The Selkirk College Saints will welcome a pair of proven offensive threats when the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season begins in September.
With the departure of offensive powerhouse Dallas Calvin, a priority on head coach Brent Heaven’s off-season to-do list is to find players to help fill the gap for the 2018-2019 season. The Saints’ coach will be looking to Nova Scotia native Josh Shatford and Saskatchewan native Rylan Freed to help carry the offensive weight in the upcoming season.
“Josh is a highly skilled player with over 250 games of experience between junior A and the major junior level,” says Heaven. “He plays with an edge and has a strong hockey IQ, which helps his offensive flare. We feel that he will be able to step in and contribute at both ends of the ice immediately for the Saints.”
Last season, Shatford played in the Sask West Hockey League (SWHL) where he scored 26 goals in 19 games, added 21 assists and compiled 95 penalty minutes.
“I chose Selkirk College because I heard great things from guys who have played there,” says Shatford, who also spent time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). “Selkirk College has a great and storied hockey program, and can offer me the training I was looking for in an awesome environment.”
Shatford will start his post-secondary pathway in the Millwright/Machinist Program on Nelson’s Silver King Campus and then plans to enrol in the School of Business Administration for his second year at Selkirk College.
“I hope to help the Saints get the BCIHL Championship back,” says Shatford. “I play a high energy, physical game and love to win. I can’t wait to suit up for the Saints this season and next.”
Last season, Freed played in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL) for the Temiscaming Titans where he led his team in scoring with 44 goals and 56 assists in only 35 games.
“Rylan is a player that we feel has an exceptional upside, he brings more than 180 games of junior A experience and with that a deep knowledge of what it takes to succeed,” says Heaven. “We expect Rylan to be able to help bolster the Saints offense, while increasing the level of compete within our group.”
Freed will be begin his post-secondary in the School of Business Administration on the Castlegar Campus.
“The reason I chose Selkirk College was mainly because the college was very welcoming, they were understanding with the program I was interested in taking and were interested in helping me with my future,” says Freed, who plays centre. “On the ice, I look forward to bringing some speed and offense along with a good two-way game because everything starts from your defensive zone.”
The Saints made it to the BCIHL championship series this past spring, but were defeated by the Trinity Western University Spartans. Winners of four championships in a row between 2013 and 2016, the team is looking to return the provincial title to the West Kootenay this coming season. The Saints training camp starts in September.