The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club announced on Thursday that the team has acquired defenseman Cory Babichuk (’98) and future considerations from the Surrey Eagles in exchange for forward Chase Stevenson (’99).
Babichuk, 19, comes to the Warriors after splitting last season between the Eagles and the Central Illinois Flying Aces of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Beginning the season in south of the border, Babichuk had two assists in eight games played before making his way back to Surrey, where he spent the 2016/17 season. The 5’10”, 175-pound defender had a goal and eight assists for nine points in 18 games with the Eagles while earning an assist in two playoff games.
The Edmonton, Alberta native had a strong rookie season on the backend for the Eagles in 2016/17 as he scored 6 goals and added 25 assists for 31 points in 47 games played. The good season for Babichuk got recognition from Hockey Canada as he was named to the Team Canada West selection camp for the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge while playing in the CJHL Top Prospects Game in 2018 in Cornwall, Ontario for Team West. Babichuk has also secured his college hockey future as he will play at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institution (RPI).
“Acquiring an elite defenseman is not easy, especially at this time of the year,” Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Rylan Ferster said, “We feel we added a player who skates very well with a great amount of skill and brings plenty of experience to our blue line.”
Stevenson, 19, has played the last two seasons in West Kelowna with the Warriors, playing in 73 regular season games while scoring 22 goals and 21 assists for 43 points. The West Kelowna, BC native has scored two goals and three assists for five points in eight playoff games and has secured a commitment to the University of New Hampshire for the 2019/20 season.
The Warriors would like to welcome Cory and his family to the Warriors organization and the City of West Kelowna and would like thank Chase for everything he has done for the team and community and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
The 2018/19 regular season schedule has been released with West Kelowna opening their season with a home-and-home against the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday, September 7th. The home opener for the Warriors comes on Saturday, September 8th when they host the Smoke Eaters.