Colorado Avalanche draft choice Matthew Stienburg will suit up in West Kelowna this season

Warriors ink NHL prospect

With his university team shutting down its hockey  program this season due to COVID-19, centre Matthew Stienburg has opted to continue his hockey journey in West Kelowna.

The Warriors announced Friday evening Stienburg, the 63rd player taken in last year's NHL by the Colorado Avalanche, will suit up with the BCHL club this season.

He'll become the first player since David Pope in 2013 to play for the Warriors after being drafted by an NHL club.

The native of Halifax was scheduled to play at Cornell University this season, however, the Ivy League suspended the 2020-2021 hockey season.

“We are thrilled to have Matthew join the Warriors,” said head coach Simon Ferguson. 

“There was a reason why NHL teams were so high on Matthew, he plays fast, he plays mean and he is relentless on loose pucks."

While he's disappointed the Ivy League season was cancelled, the 6' 2", 195 pounder says he's looking forward to another season of junior hockey.

“I think we have another special group of guys here at Cornell” said Stienburg. 

“With that said I’m trying to take some positives out of this situation and make the most out of my opportunity here in West Kelowna. I came here to win and develop my game further and I think coach Ferguson and the management team here will give me a great opportunity to do that.”

The move to the Warriors will reunite Stienburg with childhood friend and fellow recruit Wyllum Deveaux.

In a corresponding move, the Warriors dealt 19-year-old centre Brendan Pigeon to the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the SJHL.


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