Leaf's Anklewich signs with NCAA D3 Monarchs
Nelson Leafs captain Bennett Anklewich has signed to play for the King’s College Monarchs in NCAA Division III next season.
King’s College Monarchs play in the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) college athletic conference which operates in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania in the eastern United States.
The UCHC participates in NCAA Division III as a hockey-only conference.
Anklewich was third on the Leafs in points with 33 in 42 games and added seven in four KIJHL Teck Cup championship games.
In 85 career games over three seasons with the Leafs, the Calgary, Alberta product had 22 goals and 66 points.
Anklewich is honoured to commit to the Monarchs and King’s College adding his experience playing in the KIJHL was “nothing short of amazing.”
“I have absolutely loved my time with the Nelson Leafs and am thrilled to be able to step up to the next level,” said Anklewich.
“The Leafs organization has made it possible for me to realize my dream of playing NCAA college hockey.”
Leafs Head Coach-GM Briar McNaney said Anklewich was not only a great player for the Leafs, but he was fantastic away from the rink.
“He would help organize and participate in many community activities with a smile and take time to say hello to any fans or children around the rink, even if it meant him changing his routines,” said McNaney.
“Bennett made himself a fan favourite for many reasons and we will surely miss him, but we are extremely proud to call him one of our own.”
Anklewich is the second Nelson Leafs player to sign with an American College after defenceman Kingsley Brockett signed to play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association for the University of Jamestown Jimmies in 2023-24.
The 6-2, 195-pound blueliner completed his third and final season in the KIJHL with the Leafs recording 15 points in 38 regular season games. The Calgary product began his KIJHL with the Sicamous Eagles in 2020-21 and registered eight goals and 35 points in 68 career games. He played in 28 KIJHL playoff games, collecting five assists.
Brockett is excited to begin a new chapter that will further his education and play hockey at a high level.
“Jamestown checked all the boxes for me and was an easy decision to make when talking to the coaching staff and players about the program they have,” he said.
“Playing in the KIJHL helped me develop defensively and turned me into a two-way defenceman. I’m thankful for all the coaches I had in Sicamous and Nelson that helped me mature on and off-the-ice and helped push me to the next level.”
Leafs Head Coach Briar McNaney said that Brockett was a very important part of the team to start 2023.
The Nelson Leafs lost out to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the first round of the KIJHL Divisional Playoffs.
Coach-GM McNaney has been busy recruiting for the 2023-24 Nelson Leafs hockey team.
McNaney signed on as Head Coach-GM with the Green and White in February.
—With Files from Emanuel Sequeira KIJHL Director of Communications