Kelowna’s Brett Witala is the new captain on the KIJHL’s Kelowna Chiefs. -Image: Steve Dunsmoor/Dunsmoor Creative

Kelowna product to captain Chiefs

Brett Witala will wear the C for the Kelowna’s junior B hockey club this season.

A homegrown product is the newest captain of the Kelowna Chiefs.

Brett Witala, 20, was named this week to lead the Chiefs into the 2017-18 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.

Witala is returning for his second season with Kelowna’s junior B club after leading the Chiefs’ in scoring last year with 27 goals and 58 points in 40 games.

“Brett is a highly skilled player that has the potential to lead the KIJHL in scoring,” said Chiefs’ head coach Jason Tansem. “Not only can he put up big numbers, he won’t back down from any tough situation that he finds himself in.”

Witala, who started his KIJHL career with Creston Valley in 2015-16, also played one season with the B.C. Major Midget League’s Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets.

The Chiefs also announced the appointment of defenceman Kolten Carpenter as one of the team’s assistant captains for the coming season.

A 19-year-old product of Likely, B.C., Carpenter had two goals and 10 assists in 39 games last season, along with 87 penalty minutes.

Two seasons ago, he won the Keystone Cup with the 100 Mile House Wranglers.

“You can’t put a price tag on that experience and what it brings to our room and the team,” Tansem said of Carpenter. “Carp is a very hard-nosed player that keeps players from other teams honest while on the ice. He thrives on going to the dark areas of the ice and I can’t imagine him backing down from any predicament he or a teammate gets into.”

Meanwhile, the Chiefs 2017 training opened this week at Rutland Arena.

Kelowna will kick off its pre-season schedule this Saturday night in Revelstoke against the Grizzlies.

The Chiefs will be at home next Wednesday, Aug. 30 for an exhibition game against the Sicamous Eagles.