Even in these highly unusual times, Selkirk College Saints head coach Dave Hnatiuk has managed to bolster the program’s roster with talented recruits who are eager to start their post-secondary journey.
The former assistant coach with the University of Regina Cougars, Hnatiuk took the reins of the Selkirk College program last June. Though not optimum timing to sculpt a roster through proper recruiting, the rookie head coach iced a team for the 2019-2020 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season that held its own.
“There are many challenges when you arrive to a new program as the head coach,” says Hnatiuk.
“We had a dressing room full of great young athletes who represented their school very well and adapted to the coaching change in a positive way. Recruiting players for future seasons is essential to the success of any program and has many layers. In preparing for this season, we have been able to carry out a proper process that has resulted in some great commitments.”
The latest addition to the Saints’ roster brings with him 122 games of British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) experience with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Jackson Doucet is a speedy forward who is expected to provide an exciting level of offensive production to the Saints in the 2020-2021 season.
Originally from Victoria, Doucet scored 13 goals and added 17 assists with the Bulldogs last season.
“I chose Selkirk College because after speaking with Coach Hnatiuk multiple times, he gave me a very solid picture of what the program’s goals are both on the ice and off the ice,” says Doucet, who was an assistant captain with the Bulldogs.
“Selkirk College gives me the best opportunity to develop as a player and improve in all aspects of the game. I take my education very seriously and this will be a great start for my post-secondary.”
Doucet will join other recruits that include goaltender Jake Anthony, defenceman Bekkam Willis and forwards Carson Erhardt, Jacob Elik, Eric Hildebrand and Brad Marshall. All six commitments have solid Junior A resumes and are expected to make immediate impacts on the ice and off.
Hnatiuk will continue to speak to student-athletes about joining the Saints, but has put down a solid foundation with the key additions to this point.
“Being the only college in a league that consists of four-year universities makes the recruiting process more continuous and absolutely vital to success,” says Hnatiuk.
“Our program provides individuals the opportunity to compete at a high level and get an ideal start to their post-secondary education. We take great pride knowing that we have moved many players onto next steps in both their education and their hockey careers.”
The opening of the Saints training camp and the start of BCIHL season will be contingent upon Provincial Government guidelines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.