(Edmonton, AB) - The Junior Prospects Hockey League might be through three weeks of action, but some of its current and former players had to wait until last weekend to hit the ice in the Western Hockey League (WHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) and British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), as several of them suited up on opening night.
Kicking off the next chapter, Ben Henshall, the top scorer for HC Edmonton’s U18 team last season, has now joined the West Kelowna Warriors. Joining him is Noah Weir, a dependable defenseman who held his ground for the U18 Okanagan HC program last year.
When the defending WHL Champion Seattle Thunderbirds took on the relocated Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night, star forwards from the U18 Titans Hockey Union last season, Antonio Martorana, and Samuel Charko donned the T-Birds jersey. Martorana picked up his first career WHL point, setting up the game-tying goal. Along the Titans Hockey Union theme, defender Vanek Popil also skated on opening night, he will soon join the U18 Titans back in the Junior Prospects Hockey League.
Several other players with JPHL ties made appearances at junior camps this fall. Jaxson Dikur, who previously played for Northstars Hockey Academy in Williams Lake, B.C., served as the backup goaltender for Seattle on opening night. Additionally, 2022 draft pick Jaxson Pawlenchuk, now with HC Edmonton, and 2023 selection Colton Gerrior, who skated with Northstars Hockey Academy last season, both participated in the camp in Kent, Washington.
It’s worth noting that Tai Riley, a member of the defending champion HC Edmonton U18 squad, was listed by the Thunderbirds but couldn’t attend the training camp due to an injury.
Meanwhile, in the AJHL, goaltender Ryan De Kok who backstopped Lethbridge United’s U18 program to a final-four JPHL championship appearance last season was a standout in Spruce Grove as he won a spot and has started every game in the crease thus far with Zac Onyskiw injured to start the season. Matthew Lesyk was well on his way to earning a spot on the Saints blueline before an injury sidelined his season.
The Junior Prospects Hockey League would like to congratulate all of it’s alumni who have now levelled up and wish them best of luck this season.
The JPHL continues this weekend, with a U14, U15 and U17 showcase in Delta, BC. You can catch all JPHL action on www.silenticetv.com.