The West Kelowna Warriors roster for the 2021-22 season is starting to take shape.
Ahead of the team’s first pre-season game this Friday, the club announced the signing of 17-year-old goaltender Justin Katz and sent defenceman Corey McCann to the Blackfalds Bulldogs of the AJHL.
Katz impressed Warriors scouts during his two seasons with Deerfield Academy, a U.S. hockey prep school in Massachusetts.
“Justin is a very technically sound goalie who never quits on loose pucks and competes at all times,” said Warriors GM and head coach Simon Ferguson, calling him one of the best goalies of his age group in the United States High School preparatory league.
The 6’1” 185-pound goalie is looking forward to getting some ice-time after a season largely sidelined by COVID-19.
“We were pretty locked down at school and didn’t get to play many games, which was very challenging mentally,” said Katz.
“But we practiced and lifted every day so I improved a lot on and off the ice.”
With McCann headed to Blackfalds, Ferguson said he will get the opportunity to play key minutes as he works to attract scholarship opportunities. The move also sheds the training camp roster down to 23 players — 13 forwards, eight defencemen and two goalies — ahead of the team’s preseason opener against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at Royal LePage Place on Friday.
Single-game tickets for the Warriors season are now on sale. The arena will be held to 50 per cent capacity with proof of vaccination required.
Tickets are available at westkelownawarriors.ca.