Jake Hickling (l) and Michael Salandra
The West Kelowna Warriors have been busy over the past several days adding to their roster for the upcoming season.
The Warriors announced today the addition of two 19-year-old forwards to their training camp roster.
Jake Bernadet has committed to the team for the upcoming season while Michael Salandra was acquired in a deal with the Danbury Junior Hat Tricks.
Bernadet played last season with the Islanders Hockey Club in the US Premier Hockey League. He had 15 goals and eight assists in 46 games.
Salandra scored 14 times and added 20 assists in 55 games with the Hat Tricks who play out of the North American Hockey League.
Both are expected to take the ice when the Warriors open training camp early next month.
Photo: Dan Hickling
The West Kelowna Warriors have secured the services of Nolan Hayes for the upcoming BC Hockey League season.
The overage defenceman comes to the Warriors after playing one season with the Omaha Lancers in the US Hockey League this past season.
“We are very excited for Nolan to join the Warriors family,” said Warriors head coach and GM Simon Ferguson.
“Nolan is a skilled defenseman who can run the power play, kill penalties and defend against the best players in the league."
Hayes had a goal and four assists in 33 games with the Lancers last season.
The Boston native says he's thrilled to continue his hockey journey in West Kelowna.
“I want to continue to get bigger and stronger which will help me improve my game on both sides of the puck," he said.
Hayes and the Warriors will open training camp in early September before kicking off the pre season schedule Sept. 9 in Chilliwack.
Photo: Dan Hickling
The West Kelowna Warriors have added some creativity to their back end.
The Warriors Friday announced they have received a commitment from blueliner Matthew Fusco.
The 19-year-old Westwood, MA native has played the past number of seasons with the USHS Prep program at Dexter Southfield School.
He had nine goals and 24 points in 24 games while serving as captain last season.
“We are very excited for Matt to join the Warriors family,” said Warriors head coach and GM Simon Ferguson.
“Matt has been a leader wherever he has played. He defends hard, has strong skating ability and a heavy shot “
He is committed to Dartmouth University once his junior career is finished.
Fusco's older brother John, also a defenceman, was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs two years ago.
Matt Fusco joins other new recruits including including defenceman Bobby May and forwards Kailus Green, Matthew Lee, Luke Devlin, Ben MacDonald, Jaiden Moriello and Felix Caron, for the upcoming season.
The Warriors will open training camp in early September.
The accolades keep coming in for retired play-by-play broadcaster Jim Hughson.
The BC Hockey League announced Thursday it has renamed its broadcaster of the year award the Jim Hughson Award.
Its the latest in a series of generic awards the league is renaming after stars of the league.
Hughson, who retired last year after a 42 year broadcasting career, began his play-by-play career calling games for the Penticton Vees and Kelowna Buckaroos in the 1970s.
He was the voice of the Vancouver Canucks on radio from 1990 to 1998 and on television from 1999 to 2007.
During that time, he also became a national commentator for Hockey Night in Canada from 2005 to 2021, including 11 years as their lead broadcaster.
He also called 12 Stanley Cup finals and the 2006 and 2014 Olympic men's hockey tournament.
"This is incredibly flattering, humbling and, I hope for some young broadcasters, it's inspiring," said Hughson.
"I hope that, in time, for those broadcasters, I can be an inspiration to them. [The BCHL] was my training ground. It's where I learned to broadcast a game. It's where I learned to love the game even more than I had as a kid and as a player. It's just a fantastic experience. It's a very humbling honour."
Hughson is chairman of the board of the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton.
The BC Hockey League has renamed its top defenceman award after a star from the 80s.
The board of governors agreed to rename several awards during their annual general meetings including the award handed out annually to the league's top defenceman, which will now be known as the Campbell Blair trophy.
Blair play for the Shuswap Totems, Summerland Buckaroos and Vernon Lakers from 1983 through 1987.
He holds several league records including goals (38) and points (109) in a season by a defenceman. He established both record with the Lakers during the 1986-87 season.
He also holds career records for assists (169) and points (247) by a defenceman.
"I had a picture of Bobby Orr in my room and he was somebody I always gravitated towards," said Blair.
"To be recognized as a top player in the league is special. It means a lot to me."
Blair eventually gravitated to coaching after his playing career ended. He coached the BCHL Victoria Salsa for five years from 1996 to 2001, winning the Fred Page Cup in his final season behind the bench.
He retired from coaching in 2013.
This is one of several awards renamed by the league.