Submitted to the Castlegar News
The Selkirk College Saints men’s hockey team has bolstered its 2015-16 roster with the addition of hulking forward B.J. Avery who has committed to playing in the upcoming BC Intercollegiate Hockey League season.
Avery is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound forward who recently completed his final season with the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
A strong presence down the middle, the Clearwater, Man. native spent three seasons with Swan Valley posting 30 goals and 35 assists in 118 career games at the Junior A level. This past season saw Avery set career highs in goals (18), assists (18), and points (36).
“I hope to be a go-to guy on the ice and in the locker room that will help the team in any way possible,” the towering Avery says of joining the three-time defending BCIHL champion Saints.
Recruited by former Saints head coach Alex Evin, Avery will bring something the team was missing during the 2014-2015 season.
“B.J. will bring size and strength to an already skilled, hardworking forward group,” says Evin, who announced last month that he will be taking up assistant coaching duties with the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs. “He is a well-rounded player who has no problem going to the tough areas of the rink to score goals and make plays.”
Playing in a small town in Manitoba, Avery feels like Selkirk College will be a good fit for him.
“I chose Selkirk College because of the great hockey program and I’ve always wanted to live in BC,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity to get a start on my education and figure out what path I want to go.”
During his time in Swan Valley, Avery was popular with his teammates and in the community.
“The Stampeders are pleased that Selkirk College had successfully recruited B.J. Avery for their upcoming season,” says Stampeders head coach Erik Peterson. “As an organization we wish to thank B.J. for his dedication, and wish him success in his education and hockey in the future.”
Avery is very appreciative of the opportunity that was given to him in Swan Valley, but is looking forward to his next chapter in BC.
“It was a great place where my teammates and I were treated very well,” says Avery. “I’m going to miss the organization and the community.”
Avery’s academic goals are to enroll in Selkirk College’s Business Administration Program in the Fall Semester.
Avery is the fourth forward to commit to the Saints for the upcoming 2015-16 season joining Dallas Calvin (Trail BCHL), Troy Maclise (Osoyoos KIJHL) and Marcel Fuchs (Creston KIJHL).