswap as they take on Team Kootenay. The rosters were released yesterday, and there’s some pretty top-end talent throughout both lineups, as you’ll see.
Not a lot can be said for the Kootenay Conference roster, as they don’t travel to play the Okanagan Conference at all during the 2017/18 KIJHL season due to the elimination of the crossover schedule. The Okanagan Conference roster, however, proves that players aged 16-18 are impact players for their club teams and make up a large percentage of the top tier talent in the KIJHL. A lot of the forwards that make up Team Okanagan are in the top 5 in scoring on their respective teams, while the defensemen play big minutes, quarterback power plays, and are trusted by their coaches to play in big situations. It will be great to see them go up against talent that they don’t often see from the Kootenay Conference of the KIJHL.
The KIJHL Top Prospects Showcase takes place January 13th at Rutland Arena in Kelowna, BC. Myself along with Justin McCartney, the Voice of the Kelowna Chiefs, will have all the action on Playfullscreen.com.