Plus this year it seems each team in the division (because Kimberley is the defending KIJHL Champions) have beefed up their roster.
I have also noticed a correlation between goaltending and success. Each team this year boasts a good goaltender.
So with those things in mind, I make my predictions:
- Kimberley Dynamiters - defending champions have a strong returning core. Richter, the KIJHL leading scorer last season, and captain, leads the core. In net is the teams Playoff MVP Brouwer. They have the top division d-man Busch returning as well. The players to watch are on the blueline, Bertoia and Pagura.
- Creston Valley Thunder Cats - Proved to be a versatile team last year, they could play full throttle offense, or suffocating defense. Cartwright will lead the offense, and Lefebvre is back between the pipes. Plus they have back end players that can lead the rush: Steger, Podgorenko, and Lynes.
- Fernie Ghostriders - Won the Eddie Mountain division last year in the regular season. They have the Division goalie of the year, Orser back. They have leading team scorers Keebler and Peers returning. But it will interesting to watch Bender and Sincennes this season.
- Columbia Valley Rockies - A young developing roster with 12 rookies on it. The two 20 year olds are Raven and Marchand and will lead the young core. Young and Davies will push the attack with St. Jean quarter-backing the back end. Goaltenders are all new to the KIJHL, the probable starter Baillie joins them from the PJHL.
- Golden Rockets - The coaching change will be the biggest factor to watch, plus they have 13 rookies on their roster. They have a nice one-two offensive punch in Desrosier and McKechney. Goalie import Becica is between the pipes.
And... I will probably be wrong in most of these.
Now, let's enjoy the KIJHL 2015/16 season.