Stoykewych Makes Team Canada West


Vees Story 

WJAC Team Canada West Roster 

This morning, Hockey Canada unveiled the 22-man roster for Team Canada West ahead of the 2013 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The tournament kicks-off on Monday, November 4th and runs through to the 10th, with the Gold Medal game.

Three Vees were at the Canada West camp in Calgary but Paul Stoykewych is the only one to crack the final roster; Brett Beauvais and Alex Couloumbe  were camp invitees as well. Firstly, congrats to Stoykewych as he is only one of two returnees to make the team. He helped Canada West to a Silver Medal last year and will be counted on for his experience; the only other returnee is Kurt Keats from Powell River. Paul plays a well-rounded game and likely will be one of two shutdown defensemen for Head Coach Jason McKee (Spruce Grove). Stoykewych is one of 10 players from nine BCHL teams to make the squad; Merritt the only team with more than one player (2).

There was some eyebrows raised with some of the notable omissions (which you can see a sampling below), including Brett Beauvais, who by all accounts had a great camp. However, as discussed in my interview with Matt Sells (International Scouting Services), the blue-line was deep this year and the competition was high for just seven spots. There were a handful of moves upfront that caught my eye as well but the coaches seem to have a template in place and want to build the roster in a certain way, and you have to respect that. If they go on to win gold, the whispers go away but if they don’t have a great tournament, those whispers will turn into more than a dull roar. I want this team to do well and I hope they prove doubters wrong but for now the roster moves have ignited some debate.

As mentioned, I caught up with former Vees Assistant Coach Matt Sells on the phone, as he’s now based out of Calgary working for International Scouting Services (ISS). Sells scouts the AJHL /WHL and starting to get into the BCHL’s Interior Division. He was at the camp all week compiling notes and took time to join me on the phone to talk about the camp and the final roster. It’s a lengthy interview, the full thing about 11 minutes, as we talk about the three Vees that were there, other BCHL players and surprises with the roster. I’ve broken up the interview into two segments, one is Matt and myself discussing the Vees that were there specifically (6 minutes). The other is the full length interview that covered pretty much every topic from camp (11 minutes). Matt gave me some great insight, from a scouting perspective, on some of the roster decisions; the interviews are worth your time.

Matt Sells on the three Vees at camp:

Matt Sells full-length interview:

BCHL Representation:

Merritt-2 [Dane Birks (D), Jeff Wight (F)]

Cowichan Valley- 1 [Steen Cooper (F)]

Langley-1 [Viktor Dombrovskiy (D)]

Penticton-1 [Paul Stoykewych (D)]

Powell River-1 [Kurt Keats (F)]

Prince George-1 [Jesse Jenks (G)]

Salmon Arm-1 [Alex Gillies (F)]

Vernon-1 [Demico Hannoun (F)]

West Kelowna-1 [Adam Plant (D)]

Returnees Excluded: Luke Ripley (Powell River), Jonah Imoo (Powell River), Seb Lloyd (West Kelowna) and TJ Reeve (Melville / SJHL).


About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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3 Responses to Stoykewych Makes Team Canada West

  1. Darwin Knoles says:

    It is ludirous to have coaches from within the CJHL picking these teams. There are obvious biases between the coaches and certain teams. It is the nature of the beast. The recruiting exposure created for a team having a large number of players can be a bitter pill to swallow for those teams with inferiority complexes. Put members of those teams with inferiority complexes in positions to choose and you have conflicts of interests all over the place. Until they start to get unbiased and non conflicting people in charge, you will always see coaches use these situations as a chance to stick it to the top teams, evening the score and elminating the recruiting advantage that takes place with multiple players being placed. What these small minded coaches with agendas don’t realize is that it is their team and career that ultimately suffers by not having the best players in the mix. I could have told you this year when the staff was announced that there would be either no or maybe one Vee selected. I have a very difficult time believing the best player in the country at his positions (Beauvais) and a player who was rated the 64th best age based player in the world by central scouting last year should not be on the team. Oh well, in 15 years when the parties involved are still at this level, they can look back and wonder why they havent advanced. Ridiculous.

  2. Darwin Knowles says:

    It is just outrageous how teams in the BCHL eat each other alive. It seems the one thing you can do to guarantee a rocky road in relations with league office and your peers is to go out and put your team and the league on the map. When Penticton was winning back in the early 2000s their coach was too hard on players, when Vernon won, Ferner was too defensive. When Nanaimo was winning their coach was too hard on refs and bad in the media. When Penticton has become wildly successful it is because of money. You dont see USHL teams and college teams and WHL teams cannibalizing each other. Hockey Canada goes out and messes up the transfer process back in the 2000s to totally advantage the CHL in the recruiting process – almost completely debilitating the talent level of the league – and teams like Vernon, Chilliwack, Penticton, and Langle have gone out and gotten the best players available on a day to day basis, and the league hates them for it. Kent Lewis gets players out of Ontario, and keeps hockey alive in an impossible market, and he gets criticized for not using locals. The same locals who had the team unsuccessful and dying for years.

    But, for whatever reason, there was always a fraternity. Bestwick and Smyl and Hillier and Dempsey and those guys could want to literally kill each other back in the day, but they would never, ever put their own feelings ahead of the league. Today, we are faced with media outlets perpetuating and even starting rumors that can debiliate fan support and even put teams in peril with rules and regs. And for what? Because there have been ‘small men’ who have entered into the league and its offices, who would rather lose and have everyone small, then have everyone big.

    So today, when you hear about the great players not making the team, think of the source. There is a new guard in the league that just doesnt get that when one team succeeds, the whole league succeeds. It is the Vernon Lakers, Penticton Knights, mid 90s Surrey Eagles, New West Royals, Vernon Vipers, Nanaimo Clippers of the mid 2000s who put this league on the map by being wildly successful. Today, I wonder under the current structure of punishing the strong, would it even be possible for a dynasty or team like these to exist.

    Something tells me the Kozubeks, Rick Lanzs’, Bill Bestwicks, Harvey Smyl would be spending more time fighting off arrows from within the BCHl than from outside of it. This league is where it is today because teams had the gumption to step out and be great. And back then, you had people around who were didnt have small man syndrome and didnt cringe when others succeeded. They capitalized on it.

    So, nothing surprises me when I see ommissions from Team West like I did today. It just reminds me of how lonely this league and its offices have made winners feel and how a culture exists today, where those who dont do the work can sit back and take pot shots at those who continually do. It takes no skill to knock the successful. Unfortunately, in the current BCHL, it has become fashionable to do so and very lonely for those who make the sacrifices to be that way. What a joke.

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