Christian Bosa (front) and Ben Evanish are among seven returnees to the lineup of the Valley West Hawks of the BC Hockey Major Midget League for the 2014-15 season.

Valley West Hawks get older, likely better

Returning players have Major Midget hockey team setting ‘lofty goals’ for upcoming season

The Valley West Hawks will ice one of the oldest rosters in the BC Hockey Major Midget League (MML), which has head coach Jessie Leung “super excited” about the upcoming season.

The Hawks expect to have eight 17 year-olds in their lineup when their regular season begins Sept. 19 in Prince George, an unusually high number.

“We’re older than we’ve ever been,” said Leung, who coached the Hawks to an 18-14-8 (won-loss-tied) record and a sixth-place finish last season. We have players who understand the league and the demands of playing in it.

“We have lofty goals this season.”

The Hawks are comprised of elite 15-17 year-old players from the Surrey, Semiahmoo, Cloverdale and North Delta Minor Hockey Associations. The Hawks best season was in 2013-14, when they placed third with a 27-11-2 mark.

Valley West could have as many as three of their top five goal scorers from last season returning, along with a pair of defencemen and a goaltender. All are among the group of 17 year-olds which will provide plenty of leadership over the course of the 40-game regular season.

Christian Bosa (23 goals) and Ben Evanish of White Rock (15 goals) will be in the Hawks lineup again this season. Jeff Stewart, who was second in team goal-scoring with 22 a year ago, may also rejoin the team. He is currently in the preseason camp of the BC Hockey League’s Surrey Eagles.

Forward Justin De Vos, who had 10 points in 36 games played, defencemen Brad Stonnell and Ian Ross, and goalie Nic Tallarico are the other returning players.

But as excited as Leung is with the returnees, he’s enthused about his group of 15 year-olds who will be making the jump to major midget from the bantam (13-14) ranks.

Leading the list of rookies is Luka Burzan, selected sixth overall in last spring’s Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

Burzan played for the North Shore Winter Club (NSWC) last season. A six-foot, 165-pound forward, Burzan ranked second in scoring at the Western Canada Bantam Championship in Winnipeg with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in five games played. The NSWC Winter Hawks went 3-1-1 (won-lost-tied) to win the championship.

“I’m excited about our 15 year-olds,” said Leung. “They are all impact players.”

Other notable 15 year-olds include defenceman Kabir Gill, a teammate of Burzan’s with North Shore, and forwards Ilijah Colina and Michael Farren. Colina captained the Burnaby Winter Club team last season, while Farren comes to the Hawks from  Semiahmoo minor hockey.

“I like the talent we have,” said Leung. “We’ll be pretty deep. A player we’ll have as our number-three centre, we would be comfortable with as our number-one.”

Valley West will begin their season Sept. 18-19 with two games in Prince George against the Cariboo Cougars. Their first home game is Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Langley Events Centre against the Vancouver Canadians.

Just Posted

Day 3 brings fourth win for the Langley-based Team BC

Tyler Tardi and squad plays two games Tuesday at the junior curling nationals in Saskatchewan.

Two Surrey women in hospital after car hits Richmond hydro pole

Alcohol and speed are considered factors in the collision

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

Cloverdale photographer captures blood moon, RCMP helicopter in timelapse photo

It’s a bird, it’s a plane – it’s … an RCMP helicopter flying by the light of the blood moon

Surrey sees no extra lunacy because of eclipse

Mounties did not see an increase or decrease in files on Sunday night, Sergeant Chad Greig reports

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Parole granted for drunk driver that killed BC RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Doug Ford says the Liberals’ carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

The Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

5 to start your day

Large fire breaks out near Kinder Morgan facility, Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and more

Most Read