The BCHL’s Merritt Centennials announced the addition of Chilliwack goalie Brayden Melnyk on Twitter Jan. 25. (Centennials twitter photo)

Goalie Brayden Melnyk leaves Chilliwack Jets for Merritt Centennials

The young stopper is trying to make the jump from junior B to junior A hockey

Brayden Melynk is leaving his hometown Chilliwack Jets.

The 2003-born netminder is jumping from junior B to junior A, signing on with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials.

“Brayden is a well rounded goaltender who has great hockey IQ, battle, and work ethic,” said Cents assistant coach Levi Stuart in a news release. “He has developed into a strong goaltender over the last few seasons and will fit in well in our system and culture.”

The 17-year-old stopper only made it into four games with the Jets before the COVID pandemic halted the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) season. Melnyk went winless in those outings, posting a 4.47 goals-against average and 86.0 save percentage.

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Melnyk said he chose the Centennials over other programs because of the proximity to Chilliwack and the strength of his new teammates.

“What set Merritt apart for me is that they have a good core of young guys that I can step in and develop my game with,” he said. “Merritt is also not too far from my home base in Chilliwack, and I’ve heard great things about the history of the program and it being outstanding on and off the ice.”

He added that his greatest asset in the crease is utilizing his natural gifts.

“My biggest strengths in my game are using my size, predicting in tight plays and staying consistent,” he said.

In its latest update, the BCHL suggested a Feb. 8 target for starting the 2020-21 season, though much hinges on what happens with provincial health orders that are set to expire Feb. 5.

If they are relaxed, the season may happen. If they remain in place, the BCHL may have to officially pull the plug.


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