Grant Iles played for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats of the KIJHL last season and arrives to the Selkirk College Saints with a reputation for hard work and a team-first attitude. (Selkrik College)

Selkirk College Saints keep focus on work ethic

A culture of hard work has contributed to the massive success for the Selkirk College Saints.

A culture of hard work is what has contributed to the massive success for the Selkirk College Saints over the last few seasons and the team has added a pair of recruits that will help continue the trend.

Grant Iles and Connor Harding have committed to play for the Saints in the upcoming British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season, both arriving with a proven record of tenacity and grit during their junior hockey careers.

“There are not very many nights over the course of the season where our team gets out-worked,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “Both of these players have shown that they will fit in very well because of their commitment to compete hard every shift.”

Iles arrives to Selkirk College after finishing his junior eligibility with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). The 20-year-old forward scored 14 goals and added 18 assists while playing under former Saints head coach Jeff Dubois.

“I chose Selkirk College because the strong programs and smaller class sizes,” says Iles, who will either take the Forest Technology Program or the Heavy Mechanical Foundation Program. “I also chose Selkirk College because I love living in the Kootenays and playing for a prestigious team like the Saints is an honour.”

Iles is a two-way forward who is known for his ability to win faceoffs, but Heaven says it’s the overall style of play that made the Whistler native stand out.

“He has an ability to get under the skin of his opponent while still contributing offensively,” says Heaven, who is heading into his third season as head coach. “His tenacious persistence will be a huge asset to our roster given his record of being a leader on every team over his junior career.”

Harding is a six-foot defenceman who played Junior A last season with the Elliot Lake Wildcats in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL).

“Connor is an extremely hard working individual with a desire and commitment to physical fitness,” says Heaven. “He competes extremely hard, has a great first pass and plays with edge. Connor should bring another level of excitement to our defensive core.”

Harding will enter the Business Administration Program when classes begin this coming September on the Castlegar Campus.

“I decided to return to British Columbia and attend Selkirk College for the quality education and championship history of the program,” says Harding, who is originally from West Kelowna.

After winning a historic four straight BCIHL championships, the Saints’ drive-for-five was stopped short this past spring when they were defeated in the league semi-final by the Trinity Western University Spartans. The 2017-2018 BCIHL season begins in September.

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