Friday, May 9, 2014

Local Sports

Lofty Goals

Chilliwack Chiefs stitch together team for 2014-15 season 

Staff/Voice photos/ Updated June 2

 

Doug Ast, former Chilliwack Chiefs assistant coach welcomes 16-year-old defenseman Dennis Cholowski for the 2014-15 season.

 

he Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce that 17-year-old forward Tanner Campbell has committed to the Chiefs for the 2014-15 season.

 

Cholowski spent last season at the Yale Academy in Abbotsford.

 

“Our philosophy on building our team is, we want good people that just happen to be good hockey players and for us age doesn't influence our decision,’ said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “Today we've added a quality defenseman that will be a very good defenseman for many years. Dennis adds an element of offense from the backend. He has excellent vision and makes very smart decisions on the fly and we are looking forward to seeing him bring those skills to our team next season.”

 

Cholowski, who lives in Langley is thrilled to be making the move to Chilliwack.

 

“I am thrilled and honoured that I was selected by Coach Tatarnic and the Chiefs organization to play for the Chilliwack Chiefs. Ever since I was 7, former Chiefs Head Coach Harvey Smyl told me that he had watched me grow up as a hockey player and that I would be a Chief one day. Now that dream has become a reality and I couldn’t be happier. I can’t thank Coach Tatarnic and all the Chiefs staff enough for the opportunity to play for such a great hockey organization. I would also like to thank (former Chiefs Assistant Coach) Doug Ast for supporting me this last year on and off the ice.”

 

Cholowski appeared in one game for the Chiefs last season.

 

“Getting to play in the teddy bear toss game last year with the Chiefs was a great experience and the fans created a party like atmosphere. The facilities are the best in the league.”

 

Despite breaking his arm and hand last season, Cholowski had a memorable year at Yale Academy.

 

“We played in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League. After recovering from the injury, I played 12 league games and had 16 points. Our team entered the playoffs in first place and I helped win the championship by contributing 6 points in the final two games, beating top hockey academies Okanagan Hockey Academy and Pursuit of Excellence.”

 

And what type of game can Chiefs fans expect from Cholowski?

 

“I’m an offensive defenseman that loves to rush the puck, join the rush, throw crisp hard passes and score, while never forgetting defensive responsibilities. I enjoy studying the styles of Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, Paul Coffey, and Scott Niedermayer. My current favourite player is Drew Doughty.  I have been coached and mentored since hockey 4  by former Vancouver Canuck Cliff Ronning and former Chief and NHL player John Craighead.”

 

Season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now available. Visit the Chiefs website or call the Chiefs office at 604.392.4433 for more details.

 

Eric Roberts - Captain, Defense

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce defenseman Eric Roberts as Captain for the 2014-15 season. Roberts is entering his third full season with the Chiefs and has appeared in 108 regular season games with the Chiefs.

Roberts is no stranger to wearing the C, having worn it at the Atom, Pee Wee and Bantam levels as a member of the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association.

Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic says selecting Roberts was an easy choice. “In spending some time with Eric it was obvious in our discussions that he would be a great person to lead our team. He has a tremendous work ethic. He battles hard and we want to be a hard team to play against in all zones. We expect Eric to lead our team and prepare them for those battles. We are going to strive for excellence and it starts in the dressing room under Eric’s leadership.”

Roberts is thrilled to take on the role and understands what is expected from him.

“It’s a tremendous honor.  As a leader on the team I will make sure every player is 100% committed to what needs to be done to win. The Chilliwack Chiefs are a family and every player is a leader in their own way. Nobody will be along for the ride. Each player will give their all day in and day out so that our team will succeed. The harder we battle in practice, the easier the games will become.”

Roberts adds that leadership is not just something that happens on the ice.

“Off ice activities are crucial for a team to become a family. Whether its working out in the gym, or hanging out with the guys, everyone will be involved.”

As for team goals, Roberts says there can only be one “Our goal is to win the RBC Championship.”

Coach Tatarnic agrees. “Every player who plays for us this season should have one goal and that is to win the RBC Championship. That should be the goal of every CJHL player.”

Forward Jordan Kawaguchi (1997) will join Roberts on the leadership group as an assistant captain. Kawaguchi is coming off a rookie season that saw him appear in 48 games with the Chiefs.  The leadership role is one he looks forward to.

