The Kings will open their 31st season the BC Hockey League tonight by hosting the Victoria Grizzlies at the Hap Parker Arena. Months of planning, strategizing, roster movements and more will give way to a routine of 58 games over the next 6 months and another quest for the Fred Page Cup.
There are currently 23 players in Powell River, and here is a little more about those who will wear the green and gold this season.
1. Charles-Olivier LePage – Chicoutimi, QC – 2000
Won the unexpected battle of the backups at Main Camp thanks to an injury to Matteo Paler-Chow that will keep him out of action for a few months. LePage played high school hockey in Quebec last season with St. Josephs, sporting a 2-7 record, 4.39 GAA and .890 save percentage.
33. Matteo Paler-Chow – Vancouver – 1999
Will start the year on the injured reserve following a late summer accident. Was sensational for the Kings in the playoffs, leading the team to its first banner since 2012 and an Island Division Championship.
35. Mitch Adamyk – East St. Paul, MB, 1998
The third year veteran returns for his final season of eligibility. Battled some form and injuries down the stretch that saw him miss a lot of hockey. Has looked solid and confident in camp. 58 career games, 29-23-2 record with 1 shutout. 2.92 goals against average and a .909 save percentage are good numbers.
2. Ben Wozney – New Westminster – 2001
Has one game as an affiliate with Prince George under his belt, but will make his full time debut in Junior A this season. Spent last year with Burnaby Winter Club’s prep team, scoring 7-21-28 in 34 games. Mobile defenceman who will grow this season.
3. Brenden Saether – Abbotsford – 2000
A big defenceman, listed at 6,4, Saether skates well and distributes the puck effectively. Has Junior experience through 14 affiliate games with the Surrey Eagles, along with two seasons in the PJHL with Mission. 5-12-17 over the course of 86 games in Junior B.
4. Jayden Lee – North Vancouver – 2001
A small, mobile defenceman, Lee skates well and is dangerous out of his own zone. Made his league debut last season with the Langley Rivermen, playing 29 games and going 1-4-5. Acquired in the off-season in a three-way trade with Langley and Penticton.
6. Matt Rickard – Coventry, Rhode Island – 1999
Forrest Gump could run like the wind blows. Matt Rickard does that with skates. Will likely be one of the better skating defencemen in the league this season. Threatens on the rush, not afraid to jump into the play and can score too. 9-13-22 in 28 games last year at Winchendon Prep, the same system that developed Matt Fawcett and Ben Thomas.
7. Nathan Kelly – South Delta – 2000
Kelly returns for his 2nd season in Powell River after an impressive rookie campaign. Composed under pressure, Kelly made an impact last season as a first year defenceman. A little older, wiser and bigger this year will make him more dangerous. 4-8-12 last season in 39 games.
22. Jack Long – Powell River – 2000
This will be Long’s 4th season with his hometown Kings, having racked up 134 games over the last 3 campaigns. 5 goals and 20 assists during that time, however Long’s contributions are more than just that. Will look to lead by example this year, wearing an ‘A’ on his jersey full time.
44. Ben Raffler – Whistler – 1998
Raffler’s 1st full season in the BCHL was a good one. His lone goal came from the 2nd game of the regular season against Victoria. After that, he chipped in 13 assists. 73 games overall for the Kings, including two years as an affiliate before last season. Will be asked to step into a bigger role this year.
8. Neal Samanski – Erding, Germany – 1998
A Junior veteran entering his 4th season at this level, Samanski will look to take on a bigger job this season. Joined the Kings last year and scored some big goals, also took a fair number of penalties. Will look to curb the PIMS while upping the points this season. 29-29-58 in 129 through his Junior career to date.
9. Ryan Brushett – Verdun, QC – 1998
The newest Powell River King, acquired midweek, Brushett is a proven scorer at this level. Two years in the BCHL with Vernon and Surrey saw Brushett develop into a near point per game player. Committed to Providence College next season.
