Former Kootenay Ice captain Tanner Lishchynsky (above) is off to the University of Saskatchewan.

Former Kootenay Ice captain Tanner Lishchynsky (above) is off to the University of Saskatchewan.

Former Ice captain commits to University of Saskatchewan

Defenceman Tanner Lishchynsky returns home to Saskatoon as member of CIS Huskies

Former Kootenay Ice captain Tanner Lishchynsky is set for the next chapter of his hockey career after committing to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Wednesday morning.

Lishchynsky, 21, served as the Kootenay Ice captain from January through to the end of the 2015-16 WHL campaign. He was the 20th captain in franchise history after taking the reigns from Luke Philp.

“There are a lot of great memories with a lot of different people,” Lishchynsky said of his time with the Ice at the conclusion of his WHL career. “I’m happy to have gotten schooling for every year I’ve played.

“With being named captain and having a bigger responsibility, [learning] how to treat players and get them to be the best that they can be is a life skill I’ve been able to learn. I’m happy for everything I’ve learned this year and I’ll keep moving forward.”

On Wednesday, the Huskies announced 10 new recruits ahead of the 2016-17 CIS campaign, including Lishchynsky and nine other former WHL players. Joining Lishchynsky are goaltender Daniel Wapple, defenceman Colby Harmsworth and forwards Carson Stadnyk, Alex Forsberg, Wyatt Johnson, Jordan Tkatch, Connor Gay, Elliott Peterson and Colton Stephenson.

“The Huskie men’s hockey program has a strong student-athlete tradition,” said Dave Adolph, head coach, in a release. “As competitive as our league is, status quo will not give us a chance to be successful again this year, so we had to improve.”

In addition to the new recruits, Lishchynsky joins former Kootenay Ice speedster Levi Cable, who completed his rookie CIS season with the Huskies in 2015-16.

Over a 173-game WHL career, split between the Ice and Prince George Cougars, Lishchynsky tallied 12 goals and 43 points, achieving career highs in 2015-16 with eight goals and 23 points in 60 games.

“He’s in the trenches, he’s physical, he’s competing,” said Luke Pierce, head coach of the Ice, after naming Lishchynsky captain in January. “He brings that work ethic and that effort.”

A native of Saskatoon, Lishchynsky’s junior career took him all around western Canada, as he also suited up in 51 games in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The 6-foot-1, 183-pound blueliner split his tenure in the SJHL between the Yorkton Terriers and Flin Flon Bombers, before coming to the Ice as an affiliate player in December 2014.

The Huskies finished the 2015-16 CIS season first in Canada West with a record of 22-6-0 en route to winning the Canada West championship.

The Huskies begin their Canada West title defense on Oct. 7 when they host the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.