In his third season with the Kelowna Chiefs, Jordan Salahor has found his comfort zone in the offensive zone.
With nine goals and 23 assists in 22 games, the 19-year-old centre is the Chiefs’ top point producer and fourth overall in scoring in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
Thanks to a combination of experience, skill and hockey smarts, 2012-13 has been Salahor’s breakout campaign.
“He’s always had the skill set, but now he’s got the experience, this is his third year in the league and he’s pretty familiar with the way things work,” said Chiefs’ head coach Ken Andrusiak. “He gets lots of ice time, he’s our best face-off guy and he’s more committed than he’s been in past years. Jordan is playing well.”
With Nick Josephs and Scott Renner on the wings, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Salahor centres the club’s most productive line.
For Salahor’s part, lessons learned in his first two years in the KIJHL are paying dividends in the third.
“My confidence has grown so much since my first year,” Salahor said. “I’m not a young guy anymore who feels scared. I’m getting in a groove this year and it’s been awesome.”
After four seasons with Kelowna’s Pursuit of Excellence program, Salahor played a season of major midget with the Okanagan Rockets.
And while moving from there to either major junior or junior A were among Salahor’s initial goals, playing junior B in his hometown has been a positive alternative.
“It’s pretty nice to play at home. I’m having fun here but I’m also playing in the KIJHL to win. The main reason I’m playing is to win a championship.”
Salahor has been key contributor in the team’s latest run of success as the Chiefs have gone 8-1-1 in the last 10 games.
Salahor sees no reason the 2012-13 edition of the club can’t be as successful as the one that reached the KIJHL final last season.
“I think absolutely we have the team to go as far as we did last year,” Salahor said. “We have speed and skill and we’re a hardworking team, so I think we’ll go far.”
The Chiefs have a pair of home games this weekend, with Sicamous in town on Friday and Creston Valley here Saturday. Face off both nights at Rutland Arena is 7 p.m.