The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club have chosen their leadership group for the 2020/21 season.
Veteran Wyllum Deveaux has been named team captain, joining alongside him are forwards Carter Wilkie, Elan Bar Lev Wise, John Evans and blue liner Nick Ardanaz who will all serve as alternate captains for the Warriors this season.
“We are very excited to announce these young men as our leadership group for the upcoming season,” said Warriors head coach Simon Ferguson.
“We expect all five guys to be leaders in our dressing room, and push us to be better every day.”
Deveaux, 20, is entering his first season with the Warriors after spending the past pair of seasons with Harvard of the NCAA. Ferguson is confident placing the “C” on his jersey is a no brainer.
“Wyllum has been a major contributor to the team on and off the ice since arriving here in West Kelowna.”
Wilkie, 20, enters his 2nd season with the Warriors wearing the “A” with 118 games played over three BCHL seasons, scoring 26 goals while totaling 72 points. The Calgary, Alberta native recently committed to Rochester Institute of Technology (NCAA) for the 2021/22 season.
Bar Lev Wise, 19, also enters his second season with the Warriors after being acquired by trade from the Vernon Vipers. His season took a hit last year after suffering mono during the winter, although he appears to be in the best game shape of his life.
Evans, 18, dominated BCHL scoring in the 2nd half of the 2019/20 season and finished tied for the league in short-handed goals. The South Surrey native was named an alternate captain halfway through the 2019/20 season and is currently leading the Warriors in Okanagan Cup scoring.
Ardanaz, 18, came to the Warriors as a rookie blueliner last season and was immediately placed into a top pairing role. Both Ardanaz and Evans are committed to the University of New Hampshire in 2021/22.
In addition to naming the leadership group, the Warriors announced the addition of forward Jack Finley (’02) to the team’s roster on loan from the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Finley, 18, was drafted in the 2nd round (57th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL Entry Draft this past month. Last season with the Chiefs, Finley contributed 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points through 61 games played.
“It’s the combination of size, speed and skill that will be tough for opposing teams to deal with,” said coach Ferguson.
The Western Hockey League has agreed to allow teams to loan their players to Junior A teams until Dec. 20 at which time they will rejoin their WHL team.
The Warriors cap off the preliminary round of the Okanagan Cup this weekend versus the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Friday’s puck drop is at 6:30 p.m. from the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm and Saturday’s game starts at 7 p.m. from Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.