Powell River Kings continue to announce names of new players who have committed to the team for the 2016/17 BC Hockey League (BCHL) season.
Last season the team came up short in the BCHL Island Division final, but Kings head coach Kent Lewis is looking ahead to the next season.
“We had a lot of new guys come in and play key roles,” said Lewis. “I think they’ll benefit this year, and so will the team with that experience.”
A starting goaltender is the biggest hole to fill for the Kings, following the departures of 20-year-old Jeff Smith, who has moved on to start his college career at St. Cloud State of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Stefan Wornig, who was traded to Prince George Spruce Kings in April to complete a deal that brought defenceman Adam Brubacher to the Kings in January.
Kings have a commitment from 18-year-old goaltender Mitch Adamyk from Winnipeg, Manitoba. For the past two seasons, Adamyk played for the Winnipeg Wild of the Manitoba Midget Hockey League, posting a 2.01 goals against average and a save percentage of .930 in 2015/16.
Already returning to the Kings on defence are Andy Stevens, a rookie last season, Brandon Kennedy and Jack Long. Jake Kohlhauser will be coming back as well.
“We return with four defencemen,” said Lewis, “that’s a good core.”
Offensively, the club has commitments from some strong new players. In April, the team announc highly-touted left winger Ben Berard, a seventh-round pick in the Western Hockey League bantam draft, will be coming to town.
“He’s a very, very skilled young player,” said Lewis. “Like all rookies, he’ll take a little time to adjust. He’ll attract a lot of division one interest.”
Berard scored 58 points in 36 games with Shawnigan Lake School Bantam Prep in Canadian Sports School Hockey League action last season.
Also in April, Kings signed forward Josh Coblenz from the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s Campbell River Storm. Coblenz played five games as an affiliate for the Kings last season.
Right winger Cam Donaldson, a 17-year-old American player, will join the Kings forward ranks. The young Texan spent last season at the Gunnery, a prep school in Connecticut, and scored 50 points in 32 games. Donaldson already has a college commitment with Cornell University.
“He’s very speedy, and I like his compete, skill set and his work ethic. He’ll definitely figure into our top-six forward group,” said Lewis.
Forwards Tristan Mullin, Kyle Betts, Jonny Evans and Carter Turnbull are expected to return to the Kings for another season. Lewis said forward will be a contested position.
Lewis has set August 22 as the start date for the Kings main training camp.
Kings have also announced that Craig Beauchemin, former broadcaster for North Battleford North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, will be the team’s new play-by-play announcer, replacing Alex Rawnsley.