When a single player on a Junior B hockey team advances to a Junior A or college team, it is noteworthy. When several players from the same team all move up in hockey, it is even more significant.
In the past few weeks, three Summerland Steam players have signed to new hockey teams. Coach Gregg Wilson says others are expected to commit to new teams soon.
The advancements mean the Steam’s coaching staff will have a difficult task next year as there will be many new players.
Of the 23 players on the Steam’s roster last year, between five and eight are expected to return for the coming year.
Five 20-year-old players have aged out, but many others are expected to play elsewhere this fall.
This turnover means the team is accomplishing the purpose of a good Junior B team.
Not only does the Steam deliver good hockey action, it also serves as a training team for aspiring and talented players.
These player advancements come in addition to a good Summerland Steam season this past year.
Fans who attended the games could attest to the strong level of play shown by the Steam.
The team finished first among the five teams in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference: Okanagan Division in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
In playoff action, the team lost to the North Okanagan Knights in the seventh game of the semi-finals.
The quality of hockey from the team is good enough that coaches and scouts have noticed the players.
Hockey fans would do well to keep up with the team during this coming season. Some of the players on the ice in fall may don the jerseys of National Hockey League teams in the years to come.