Prince George, B.C. – Prince George Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins announced today that the Prince George Cougars have signed defenceman Joel Lakusta (1998 – Sherwood Park, AB) to a Standard WHL Player Agreement.
The 6’2”, 180 pound Lakusta was originally selected in the seventh round (149th overall) by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. The Prince George Cougars acquired his CHL rights in a trade last summer with the Saskatoon Blades.
Last season with the Sherwood Park Midget AAA Kings, Lakusta scored five goals, added 12 assists and also managed 67 penalty minutes. He dressed in three games with the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 2012-13, Lakusta captured an Alberta Cup as a member of the Sherwood Park Bantam Flyers.
“We couldn’t be happier that Joel and his family have chosen the Prince George Cougars and the Western Hockey League to help further his development,” said Prince George Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “There is a tremendous amount of upside to his game. He’s a very strong and elusive skater, he moves the puck well and he does a great job of escaping the opposing team’s forecheck.”
Harkins adds, “When we acquired Joel in a trade last summer we had every intention of signing him and making him a part of our plans moving forward. He’s going to compliment our 1998 age group very well in the seasons to come.”
Lakusta and the Prince George Cougars will take the ice for their first exhibition game on Friday, September 4th in Kamloops against the Blazers.
Prince George Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins is pleased to announce that the Cougars have signed 1999-born defenceman Peter Kope (Edmonton, AB) to a Standard WHL Player Agreement.
Kope checks in at 6’1”, 184 pounds and played last season with the CAC Minor Midget AAA Canadians. In 29 games, Kope managed seven goals, 23 assists and 86 penalty minutes. He was selected by the Prince George Cougars in the fifth round (93rd overall) of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, and becomes the second defencemen from that draft class (The other being Max Martin) to sign with the Cougars. Kope had 10 goals, 10 assists and 63 penalty minutes during his 2013-14 Bantam season.
“Looking back at the 2014 draft, we were very surprised that Peter was still available when it was our turn to pick in the fifth round,” said Prince George Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “He’s brings a little bit of everything to the table. He makes a strong first pass, is a force in front of his own net and plays older than his age.”
Harkins adds, “Peter made a great first impression during last season’s Training Camp, and has showed steady improvement leading up to this point. We’re very happy to welcome Peter and his family to the Prince George Cougars.”
Kope and his teammates will be heading to Kamloops to kick off their preseason schedule on Friday, September 4th.