“It’s a huge honor to be part of the leadership group during the 25th Anniversary season. I feel that leading by example will be the best way for me to support my team on and off the ice including in the community. Chilliwack is a great hockey town and I would love to participate in any opportunity to give back to the city.”

“Jordan is very mature for his age and had an excellent finish to last season,” said Tatarnic. “We are very excited to have Jordan back and in a leadership role. We’re confident he will be a great example along with Eric to our returning and new players.”

 

Luke McColgan, Forward

The Chilliwack Chiefs have acquired forward Luke McColgan from the Battlefords North Stars in exchange for goaltender Spencer Tremblay. The 6’1, 175lb McColgan tallied 39 points and 55 penalty minutes in 48 games last season in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The Manhattan Beach, California product is thrilled to be coming to Chilliwack,“ "I am blessed to have this opportunity to play in Chilliwack, especially being my last year of junior.  I'm going to work my hardest first to have a winning team, and secondly to earn a scholarship."

 

Chiefs Head Coach and GM Jason Tatarnic says his latest acquisition brings a variety of attributes to the table, “Luke is a very versatile player and he can be used in many situations offensively and defensively.  Luke is a very honest player that plays the game hard. We are excited to add a player of Luke’s pedigree. We believe he will become a fan favorite very quickly”

 

The Chiefs entire organization would like to thank Spencer for his commitment to Chiefs Hockey on and off of the ice in Chilliwack and wish him the best of luck in his future hockey endeavors.

 

Olivier Arseneau (18)

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce that 18-year-old defenseman Olivier Arseneau has committed to the Chiefs for the 2014-15 season.

 

Arseneau, who calls Miramichi New Brunswick home, spent last season with the Ontario Hockey Academy Gold Mavericks Midget AAA team where as captain he scored three goals and added 15 assists in 28 regular season games.

 

 “Olivier is a hard working defender that will bring a physical element to our team and will battle for pucks in the dirty areas,” said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “He’s responsible on the defensive side but he also adds good offensive instincts to our team.”

 

“I hope I can help the team with my offensive skills and vision of play. My experience as a Captain at Ontario Hockey Academy will certainly help me to be a good example and a leader,” said Arseneau. “I think Chilliwack is a great place, the Chiefs organization looks incredible, and the fans love their team. I just can't wait to get started.”

 

Tanner Campbell (17)

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce that 17-year-old forward Tanner Campbell has committed to the Chiefs for the 2014-15 season.

 

Last season with the BC Major Midget League’s Okanagan Rockets, Campbell scored 29 goals and 38 assists in 38 games and helped lead the Rockets to a league championship and a third place finish at the Telus Cup national championship.

 

“We are very happy to add Tanner to our lineup,” said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “He had an excellent year, and anytime you can add a player with national tournament experience, it can only help your team. He produced good offensive numbers last season and we’re hoping he can do the same for us.”

 

“I am extremely honoured to become a Chilliwack Chief. I like the city of Chilliwack and I know that Jason and the rest of the Chiefs’ staff have the team headed in the right direction,” said Campbell. “I look forward to meeting the rest of my teammates and getting the season going in Chilliwack.”

 

 

Vincent Desharnais (18)

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce that 18-year-old defenseman Vincent Desharnais has committed to the Chiefs for the 2014-15 season.

 

Desharnais, who calls Laval Quebec home spent last season at Northwood School in Lake Placid New York where in 37 games he scored 5 goals and 16 assists and finished plus 15.

 

"A main priority for us is to improve our defensive core and adding a player of Vincent Desharnais’s pedigree will do just that," said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “Vinnie has been a highly sought after player this off season and we are very excited he has chosen Chilliwack as his home next season. Vinnie brings calmness and size (6’6 200lbs) to the back end and he definitely improves our defensive core for the upcoming season."

 

I am very excited to be a part of the Chiefs family,” said Desharnais. “I cannot wait for the beginning of the season and to meet the other players and the fans. I’m very excited to work with Jason as well. He’s a very good coach and a very smart guy.”

 

 

Mark Esposito (19)

Last season Ferguson was a teammate of future Chiefs Mark Esposito at the Brunswick School in Greenwich Connecticut where in 25 games he scored six goals and added nine assists.

