The Selkirk College Men’s Hockey program is pleased to announce its first playing commitment for the 2013/14 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League season, as defenceman Stefan Gonzales (Surrey, B.C.) has signed on to join the Saints in September.
Gonzales is a veteran of three seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League, where he played his first two years with the Coquitlam Express (2009/10) and Quesnel Millionaires (2010/11). He split last season between the Chilliwack Chiefs and the Victoria Grizzlies, where he was recognized with the team’s Fan Favourite and Citizenship awards. Overall, the 20-year old has logged 168 games in Junior A, scoring once, picking up 25 assists and adding 158 minutes in penalties.
In September, the Grizzlies dealt Gonzales to the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Oakville Blades, but the 20-year old chose to remain in B.C. and play close to home with the PJHL’s Aldergrove Kodiaks. He has shown off the offensive side of his game since joining the Kodiaks, scoring seven goals and totaling 26 points in 27 games while logging big minutes on the Aldergrove blueline.
“Adding a player of Stefan’s experience and ability is a great way to kick off our recruiting for the 2013/14 season,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “He’s proven himself as a very solid defenceman in the BCHL where he spent lots of time playing against the opposition’s top lines.”
“Stefan profiles as a high-end player in our league and we’re very happy that he made the decision to commit to Selkirk relatively early in the season. He had the chance to visit Castlegar and experience firsthand what the college and team are all about, and he obviously liked what he saw.”
Gonzales plans to enroll in Selkirk’s Business Administration program.
“I’m excited to be coming to Selkirk because of the great buzz surrounding the program,” he says. “The team has been able to accomplish some special things so far this season and I’m looking forward to being a part of that. I want to contribute immediately and help the team pick up next year where they are now. Off the ice, I hope to achieve strong grades and successfully adjust to the college environment.”
Gonzales describes himself as a good skating, puck-moving defenseman who is responsible in his own zone but has the ability to contribute on offence.
“My skating has always been the strength of my game, as it allows me to get the puck out of trouble in my own end or jump into the play when attacking,” he says.
Gonzales is the first player to commit to the Saints for the 2013/14 season, but Dubois expects a number of impact signings to follow.
“One of the benefits to our great start has been the level of interest we’ve been seeing from potential recruits,” says Dubois. “Selkirk is quickly growing a reputation for our on-ice performance and style of play, which adds to the attraction of being able to study and compete in a great community.”
The Saints next home game is scheduled for Saturday, January 12th when second place Simon Fraser University visits the Castlegar Rec Complex.