The 100 Mile House Wranglers have brought two new prospects on to the team.
Coach Dale Hladun said he’s bolstering the Wrangler’s defence with Fort St. John’s Ethan Hofstrand and the offence with Kamloops’ Tyler Smoluk. Both young men, 17, are making their debuts in Junior B hockey.
Hofstrand, who played for the Northeast BC and Yukon Tracker’s U18 program last year, held a franchise record for most points scored by a defenceman, finishing with 37. The Trackers went on to win silver at the British Columbia Amateur Hockey Association’s provincial championship.
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“Ethan has a strong presence on the ice,” Hladun said. “He makes great decisions with the puck and has wonderful leadership skills for a young man.”
Hladun predicted that Smoluk will become a fan favourite of the Wranglers Nation this season. His “strong skating skills” served him well while playing for the Thompson Blazers’ U18 program last year, Hladun said. In addition to the Wranglers, Smoluk will be an affiliate player for the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings.
“Ty will add a lot to our power play, as well as being a very strong defender in our defensive zone,” Hladun said.
The Wranglers will return to 100 Mile House on Sept. 5 for training camp and hit the road four days later to take on the Chase Heat in an exhibition game. This will be followed by back-to-back exhibition games on home ice on Sept. 10-11 against the Dawson Creek Kodiaks.