A plethora of hockey players with Kelowna connections are getting the chance to play in the under-16 WHL Cup.
On team BC, a total of five players are associated with the Central Okanagan. On the roster is one Kelowna-born player, goaltender Micah Davidson, who is also one of five players on the team based out of the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton.
Three other players on the team with ties to the Central Okanagan are Lake Country forward Joe Iginla and defenceman Owen McCarthy (Trail) and Giorgos Pantelas (Victoria), who all play for RINK Hockey Academy (RHA) in Kelowna. Iginla is the younger brother of Kelowna Rockets forward Tij Iginla and son of hockey hall of famer Joe Iginla.
Additionally, Rockets prospects Kanjyu Gojsic and Eli Barrett are also on the Team BC roster. Gojsic’s older brother, Hiroki, is on the Rockets opening night roster.
The Rockets are well represented in the tournament as prospect Boston Schmidt is playing the tournament for Team Saskatchewan.
Established in 2009, the WHL Cup is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players and is held every year except when the Canada Winter Games are held. The round-robin tournament features 2008-born players this year from the four Western Canadian provinces - B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This year’s tournament takes place from Oct. 17-22 in Red Deer, Alta.