Blumenschein is Colorado Bound
The West Kelowna Warriors continue to help players get to the next level, as Kristian Blumenschein has committed to Colorado College for the 2016/2017 season.
Blumenschein, a rookie defenseman from Kelowna, had 42 points in his inaugural season in West Kelowna, including 35 assists, which was the leading total in the BCHL among rookie defensemen.
On his recruitment visit, it became an easy decision, said Blumenschein, “The city and the campus are beautiful. The facilities are first class and the coaches both have professional experience. They have a great hockey program and are great academically.”
At the year-end awards banquet, Blumenschein was awarded the teams Rookie of the Year honors, which was a no-brainer according to Head Coach and General Manager Rylan Ferster.
“He played in all situations all season, and for a 17 year old player you don’t normally see that. He’s a special player and we’re very happy that he is going to be moving on to the college ranks after next season.”
“The BCHL has taught me how to contain fast, skilled players,” Blumenschein added, “I aim to continue maturing as a hockey player and keep contributing offensively next season. I’m looking to make a smooth transition to NCAA hockey by steadily improving.”
The Tigers, who play in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference of NCAA Division I, are coached by Mike Haviland, who spent 4 years as an assistant with the NHL Chicago Blackhawks, and 2 more seasons in the AHL. He has over 20 years of coaching experience.
Johnson Heads Home to Huskies
Andrew Johnson only played 46 games in a West Kelowna Warriors jersey, but he was the captain for all of them, and will head back to his hometown and play for the CIS University of Saskatchewan Huskies next season.
Johnson played in 309 Junior games in his career, including playing for 3 different WHL teams in Moose Jaw, Swift Current, and Seattle.
AJ, as he was know by his teammates, finished with 19 goals and 25 assists in 2014/2015, and added 5 points in the 1st round series vs. Penticton.
Heading home was an easy choice. “I haven’t played at home since I was 15 years old in Midget. It’s going to be special and i’m friends with some of the guys on the team, plus I have a good relationship with the coach,” Johnson said recently.
“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in my 20 year old year but getting the opportunity in West Kelowna was the best possible situation for me and I am beyond thankful for it. I already miss it!”
The opportunity came out of a connection from Rylan Ferster. After getting told that Johnson was available, Ferster talked with Johnson and they decided it was going to be a good fit. His sweaters had the “C” sewn on before he got to the Okanagan it seemed, as he wore it in his first game October 24th in Nanaimo.
“Andrew is a special player,” Ferster mentioned, “He plays 200 feet, is a great penalty killer, and took over 75% of our face-offs down the stretch. I’m glad that he is going to get a chance to go to school and play hockey in his hometown. We wish him the best of luck and congratulate him on a great junior career.”
Johnson joins 2014/2015 Warriors Jordan Masters (Arizona State), Jason Cotton (Northeastern), and Andy Desautels (University of Regina) in attending school next season.
Overall, 7 players committed to schools this season. Cotton had his scholarship prior to this year.