The Storm’s Kyle Kaufmann tries to centre the puck to Pearce Messer during a scramble for a loose puck in the last minute of a game versus Nanaimo. Photo by Greg Sakaki/Black Press

Nine Campbell River Storm players named to VIJHL Prospects Game

The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League has released the rosters for the 2018 VIJHL Prospects Game and nine Campbell River Storm players have been selected.

Forty-two of the league’s rising young stars will meet at Campbell River’s Rod Brind’Amour Arena on Sunday, Jan. 7 for a North versus South showdown.

“It’s a truly special experience for the players assembled from across the VIJHL who have the opportunity to showcase their skills before hundreds of the passionate hockey fans in Campbell River and the scouting staff in attendance,” said VIJHL President Barb Byrne on announcing the lineups.

Named to the Prospects North squad are forwards Dawson Frank (Storm), Booker Chacalias, Pearce Messer (Storm), Kyle Kaufmann (Storm), Luc Wilson, Brett Kinley (Storm), Finn Withey, Jalen Price (Storm), Ryan Butler (Storm), Noah Kelly, Landon Dziadyk and Grayson Weme, defensemen Dylan Hartl, Logan Cursley (Storm), Aiden Sutherland (Storm), Timon Prexler (Storm), Erik Hanus and Mauro D’Alessandro, goaltenders Derek Krall, Spencer Deakin and Jacob Sweet.

Named to the Prospects South team are forwards Darwin Lakoduk, Josh Lingard, Marshall Brown, Keegan Durrance, Mateo Albinati, Tanner Wort, Zack Guerra, Braydon Nelson, Matt Lawrence, Brandon McClintick, Matthew Sparrow and Riley Braun, defensemen Alexander Benger, Shota Yamamoto, Skyler Diamond-Burchuk, Thomas Spink, Evan Abgrall and Tory McClintick, goaltenders Nate Reinhart, Luke Sheldrake and Bryce Schiebel.

Five alternate players (2 forwards, 2 defensemen, 1 goalie) were also announced for each division. Forwards Ethan Schmunk (A1) and Cody Savey (A2) for the North and Carson Cox (A1) and Andy Westhaver (A2) for the South. Among the backliners, Reid Lindsay (A1) and Logan Archer (A2) are alternates for Prospects North while Jake Wilhelm (A1) and Lukas Yesaki (A2) are alternates for Prospects South. Between the pipes, Blake Wood in the North and Chris Akerman in the South are the alternates.

According to Byrne, “Best-on-best competition is a valuable way to evaluate talent.” All nine member clubs will be represented at the Prospect Game with Campbell River and Peninsula each boasting nine of their players to the two rosters.

The selection process involved all 9 member clubs who each nominated players born between 1999 and 2001. Those submissions were reviewed by a five-person selection committee which had the challenging task of narrowing the two rosters down to twelve forwards, six defensemen and three goalies.

The coaching staff for the two teams will be assigned by Christmas.

The 2018 VIJHL Prospects Game will be broadcast live on HockeyTV as the free VIJHL Game of the Week (https://vijhl.hockeytv.com).

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