 

“Our goal as a team next season is to play a high tempo game. By adding Liam Ferguson we have added speed to our line-up,” said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “A player that brings speed can be used in many situations. He brings a good skill set to our team and we know his goal is to play college hockey one day and were extremely happy he decided to play in Chilliwack to try and achieve that goal.”

 

“Being given the opportunity to play for the Chiefs next year is something special and has been a goal of mine for a long time,” said Ferguson. “The town, the arena and especially the team/coaching staff are outstanding. The atmosphere that Chilliwack provides is something that I have never seen before. I cannot wait for this coming season and the chance to play for Coach Tatarnic and represent the Chilliwack Chiefs organization.”

 

 

Vincent Desharnais (18)

Desharnais, who calls Laval Quebec home spent last season at Northwood School in Lake Placid New York where in 37 games he scored 5 goals and 16 assists and finished plus 15.

 

“A main priority for us is to improve our defensive core and adding a player of Vincent Desharnais’s pedigree will do just that,’ said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “Vinnie has been a highly sought after player this off season and we are very excited he has chosen Chilliwack as his home next season. Vinnie brings calmness and size (6’6 200lbs) to the back end and he definitely improves our defensive core for the upcoming season."

 

I am very excited to be a part of the Chiefs family,” said Desharnais. “I cannot wait for the beginning of the season and to meet the other players and the fans. I’m very excited to work with Jason as well. He’s a very good coach and a very smart guy.”

 

 

Aidan Pelino (19)

Pelino, a native of Oakville Ontario spent last season at Northwood School in Lake Placid New York where he was a teammate of defenseman Vinnie Desharnais who committed to the Chiefs last week.

 

 “We are very pleased and excited that Aidan has made Chilliwack his home for next season. He’s a goaltender I’m very familiar with, having watched him play for Northwood last season,” said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “He was a key member of their team last season and was a heavily sought after prospect throughout North America. We’re confident he’ll be a big contributor to our success next season. He’s created quite a bit of NCAA interest and we’re happy he has chosen Chilliwack to help him achieve his goal of becoming an NCAA player.”

 

Pelino attended the Chiefs Spring Camp earlier this month.

 

“I am very excited to be a part of the Chilliwack Chiefs organization. I was very impressed with the town and the facilities in Chilliwack,” said Pelino. “I have also heard great things about the fans in Chilliwack and I am very excited to call it my home next year. Jason has a great track record as a coach and I am excited to play for him. I think Chilliwack will be a great experience and I am excited to be able to play another year with Vincent Desharnais. It was impossible to say no to this opportunity and I couldn't be happier to be a part of the Chiefs family.”

 

 

Mitchell Datz (19)

Datz, who hails from Kitchener Ontario spent last season at Salisbury Academy Prep School in Connecticut where he helped lead his team to the  New England Prep Championship while posting a record of 23-1-3 and a save percentage of 92.7.

“By adding Mitchell to our team, we’ve solidified our goaltender position. He’s coming off a very successful season with Salisbury Academy where he guided his team to a championship,” said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “He posted great numbers last year and we’re happy he’s selected Chilliwack as his home next season. Mitchell and Aidan Pelino will complement each other very well.”

"I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Chiefs organization. I am looking forward to playing under Coach Tatarnic and the newly added coaches, Mr. Adams and Mr. Nicolls as they are great coaches with lots of experience.” said Datz. “I’ve heard that the atmosphere in Chilliwack is outstanding and it is a privilege to be a part of the Chiefs family.’

 

 

Chiefs Finalize Futures from Brooks (20)
The Chiefs have finalized the future considerations in the transaction that saw Austin Plevy moved to the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League back on January 6 that initially had Mason Boh transferred to Chilliwack. The Chiefs are excited to announce that 1994 born defenseman Brandon Tkachuk, 1994 forward Jake Larson and 1995 born forward Madison Dunn will be joining the hockey club for the 2014-15 season.

New Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic is thrilled with the acquisitions, “Brandon, Jake and Madison come to Chilliwack following a very successful season in Brooks. They will bring a winning mentality which will complement the high expectations we have for our hockey club this season. All three players have RBC Cup experience and we expect them to be leaders for us as with their skill, determination and hard work” added Tatarnic.
 

 

Kyle Adams - Assistant Coach

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce that Kyle Adams has been hired as Associate Coach.

Adams has spent the last five years coaching at the Junior A level including three years as an Associate Coach under current Chiefs Head Coach Jason Tatarnic with the Woodstock Slammers.

