Off to the best start in West Kelowna Warriors history, (8-2-0-1) head coach Rylan Ferster hasn’t stopped thinking about the future and this week moved to solidify the Warriors goaltending position for years down the road.
West Kelowna’s head coach/GM has added 16-year-old goalie Cody Porter to the Warriors roster, and dealt back-up Tanner Burgardt to Weyburn of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Porter, a Vancouver native who spent the past two seasons with the Pursuit of Excellence in Lake Country, had begun the 2013-14 season with the Vancouver NW Giants of the BCMML.
“Cody’s a very good young goalie,” said Ferster. “I think he’s going to be an outstanding player in our league. In camp he was one of our best goalies, if not our best one.”
After failing to crack the Warriors roster our of training camp, Porter went back to his home in the Lower Mainland to play in the BCMML. It wasn’t long however before Ferster decided to bring the 6-foot-1, 180 pound ‘tender back into the Warriors fold as a back-up to 19-year-old starter Andy Desautels this year and likely a starter down the road.
“You never want to look too far ahead” Ferster cautioned. “But we feel that our goaltending is covered, hopefully, for the next two to three years.”
For his part, Porter admits that he’s excited for the new opportunity in front of him.
“I’m really excited, it’s a big opportunity especially as a 16-year-old to be able to play here. I’m really looking forward to it.
I’m happy but not satisfied. I want to play well up here and show that I can play.”
To make room for Porter, Ferster had to move Burgardt to the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings in exchange for future considerations.
The 18-year old Saskatchewan native hadn’t yet faced any game action as a Warrior.
“We certainly wish him all the very best,” Ferster says of Burgardt. “Deals are never fun. Hopefully things work out for him.”
After losing the first two games the BCHL season, the Warriors haven’t lost in regulation since, winning eight times and losing once in overtime to sit in first place overall in the BCHL. This weekend the Warriors are back at home, hosting Merritt on Friday night and Prince George on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.