The 22 man roster for this season’s edition of the Langley Rivermen is now finalized. With the last year’s inaugural season in the books, you can expect this year’s squad to be a lot more competitive this time around. The make up of the roster is a good mix of veterans and rookies. There is a total of six 1992 born players, seven 1993’s, five 1994’s, three 1995’s, and one 1996 born player. Overall a total of 12 players have Junior “A” experience under their belt, which is more than double when last year started.
Below is the roster for the 2012/2013 Langley Rivermen including a short description of each player:
#30 James Barr, Surrey, B.C. 6’1″, 198lbs (1993, Langley Rivermen) 2011/2012 stats: 29GP, 9-16-1, 3.65GAA, .905 Save%…The Skinny: Will be the undisputed starting goaltender for the Rivermen this season. “Barrsy” looks determined as ever and has put in the off-season work to be the best goalie in the league, which is something he has stated multiple times since training camp started. Expect big things from him as the #1 guy as he is very well-rounded in between the pipes.
#35 Darren Hogg, Penticton, B.C. 6’2″, 200lbs (1993, Osoyoos Coyotes) 2011/2012 stats: 28GP, 16-9-1, 3.01GAA, .911 Save%…The Skinny: A big puck stopper at 6’2″, 200 pounds, Hogg has impressed the coaching staff since day #1 of camp. He moves well for a bigger guy and fills up a lot of the net. He seems like a solid security blanket for when Barr gets the night off.
#3 Thomas Nitsche, Charlotte, NC, 6’3″, 204lbs (1992, Langley Rivermen) 2011/2012 stats: 55GP, 4 goals, 15 assists, 19 points, 56PIM…The Skinny: This year’s captain has some big expectations on his shoulders when the season starts. In his 20-year-old year, it is make or break for Nitsche, but he seems ready for the challenge. He was relied last year to play a more defensive style game, but look for him to contribute offensively this time around as he has joined the rush a lot more in exhibition.
#4 Logan Smith, Littleton, Colorado, 6’4″, 210lbs (1992, Lincoln Stars)…2011/2012 stats: 37GP, 3 goals, 9 assists, 12 points, 8PIM…The Skinny: Weighing in at 6’4″, 210 pounds, Smith is hard to miss out there. He plays in all situations and brings a veteran presence to the squad that was sorely missed a season ago. Expect him to log a lot of minutes this season on the back-end as he is poised beyond his years. He is committed to Holy Cross next season.
#8 Valik Chichkin, Burnaby, B.C. 6’3″, 190lbs (1994, Langley Rivermen) 2011/2012 stats: 54GP, 1 goal, 13 assists, 14 points, 49PIM…The Skinny: The big blue liner had a very steady pre-season and will look to have more of a role in his second BCHL campaign. He is a big body out on the ice and when he is physical that’s when he is at his best. Look for him to pass his 14 point total from last year as he has shown more of an offensive flare thus far.
#17 Bo Pellah, New Westminster, B.C. 6’1″, 185lbs (1995, Langley Rivermen)…2011/2012 stats: 57GP, 3 goals, 22 assists, 25 points, 53PIM…The Skinny: After taking the BCHL by storm in his 16-year-old year, the Penn State commit could even double his 25 points from a season ago. He is smart, crafty, and is a great quarterback on the power play. He is playing with more of an edge so far, which is good, but he is more valuable on the ice than in the penalty box.
#20 Aaron Dolby, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 6’1″, 190lbs (1994, Osseo High)…2011/2012 stats: 24GP, 4 goals, 10 assists, 14 points, 50PIM…The Skinny: Dolby has been one of the most impressive new recruits. He is smart, quick, and a very good decision maker with the puck. Dolby also has a very good shot from the point and has an uncanny ability to get it off his stick quickly and through traffic.
#21 Tyler Vanscourt, Corona, California, 5’11”, 185lbs (1992, Vancouver Giants)…2011/2012 stats: 68GP, 12 goals, 20 assists, 32 points, 58PIM…The Skinny: Although he came to the team late and only played in the pre-season finale, you can tell Vanscourt has played junior hockey a long time. He is not the biggest guy out on the ice, but he is very smart and plays in all situations. He had very good numbers last year in the WHL and will be relied upon heavily to produce from the back-end this season.
#22 Viktor Dombrovskiy, Coquitlam, B.C. 5’11”, 185lbs (1996, Vancouver NE Chiefs)…2011/2012 stats: 36GP, 3 goals,11 assists, 14 points, 22PIM…The Skinny: Viktor reminds me a lot of Bo Pellah from last year. An undersized defenseman but has a great mind for the game. His first pass out of the zone is next to perfect and has the ability to always find the open guy. He also has a great set of hands and skating ability to go along with that. Yale looks like they got a good one.
#6 Mitch McLain, Baxter, Minnesota , 6’0″, 190lbs (1993, Brainerd High)…2011/2012 stats: 25GP, 35 goals, 29 assists, 64 points, 27PIM…The Skinny: When you ask players around the team which guy has impressed you the most in camp, over 90% of them would say Mitch McLain. Bobby Henderson should take a bow for finding this kid out of Minnesota. He brings all the intangibles to the table including speed, skill, intensity and most importantly the will to win. Everything McLain does is at full speed and I really believe this kid will be a household name by the end of September.
#7 James Robinson, Cochrane, Alberta, 6’1″, 180lbs (1994, Calgary Edge Prep) 2011/2012 stats: 25GP, 22 goals, 17 assists, 39 points…The Skinny: When you watch Robinson play one of the first things you will notice is his smarts. He is everything you can ask for of centremen as he makes sure his own zone is taken care first and foremost. Although he might not start in the middle, the coaches are confident that the Alberta native’s versatility will be just fine on the wing.
