After four years in the B.C. Hockey League, West Kelowna Warriors defenceman Josh Monk can breathe a little easier after accepting a scholarship to Providence College in the NCAA.
Now in his final BCHL season, Monk has solidified his role as one of the elite defencemen in the league this year with the Warriors.
He has three goals and 16 assists for 10 points in 24 games, already more than his previous career best.
However, the 20-year-old veteran blueliner entered his final season of junior hockey without having secured a scholarship in part due to a string of injuries, including a troublesome knee that limited him to 35 games in 2011-12.
Having now secured a place to play next season, Monk says it was a relief.
“It’s a huge load off my back,” the 20 year-old said, adding he was regularly dealing well with the pressures of not having committed to an NCAA program.
“I know I’ve put in the work that’s needed to get there. It only takes one person to like you. I’ve got that with Providence, and I’m happy about that. I just hope it works out now.”
Monk was acquired last season by the Warriors after starting the season with the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The Langley native also played for Salmon Arm and Surrey in a four year BCHL career.
“He couldn’t be more deserving,” said Warriors’ head coach Rylan Ferster, who originally recruited Monk in Salmon Arm. “Good things happen to good people. He’s a great teammate and a great player.”
Ferster also knows Monk is going to be invaluable at Providence.
“He’s not just dynamic at one thing – he’s a very complete player,” said Ferster.
Monk plans on studying business when he heads to Rhode Island next year.
The Warriors close out its pre-Christmas schedule this weekend with a pair of games against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks as the two teams play a home and home series this weekend. West Kelowna hosts Salmon Arm tonight (Friday) before the two teams travel to Salmon Arm on Saturday. The Warriors are three points ahead of Salmon Arm in the BCHL Interior Conference…Following Christmas, the Warriors are back in action Dec. 28 when they play in Penticton and Dec. 29 when they host the Vees at RLP.