Hockey has returned to ice rinks across North America and Squamish residents are making an impact in the junior and collegiate arenas.
For Dalton Thrower, it’s a homecoming of sorts. After attending the Montreal Canadiens’ rookie camp earlier this summer, the 2012 second-round pick spent time at the Hamilton Bulldogs’ training camp before being shipped to Vancouver earlier this week.
Thrower will join the Vancouver Giants of the WHL after being dealt from the Saskatoon Blades in the summer. It’s expected that Thrower will play a big role on the blue line for the Giants and help to fix what has so far been the WHL’s worst power play.
It was also announced on Monday (Sept. 30) that Thrower will be the Giants’ team captain, the 13th in the club’s history.
“It’s a huge honour,” he told the Giants’ website. “I grew up watching the Giants, and to come here and be named captain was something I never would have thought of. But I’m going to take it and roll with it and do what I can to help this team in every way.”
The Squamish native doesn’t have a contract with Montreal yet, with the Canadiens being regarded as having a lot of depth on the back end.
Josh Thrower, Dalton’s brother, has returned to the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen and the two brothers will square off in Vancouver on Oct. 23 when the Hitmen come to town.
Over in the BCHL, Squamish’s Brodyn Nielsen is adjusting to new surroundings after being traded from the Chilliwack Chiefs to the Trail Smoke Eaters in the summer. Nielsen and the Smoke Eaters were tied for third in the Interior Division at press time.
Two new Squamish additions to the BCHL are Jarid Lukosevicius and Malik Kaila. The pair starred on the Vancouver NorthWest Giants of the B.C. Major Midget League last year and made the jump to Junior A.
Lukosevicius is off to a strong start with the Powell River Kings, with 10 points in his first seven games, including a five-point game against the Nanaimo Clippers on Sept. 21. The Kings sat in first place in the Mainland Division with a record of six wins and one loss at press time.
Kaila is manning the blue line for the Merritt Centennials and has recorded a pair of assists in the team’s first six games. Merritt has a record of four wins and five losses early in the BCHL season.
Fresh off a Cyclone Cup championship, Squamish’s Bret Higham starts a new journey with the Comox Valley Glacier Kings of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL).
The Glacier Kings have a Sea to Sky Corridor flavour to them, with head coach Joey Ewing and forward Jonas Horvath having come out of the Whistler Minor Hockey Association. The team has a record of three wins and five losses so far.
Meanwhile, 2013 Howe Sound Secondary School (HSSS) grad Karmen Mooney will lace up her skates with the York University Lions of the Ontario University Athletics conference. Mooney played last season on the Richmond-based Pacific Steelers of the Junior Women’s Hockey League.
Stay tuned to The Chief for ongoing coverage of local hockey talent.