“This is an important position for the hockey team and I spent a great deal of time evaluating all the applicants,” said Tatarnic. “When the players arrive for training camp in the fall I thought it was important for them to see a staff that is on the same page right from day one delivering the same message.  After reviewing all the applicants the best person for the job in my mind is Kyle. I’ve known Kyle for a long time and we worked very well together in Woodstock where we shared some success. The Chiefs family is very lucky to have a coach of Kyle’s qualifications join our staff.  We’re both excited to work with each other again and our goal is to provide an exciting product on the ice for the fans and an environment of excellence for our players.”

“I am very pleased to be joining the Chiefs organization,” said Adams. “I am very fortunate to be part of an organization rich in tradition and one that has been very successful. I have tremendous respect for Jason and I’m looking forward to working with him again. I look forward to meeting the staff, players and the great fans in Chilliwack.”

Season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now available. Please visit www.chilliwackchiefs.net or call 604.392.4433 for more information.

 

Paul Nicolls - Assistant Coach

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce that Paul Nicolls will take on the added role of Assistant Coach next season. Nicolls has been the Chiefs strength and conditioning coach since it returned to Chilliwack in 2011.

Nicolls involvement with the Chiefs dates back to the team’s first season in Chilliwack in 1990 when he began his junior hockey career as a 16 year old member of the Chiefs blueline. He also spent two seasons as an Assistant Coach with the team culminating in 2000 as the Chiefs earned a Bronze Medal at the Royal Bank Cup National Championships in Fort McMurray Alberta.

“As a staff we are fortunate to have Paul join our staff as the team’s Strength and Conditioning coach but also an Assistant Coach this coming season,” said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “He’s well known in the community and it is clear that players enjoy having involved as a staff member. As an alumnus of the program it is very clear that Paul is very passionate about the Chiefs.”

“I’m very excited to be selected to help coach the Chiefs,” said Nicolls. “I’d like to thank Chilliwack Minor Hockey for allowing me to develop my coaching skills over the last several years. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Jason and Kyle and help bring a championship to the city of Chilliwack. I also look forward to help prepare the players on and off the ice for both their hockey and professional careers.”

Leaving - Ben Butcher to Vernon

The Chilliwack Chiefs have transferred the playing rights of forward Ben Butcher to the Vernon Vipers in exchange for future considerations. Chiefs Head Coach and GM Jason Tatarnic says this move came as a result of a few factors, "We had to make a few moves due to the CJHL import quota And moving Ben was one those moves. It's always tough to move a player of Ben's quality. You have hard decisions to make when selecting 6 imports and this
was a tough decision."

The Chiefs entire organization would like to thank Ben for his commitment to Chiefs Hockey on and off of the ice in Chilliwack and wish him the best of luck in his future hockey endeavors
 

Erin Thornton - Scout

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce alumni Erin Thornton as a regional scout. Erin brings extensive hockey experience as a scout, player, coach and administrator to the Chiefs Scouting department.  Currently Erin works for the Yale and Fraser Hockey Academies in Abbotsford where he provides oversight to the Middle School program (Fraser Middle) and acts as an on-ice instructor for both (Yale & Fraser) academies. 

Most recently, Erin was the Assistant Sport Manager from 2008-2010 for the Men's Ice Hockey competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. He also held the position of Associate Director, Programs with BC Hockey from 2001-2008 where he was responsible for the Male High Performance Program, Coaching Program and several other development programs.  He has played hockey at both the BCHL level and the WHL level and has scouted in the WHL for several years.  

Through his work history, Erin has developed relationships with key partners such as the IIHF, International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Hockey Canada and BC Hockey.  Erin holds a BA degree in Sport and Recreation Management from the University of Victoria.  Erin lives in Abbotsford with his wife Jenny and kids Madelyn (12) and Ben (10). He is thrilled to be back with the Chiefs, "As an alumnus with the Chiefs, I am very excited to be a part of the scouting department within such a great organization that has a huge tradition in the community and the BCHL.  I will endeavor to find local hockey players to bring into the system, which will develop into all around hockey players and individuals within the community of Chilliwack"

Chiefs Head Coach and GM Jason Tatarnic on his new scout, “We are very pleased to add Erin to our scouting staff. Our goal as an organization is to attract the top BC players to our program. By adding Erin to our scouting staff we have taken a step in the right direction to achieve our goal.  We look forward to working with Erin next season and on behalf of the staff we would like to welcome Erin to the Chief family.”

