The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club continues to bolster its roster this offseason with the signing of Colorado Avalanche prospect Matthew Stienburg for the 2020-21 season.
The commitment comes with the news that the NCAA Ivy League will not be running their hockey programs in 2020/21.
The Halifax, Nova Scotia native was drafted 63rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft before playing his freshman season with Cornell University (NCAA).
“We are thrilled to have Matthew join the Warriors,” said Warriors head coach Simon Ferguson.
“There was a reason why NHL teams were so high on Matthew, he plays fast, he plays mean and he is relentless on loose pucks.”
The 6’2, 195-pound forward said he is disappointed about the cancellation of Ivy league play but looks forward to returning to Junior for one more year.
“I think we have another special group of guys here at Cornell,” said Stienburg. “With that said I’m trying to take some positives out of this situation and make the most out of my opportunity here in West Kelowna. I came here to win and develop my game further and I think Coach Ferguson and the management team here will give me a great opportunity to do that.”
Stienburg is close with Warriors new recruit Wyllum Deveaux, the pair spent their childhood playing hockey against one another in Nova Scotia.
“I’m really excited to be playing with Wyllum he’s a guy that I met through hockey but never played with besides the odd tournament. He’s a guy that I will be friends with for the rest of my life.”
After the commitment news of Stienburg, the Warriors have dealt forward Brendan Pigeon to the La Ronge Ice Wolves (SJHL) in exchange for future considerations. Pigeon, 19, pulled together a great season scoring 9 goals and 18 assists in 63 games played for the Warriors during the 2019-20 season.
The Warriors also added more depth to the roster on Monday with the announcement of three recruits. Forwards Felix Trudeau (’02), Damon Jugnauth (’03) and goaltender Jay Thomson (’01) will remain with the Warriors this season.
Trudeau, 17, spent the past season with Northwood School(USHS) in Lake Placid, NY. The six-foot-one-inch, 180-pound forward scored 30 goals and 35 assists for 54 points in only 55 games played. Trudeau is also committed to the University of Maine (NCAA).
“I think Felix is going to be an exciting player for fans to watch this season,” said Ferguson.
“He plays with speed, has excellent hockey IQ and a natural ability to put the puck in the net.”
Jugnauth, 17, spent the last two seasons playing with the Edge Prep School in Calgary (CSSHL).
“Damon provides a high level of compete, speed and has a great shot,” said Warriors head coach Simon Ferguson.
“Damon was a clear stand out at our ID camp and I can’t wait to see what he does this season.”
Thomson, 19, spent last season with the Calgary Canucks (AJHL).