The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club announced on Tuesday that the team has acquired defenseman Austin Chorney (’00) from the Vernon Vipers in exchange for forward Matthew Kowalski (’99).
Chorney, 18, joins the Warriors after playing in 15 games this year with the Vernon Vipers while spending last season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Chorney entered the BCHL in 2016-2017 as a 16 year old, he split time with the Chilliwack Chiefs and finished the season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The 6’0”, 221-pound defender brings an element of size and grit to the backend while still possessing some skill in his game. So far this season, Chorney had amassed one goal and two assists for three points. Last year, he compiled 6 goals and 4 assists for 10 points in 51 games played as a 17 year old.
The Abbostford, BC native comes to the Warriors with plenty of BCHL experience as well as a commitment to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Chorney will also be reunited with former teammate Parm Dhaliwal. Both Parm and Austin spent the 2015-2016 season at Yale Hockey Academy for the prep team.
“By acquiring Austin Chorney, we believe our defence core is now more well-rounded and we as a team are better prepared to win in the playoffs,” commented Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Geoff Grimwood, “Austin is a player our staff has been keen on for quite a while and we are excited to be able to acquire a player of his caliber.”
PHOTO: Randy Emery/Trail Smoke Eaters
Kowalski, 19, was in his second season with the Warriors after being acquired in an offseason trade before the 2017-2018 season. The Vernon, British Columbia native spent the 2016-2017 season in Nanaimo with the Clippers playing in 44 games registering 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 points. Matt would again put up 14 points with 7 goals and 7 assists in his first season in West Kelowna, only playing in 24 games due to an injury that sidelined the forward for most of the season. This season after serving a 4 game suspension to begin the year, he would play in 19 games finding the back of the net 5 times while adding 8 assists for 13 points on the campaign so far.
“It’s never easy to trade a player like Matt Kowalski with the speed and skill he possesses,” continued Grimwood, “But in order to acquire a player like Austin Chorney, we had to part with a player that matches the value to the team he is on.”
The Warriors would like to welcome Austin and his family to the City of West Kelowna and the Warriors organization and would also like to thank Matthew for his contributions to the club and the City of West Kelowna over the past two years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
The Warriors are right back in action tonight as the Penticton Vees come to town for the beginning of a home and home with their interior division rival. Puck drop is 7:00 PM with tickets still available for this matchup with the Vees and other home games this season. Visit the West Kelowna Warriors website and check out our new ticketing system where you can pick and choose your own seats.