The Kootenay Ice wrapped up their 2017-18 training camp last Wednesday, giving a number of young prospects their first taste of WHL hockey.
On Thursday, two of the organization’s promising 16-year-old players were rewarded with contracts, indicating a mutual interest in being a part of each other’s futures.
The team first announced that they had signed forward Cody Shepheard, an eight round Kootenay pick at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft from Qualicum, B.C.
The 6’0, 166-pound player recorded 17 goals and 34 points in 28 regular season games with Shawnigan Lake School Varsity of the CSSVHL during the 2016-17 season, and also played four games of junior ‘B’ hockey with the VIJHL’s Comox Valley Glaciers where he had three points in four games.
“Cody had a good camp, he brings size, compete and skill in a group of forwards that we are excited about looking ahead,” said Ice President and General Manager Matt Cockell in a team release. “We look forward to supporting his development this year and think he will contribute to what we believe is a strong group of 2001-born players moving forward.”
In a video interview posted on the team’s social media accounts, Shepheard also shared his enthusiasm.
“I’m really happy [to have signed with the Ice],” he said. “I’m excited to get things going with such a great organization and such great people. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Later on Thursday afternoon, the Ice announced that they had also signed Winnipeg-born defenceman Zachary Patrick who was listed by the team’s director of scouting, Garnet Kazuik, last season.
Patrick spent the 2016-17 season with the Winnipeg Wild of the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League where he registered four goals and 25 assists for 29 points in 39 games.
The 6’0, 170-pound blueliner also added four points in 11 playoff games.
“Zachary has a high hockey IQ, skates well and he is competing for ice… he wants to make the team,” Cockell said in another release. “His camp has been very good and we will give him every opportunity along with our other talented young defence.”
Earlier in the week, during training camp, the also team signed 2002-born forward James Form, who was a third round pick in the 2017 draft.
The Ice begin their pre-season play on Thursday, September 7, against the Tri City Americans in Kennewick, Washington.