#9 Kurt Thrussell, Langley ,B.C. 5’9″, 180lbs (1995, Langley Midget AAA) 2011/2012 stats: N/A…The Skinny: Not everyday do you see a player make the jump from Midget hockey to the Junior “A” ranks, but Thrussell has. He earned a spot playing every shift like it was his last. Throughout training camp he was a pest on the ice getting under the oppositions skin and even dropped the mitts a couple of times. He will start in the bottom six, but has all the makings of being a fan favourite from his style of play.
#10 Evan Campbell, Port Coquitlam, B.C. 6’2″, 190lbs (1993, Langley Rivermen) 2011/2012 stats: 48GP, 12 goals, 9 assists, 21 points, 35PIM…The Skinny: After coming over from the Express in November, “Soupy” really made a name for himself. He was able to work his way up the depth chart all the way to the second line and that looks like that is where he will stay to start this season. He is a power forward that can score, hit, and make plays with the best of them. Although, he will miss the showcase with a lower body injury suffered in exhibition, expect a breakout season from the PoCo native.
#11 Austin Azurdia, Wenatchee, Washington, 6’0″, 180lbs (1993, Dallas Ice Jets) 2011/2012 stats: 7GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, 6PIM…The Skinny: Azurdia seems like the player that is comfortable playing in any situation. He is a speedster out on the ice and has a high hockey IQ. Along with having great skill, he also is very feisty and not afraid to get into the dirty areas and he will even drop the gloves if need be.
#12 Derek Sutliffe, Las Vegas, Nevada, 6’1″, 169lbs (1992, Langley Rivermen) 2011/2012 stats: 60GP, 15 goals, 17 assists, 32 points, 34PIM…The Skinny: The Rivermen’s swiss army knife looks poised for to past his point totals from last season. Sutliffe is arguably the most reliable player on the ice, especially in the defensive zone and also has a nice set of hands as well. One of his key attributes is his speed as he is always a threat to make something happen whenever he is out there.
#14 Ben Butcher, Bellingham, Washington, 6’2″, 190lbs (1995, Pursuit of Excellence) 2011/2012 stats: 13GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, 12PIM…The Skinny: The potential for this kid is through the roof as he has shown his smarts and skill throughout his time in Langley thus far. Butcher has great offensive instincts and can be very slippery when in a one on one situation. His blood lines don’t hurt either as his dad played nearly 900 games in the NHL, while his brother Matt was a BCHL star with Chilliwack.
#15 Jakob Reichert, Langley, B.C. 6’5″, 225lbs (1993, Merritt Centennials) 2011/2012 stats: 58GP, 14 goals, 12 assists, 26 points, 108PIM…The Skinny: The big fish that the Rivermen landed in the off-season has looked nothing short of brilliant. The big 6’5″ power forward has the potential to be a 30 goal scorer this season with his size, strength, speed, and skill. You do not want to be the guy standing in his way when he is in full flight driving towards the net. Expect big things from the hometown boy this upcoming season and that includes a scholarship.
#16 Trevor Cope, Commerce, Michigan, 6’0″, 190lbs (1994, Victory Honda U-18) 2011/2012 stats: 36GP, 18 goals, 28 assists, 48 points, 111PIM…The Skinny: This versatile forward has looked outstanding since coming to Langley. He has shown he can do it all on the ice whether its power play or penalty killing. He plays a lot bigger than his 6’0″, 190 pound frame and is very hard to knock off the puck with his low centre of gravity. He may start on the third line, but don’t expect him to get too comfortable there.
#18 Mario Puskarich, Fort Walton, Florida, 5’9″. 190lbs (1992, Langley Rivermen) 2011/2012 stats: 60GP, 31 goals, 28 assists, 59 points, 26PIM…The Skinny: Will 40 goals be in the cards for “Super Mario” this season? It is definitely the plan by talking to him a week back. Puskarich worked very hard in the off-season to get stronger and faster and it seems his hard work paid off to say the least. He possesses one of the quickest releases in the entire BCHL in my opinion, and this year his shot looks like it even has more torque on it. It is a big year for Puskarich heading into his final BCHL season and if he plays anything like last year, a scholarship will fall in his lap.
#23 Ben Greiner, Fairbault, Minnesota, 6’1″, 185lbs (1993, Langley Rivermen) 2012/2012 stats: 27GP, 5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points, 17PIM…The Skinny: After playing injured for most of last season, Greiner is 100% healthy and looks to grab more of an offensive role this time around. He is a very well-rounded player as he can adapt to all situations whether he wants to be an in your face type or show off some of his skill. He can play on the first or fourth line and won’t complain either way. Just an all around team player.
#26 Matt Ustaski, Glenview, Illinois, 6’6″, 210lbs (1994, Lake Forest Academy) 2011/2012 stats: 13GP, 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, 2PIM…The Skinny: It is not often you see centremen at 6’6″ that can skate like the wind, but Ustaski is that guy. His mix of size and speed will cause fits for the opposition and will be hard for scouts not to take notice. He may be very quiet off the ice, but when that puck drops, that is when he let’s his play do the talking.
#28 Scott Moyer, Portland, Oregon, 6’0″, 185lbs(1992, Langley Rivermen) 2011/2012 season stats: 23GP, 5 goals, 2 assists, 7 points, 19PIM…The Skinny: After having his season cut short last year due to shoulder surgery, Moyer has come back looking stronger than ever. I have been very impressed of what the Oregon native has done since training camp started and he looks like he is ready for a leadership role this season. Like a lot of forwards on this year’s roster he can do everything the coaches ask of him. He is very sound defensively as you will see him penalty killing regularly. He is also very strong on the puck and can make plays to boot.
Head Coach/GM- Bobby Henderson
Associate Head Coach- Jordan Emmerson
Athletic Therapist: Brayden Tonogai