11. Josh Coblenz – Campbell River – 1998
Entering his third season with the Powell River Kings, plus a stint as an affiliate the year prior, Josh Coblenz is another player who will be asked for more this year. Scores gritty goals around the net, missed several chances last season that could have bolstered his point tally. Generates offensively, and is very good defensively too.
12. Ben Thomas – Ashburnham, MA – 1999
Came to Powell River midway through last season and showed flashes of briliance. Point totals won’t necessarily reflect his game from last year, and he generated a lot but wasn’t able to find the back of the net as regularly as he would want. 3-12-15 in his 26 games during a debut season are good numbers none the less.
13. Matt Fawcett – Lincoln, Rhode Island – 1999
Committed to Quinnipiac for post-Junior, Fawcett is the third of the “Winchendon Trio” on the Kings roster this year, with Thomas and Rickard. Prolific at school, Fawcett had 71 goals and 93 assists in 82 games over his last 3 seasons. Small (5’6), plays a lot like former King Kurt Keats.
14. Christian Buono – Burnaby – 2000
Younger brother of King alumni Carmine Buono, Christian showcases a high offence style. All around the net in exhibition, plays with an edge. Played the last two years in the very good BC Major Midget League, 34-55-89 in 75 games split between the NE Chiefs and NW Giants. Affiliated with the Kings last year too for 4 games, with more experience a year prior in Coquitlam.
16. Ethan Kimball – Holden MA – 1999
Played all 56 games he was here for last season after joining the Kings in the 2nd week of the regular season. Kimball was a jack of all trades, reliable on the penalty kill and defensively, explosive up front. 15-13-28 are very good numbers. Showed his mix of defence and offence by co-leading the league in shorthanded goals last season with 5.
17. Ben Berard – Cowichan – 1999
Is set to join Cornell next season with four other King alumni, but not before what is hopefully a big year for the third year King. Led the team in scoring last season and hit 100 career points before it was all said and done. Capable of carrying a team himself, as evidenced by a 4-goal output last season in a game against Cowichan.
18. Kyle Kawamura – Franklin, TN – 1999
Beginning his 3rd season in Junior and 2nd in Powell River. Kawamura is a small forward who was trusted at both ends of the ice last season. Has bulked up considerably in the off-season and will be more difficult to knock off pucks, and more dangerous around the net. Was particularly effective against the Victoria Grizzlies last season.
20. Liam Lytton – Vancouver – 1999
An injury-shortened season last year did him no favours, limited to just 4 games with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs after stints in Penticton and Brooks. Lytton is a big presence at 6’2, 190 and will look to clear space for himself and team mates to work in the offensive zone.
21. Rowan Miller – Scottsdale, Arizona – 2001
Miller will make the jump to Junior this season after last year with the South Island Royals of the BC Major Midget League. 14-14-28 in 39 games for the Royals, plus an impressive 2-2-4 in 8 with the VIJHL’s Victoria Cougars.
27. Matt Berryman – Victoria – 2000
Is due to start the season as an affiliate, but will sprinkle into the Kings roster through the year. A big body at 6’2, 170, plays with speed and skill. Scored in exhibition against Nanaimo. Played last year with the Victoria Cougars of the VIJHL, 4-8-12 in 36 games.
28. Ethan Schmunk – Powell River – 2000
Limited to just 2 and a bit games after signing with the Kings full time in January, thanks to a shoulder injury against the Grizzlies. The rehabed injury was tested in the playoffs and came through with flying colours. Still searching for his first point in the BCHL, but had 6-11-17 in a shortened season with Campbell River last year.
49. Mitch Williams – West Vancouver – 1998
Made his full-time BCHL debut last season with the Kings, scoring 10 goals and 11 assists in 56 games. Stepped up to another gear in the playoffs with physical play and timely offence. Another player who will be asked to produce more offensively and be a main contributor on this team with his heavy shot and big physical presence.