Kohen Olischefski - Forward

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce that forward Kohen Olischefski (1998) has committed to the Chiefs for the 2015-16 season.

Olischefski is expected to see some action with the Chiefs during the 2014-15 season as an affiliate player while playing full time for the Yale Academy U18 Lions in Abbotsford. Last season in 30 games including playoffs with the Yale Academy Elite 15 team, Olischefski scored 18 goals and added 35 assists while captaining the team to the Canadian Sports School Hockey League Championship. He was also named league MVP.

“I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to play for a team so close to home that I grew up watching,” said Olischefski. “The Chiefs are a first class organization and I am thrilled that I will get to wear the Chiefs jersey. I believe Coach Tatarnic and the rest of his staff will do nothing but great things for this team and I can't wait to play for them and in front of the amazing Chilliwack fans.”

We are very excited to add Kohen to our roster for the 2015-2016 season,” added Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. Kohen is a very skilled player and we look forward to watching his development this season and will take every opportunity to use him as an affiliated player. He’s a big part of our future and we are pleased he has decided to play his junior career in Chilliwack.”

Season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now available. Please visit www.chilliwackchiefs.net or call 604.392.4433 for more information.

 

 

Evan MacEachern - Defence

 

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce the acquisition of 19-year-old defenseman Evan MacEachern from the Pictou County Weeks Crushers of the Maritime Hockey League in exchange for forwards Madison Dunn and Mitch Plevy.

MacEachern joins the Chiefs after two seasons with the Crushers. In 44 games with Pictou last season the 5’10 native of Bedford Nova Scotia scored three goals and 15 assists.

MacEachern was also a member of Team Canada East at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge held last November in Yarmouth Nova Scotia.

“We're very happy to add Evan to our line-up,” said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “Evan is quality person and will be a solid addition to our dressing room with his experience at the junior and international stage. We've added a smart and mobile defenseman. He’s pursuing an opportunity at the NCAA and we feel he has an excellent opportunity to accomplish his goal. Every NCAA Division 1 school will have the chance to watch Evan and the Chiefs at the BCHL showcase in September. It's a great opportunity for everyone and it's a chance to be showcased to every NHL team that will have scouts in attendance.”

MacEachern is thrilled to be making the move west.

“I'm very excited to be joining the Chilliwack Chiefs next season. A goal of mine is to play NCAA Division 1 hockey and getting to play in Chilliwack is a great opportunity to help reach that goal. I can't wait to get to know my new hometown and teammates. I have a lot of respect for Jason Tatarnic's coaching style having played against Woodstock in the MHL, and look forward to playing for him this season.”

Dunn’s playing rights were acquired by the Chiefs earlier this off season as part of the future considerations in the deal that saw Austin Plevy moved to the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in January.

Mitch Plevy appeared in 49 games for the Chiefs last season scoring once and adding nine assists. The Chiefs would like to thank Mitch for his contributions both on and off the ice.

Season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now available. Visit the Chiefs website or call the Chiefs office at 604.392.3344 for more details.

 

 

Darren Rizzolo - Defence

 

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce that defenseman Darren Rizzolo (1998) has committed to the Chiefs for the 2015-16 season.

Rizzolo, who calls Mission BC home,  is the second player, joining forward Kohen Olischefski to commit to the Chiefs for the 2015-16 season. Rizzolo and Olischefski were teammates on the Yale Academy Elite 15 team last season where Rizzolo scored eight goals and added 19 assists in 24 games.

 “I would like to thank the Chiefs organization and in particular Jason Tatarnic for the opportunity to play on the Chiefs team for the 2015-2016 season,” said Rizzolo. “I had several options in front of me but liked hearing what Jason is trying to build in Chilliwack. I look forward to playing in front of a great fan base and Chilliwack fans can expect to see me play a hard-nosed puck moving style of play from the back end.”

“Darren brings intensity to the ice and we are very excited he has made his commitment to our program,” added Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic. “We believe we've added a player that has a great future in the BCHL and the NCAA. We like his work ethic and he will add vision and poise to our backend.”

Season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now available. Please visit www.chilliwackchiefs.net or call 604.392.4433 for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

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