Last season began with a slight amount of uncertainty for the St. James Jr. Canucks, who lost nine veteran players after a championship birth the year prior.
A mix of experienced MMJHL talent and young players would have to ensure the organization could continue forward both on and off the ice.
The team achieved that goal, and a good chunk of that was due to three 17-year-old standouts.
Forward Kale Price, defenseman Brady Whitely and goaltender Noah Gilbert were all late additions to the squad during last year’s training camp, but the impact they made in propelling the team forward was evident from the start.
All three players had tremendous rookie seasons, and all three will return as 18-year-olds, as the Jr. Canucks signed them to contracts for the upcoming season.
“We’re thrilled these guys have decided to re-sign,” Jr. Canucks team president Justin Steeves said. “These are Jr. A caliber players that have committed to our organization. Their talent, work ethic, believe in our program and drive to win a championship makes them special players.”
“At 17 they were key contributors to the team and now in their 18-year-old seasons they will be counted on in major roles. I know they are excited for that opportunity.”
Price was a consistent point producer, scoring 16 goals and adding 16 assists to lead the Canucks in scoring with 32 points in 45 games.
On the blue line Whitely showed poise and tremendous offensive ability, scoring 9 goals and adding 17 assists and quarterbacking the Canucks’ top power play unit on many nights.
And in the crease Gilbert was consistent throughout the entire season, putting up a 14-5-0 record with a .913 save percentage in 21 games.
The Jr. Canucks are thrilled to welcome these three players back into the fold!