Kootenay Ice forward Jesse Zaharichuk

Zaharichuk settling in with Kootenay Ice

One of the newest members of the Kootenay Ice is finding his way as he hopes to grow into a bigger role with his new WHL club

When Jesse Zaharichuk joined the Kootenay Ice, it wasn’t under the most ideal circumstance.

Traded east from the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers on Sunday, Nov. 29, the 18-year-old native of Sherwood Park, Alta., didn’t have to go far to join his new team as the Ice were slated to face the Blazers Tuesday, Dec. 1 in Kamloops.

“It was definitely a challenge playing against some of my best friends that I got real close with over the past year, year and a half,” Zaharichuk said Thursday afternoon prior to practice at Western Financial Place. “The emotions were definitely running high. It was definitely something I’ll cherish, but this is a different opportunity for myself.”

Zaharichuk was dangerous that emotional night in Kamloops. Though the speedy winger created a number of quality scoring opportunities — including ringing one off the iron behind Blazers netminder Connor Ingram — he was unable to find twine as his former club cruised to a 5-1 victory.

Now with five games under his belt as a member of the Kootenay Ice, Zaharichuk is settling in and the hope is he will grow into a bigger role with his new squad moving forward.

Having posted four goals and 13 points in 22 games split between the Blazers and Ice so far this season, Zaharichuk wants to fill an offensive role within the team’s top-six forwards and certainly has the potential to do just that.

“We’re hopeful that Jesse can start to really commit himself to being a core part of our group,” said Luke Pierce, head coach of the Kootenay Ice, Thursday afternoon. “That’s up to him. He’s been a little more of a periphery guy in the past with his teams because they’ve had real strong cores. He’s got to be a guy for us that is going to help lead us every day and really take on that responsibility of being a top-end player.

“That’s something that might be a bit of a change for him, but we’re hoping he can commit to [that] and we can push him to be better.”

A veteran of 70 WHL games and having registered seven goals and 28 points over that span, Zaharichuk stands as one of the more experienced skaters on a rookie-laden Ice squad.

Having settled in with his new Cranbrook billet family Wednesday, Zaharichuk is looking forward to a fresh beginning with the Ice as they host the Swift Current Broncos Saturday night.

The former Blazer has yet to register his first point as a member of the Kootenay Ice and fans in Cranbrook have yet to see one of the newest additions take to the ice.

With a struggling Broncos squad, winless in 11 games, visiting town Saturday, Zaharichuk’s hope is for a strong debut at Western Financial Place.

“I’d like to be a top-six guy,” Zaharichuk said. “More of an offensive player and play to my strengths creating offense, being reliable in all zones of the ice.

“We need everybody playing and we need to play a full 60 minutes. We’ve put together some good periods, but other periods are kind of lacking. If we put together a full 60 [minutes] we’ll have a good chance.”

Zaharichuk and the Kootenay Ice host the Swift Current Broncos Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Western Financial Place.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dan Herrick, the head coach for the Rocky Mountain Rams, supervises drills during a practice at Mount Baker Secondary School. Trevor Crawley photo.
Rocky Mountain Rams program thriving as fall season wraps up

The Rocky Mountain Rams Football Club is set to wrap up another… Continue reading

Kootenay East voters out in droves already

A third of Kootenay East voters have either already voted or requested mail-in ballots

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Lake Koocanusa weir; Cranbrook RCMP report; Cranbrook Community Theatre; Can Greens and NDP get along?

The people known to be in this photo are (front row, left to right) Lily Watts with young Lily Watts, who was born in Cranbrook, on her knee; Agnes Watts (holding rifle); unknown lady with child; Ernest Charles Watts with William Watts on knee. The names of the four gentlemen in the back row are unknown.
Who are these Cranbrook homesteaders?

Can you help identity the people in this 1914 photograph?

Bats are pictured snuggled in a bat box. (J. Saremba file)
Next week is International Bat Week

Monitoring for white-nose syndrome in B.C. will continue this winter

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Most Read