Two members of the Grand Forks Border Bruins and their coach have been named to the roster of the KIJHL team that will compete in the first annual BC Hockey Conference prospects game on Nov. 22 in Chilliwack.
Chad Bates, 18, is fourth on the Grand Forks Border Bruins with 15 points in 17 games. The six-foot-two, 180-pound forward is on a four-game points streak with six points. He had a four-point performance against the Chase Heat on Oct. 21.
The Regina product says he’s had a great start to the season and the last few games have gone really well for him, getting a lot of momentum. He’s produced four goals and six points in four games.
“I’m a bigger body, I can get in front of the net. I think I’m pretty skilled for a bigger guy, winning puck battles and being a reliable player,” he said.
Bates has seen improvement in his physical play and forechecking.
“Coming from midget, it was a lot less physical so the physical game was a big thing to get used to in this league,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ben Edwards, 17, is right behind his teammate Bates with 15 points in 16 games to lead their defence in that category. The second-year blueliner, and hometown product, has already equaled his point totals from last season with the Kelowna Chiefs in nearly half the games. Of his 15 points this season, four are assists on the power-play.
The six-foot-one, 195-pound defenceman is very happy with his play.
“I like to be a team player, pass the puck around and I’ve started to shoot a bit more, which has got me two goals this season,” he said. “Coach Dave Hnatiuk puts a lot of trust in me and he uses me out there on the power-play.”
The biggest area where Edwards has improved is with his confidence, which has grown since the end of last season.
Hnatiuk will be the team’s head coach, joined by assistant coaches Mark Readman of the Princeton Posse and Ty Valin of the Fernie Ghostriders.
The game will see the top young players from the KIJHL and PJHL face off in front of Junior A coaches and scouts.