Rylan Ferster wouldn’t have too many objections if someone were to offer him a roster full of players like Brett Mennear.
The West Kelowna Warriors’ head coach and GM says the 19-year-old forward’s value to the BCHL team comes in many forms.
“Brett is such a low-maintenance guy, he comes to the rink and just has the same work ethic everyday,” Ferster said of Mennear. “He’s unbelievably fit, he always tests as one of the top guys.
“He’s a good teammate and a real team guy,” Ferster added. “Brett’s got all the check marks, he reflects how you want your team to play.”
Since moving with his family to West Kelowna eight years ago, Mennear often entertained thoughts of playing junior hockey for his hometown team.
Now in his third full season with the Warriors, the 5-foot-9, 195-pound couldn’t conceive of a better path for his career to be on.
“It couldn’t be much better,” said Mennear, who has three goals and eight points in 15 games this season. “I get to live at home, I’m a few minutes from the rink and it’s a really good environment to play in.
“We have a team that’s always competitive and has a chance to win…I couldn’t be happier.”
Mennear’s contentment with his situation shows both on and off the ice. In addition to serving as an assistant captain, the stocky forward is one of his team’s most reliable players—game in, game out.
“He’s defensively responsible, kills penalties, takes big draws for us, and chips in offensively,” Ferster said. “He’s a leader, a very valuable and dependable guy.”
Being relied upon in many different situations by his coaches and teammates on a nightly basis is largely what keeps Mennear motivated and on top of his game.
“I relish being a leader on the team, being a guy who’s counted on,” said Mennear, who played two seasons with the major midget Okanagan Rockets before joining the Warriors. “I like being in the spotlight, being looked to take a big draw, or be out on the ice when a game is on the line. I like being in the middle of things.”
Like the Warriors, the coaching staff at Bentley University also recognizes the value in Mennear who has earned a scholarship at the Massachusetts-based school and expects to make the jump to the NCAA for the start of the 2017-18 season.
Warriors add goalie…
The Warriors this week acquired netminder Keelan Williams from the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in exchange for forward Paul Lovsin.
Williams, 19, who spent last season and the start of this season with the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay Ice, was picked up by Camrose after being released.
To make room for Williams, the Warriors dealt 19-year-old netminder Forbes Ploszaj to the Surrey Eagles for future considerations.
Ploszaj, in his first season in West Kelowna, was 5-2 with a 2.70 GAA and an 89.9 save percentage in seven games.
Lovsin, acquired by the Warriors in the off-season from Spruce Grove of the AJHL, had four goals and four assists in 16 games this season.
Two vs ‘Backs…
The Warriors will battle the Interior Division rival Salmon Arm Silverbacks in a home-and-home set this weekend. The teams face off Friday night at the Shaw Centre, then again Saturday at Royal LePage Place. Game time both nights is 7 p.m.…The ‘Backs (10-3-2-0) lead the Warriors (9-5-0-2) by two points for second place in the division.