May 25, 2013, Langley, BC (ISN) – It didn’t take long for newly hired Trinity Western men’s hockey head coach Barret Kropf to put his stamp on the Spartans roste.
Less than a month after joining TWU, he announced the signing of Junior “A” forwards J-P Villeneuve (Georgetown, Ont.), formerly of the BCHL’s (British Columbia Hockey League) Powell River Kings, and Josh Bruha (Cecil Lake, B.C.), formerly of the SJHL’s (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) Notre Dame Hounds.
The pair of 21-year-olds, who are Kropf’s first two announced recruits of his 2013 class, are expected to immediately bolster a Spartans offence that scored a BCIHL league-low 66 goals in 24 games last year.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Villeneuve will join TWU after an 2012-13 season with the Kings in which he took home a bevy of individual awards, including being named the team’s MVP and its Most Popular Player while also earning the Community Award. Villeneuve also finished second in team scoring last year after racking up 24 goals and 16 assists in 54 games. He added a team-high four goals in five playoffs games.
“J-P is a proven offensive threat in the BCHL and he will be a huge asset to the Spartans hockey program as a leader both on and off the ice,” Kropf said.
Villeneuve joined the Kings midway through the 2011-12 season after Powell River acquired him from the Lindsay Muskies of the OJHL (Ontario Junior A Hockey League). Prior to his stint with the Muskies, Villeneuve played the better part of three seasons with the now-defunct Streetsville Derbys of the OJHL and the CCHL (Central Canada Hockey League).
In 240 games at the Junior “A” level, Villeneuve combined for 92 goals, 108 assists and 90 penalty minutes.
Villeneuve graduated from Georgetown’s Christ the King Secondary in 2010 and, most recently, has been taking online courses through Thompson Rivers University.
“Trinity Western has a great reputation for being a top school academically and I am looking forward to being a part of the Christian community,” said Villeneuve, who plans to study business at TWU.
It will be something of a homecoming for the 5-foot-10, 168-pound Bruha as the left winger will be returning to B.C. after spending the last four years playing for Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask.
Bruha left B.C. in 2009 to play for the highly-respected Hounds in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. In his only season with the Hounds midget team, he registered 13 goals and 14 assists in 37 games as he helped Notre Dame capture the 2010 Telus Cup. Following the 2009-10 season, Bruha jumped up to the Junior “A” playing Hounds. In three years playing in the SJHL, Bruha combined for nine goals, 21 assists and 168 penalty minutes in 109 games.
‘Josh will give us a strong veteran presence and comes to us after three solid years in the SJHL,” Kropf said. “He’ll help us out at both ends of the ice and, having won a national championship at the midget level, will bring a winning pedigree to the Spartans program.”
Bruha, who graduated from Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in 2011, plans to study human kinetics at TWU.