His play has been noticed in Junior B hockey circles in 2022.
Coldstream’s Austin Seibel, goalie for the North Okanagan Knights, has been selected for the first B.C. Hockey Conference Prospects Game, featuring members of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and Pacific Junior Hockey League.
Seibel and the KIJHL prospects will take on the PJHL’s best up-and-comers Tuesday, Nov. 22, at the Sardis Sports Complex in Chilliwack.
“Austin has been a rock for us since the start of the season and has always found ways to come up with big saves and keep us in games and win games for us,” said Knights head coach and general manager Liam McOnie.
”We are very proud of Austin on being selected for the Prospects Game and couldn’t be more excited for him to be recognized by other coaches and executives around the league. He has definitely earned this opportunity to showcase his talent and we wish him all the best.”
Seibel, 17, has compiled a 6-5 record with one shutout in 12 games played for the Knights. He’s the league’s youngest starting netminder, putting up a .919 save percentage and a 3.11 goals against average. Seibel is in the KIJHL Top 10 in minutes played and save-percentage.
Seibel is confident in his crease, is even-keeled and likes playing a patient game, and says communicating with his teammates is important. Adjusting to the KIJHL has been a step up from when he played in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League a year ago with the Prairie Hockey Academy of Caronport, Sask.
“It’s definitely pushing me and it’s going to be good for me at the end of the year as I improve more and more,” said Seibel.
The 6-foot-1, 162-pound goalie has improved his reads as the pace is faster, and knowing what is coming and what he needs to be aware of.
Seibel is an affiliate player with the Junior A B.C. Hockey League’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The KIJHL’s roster selection process for the Prospects Game has been guided by head coach Dave Hnatiuk of the Grand Forks Border Bruins, assistants Mark Readman (Princeton Posse) and Ty Valin (Fernie Ghostriders), and operations manager Lance Morey (Nelson Leafs) over the past month. Prospects Game rosters are composed primarily of 2005- and 2006-born players, with a maximum of six 2004-born players eligible to be selected by each team.
Seibel will share goaltending duties with Damon Cunningham of the Sicamous Eagles. Cunningham leads the KIJHL with a 1.50 goals against average, and has a .959 save percentage.
“I’m very pleased with the level of talent and character that we’ve been able to identify to represent the KIJHL at the 2022 BCHC Top Prospects Game,” says Hnatiuk. “We’re excited to get this group together and begin our off-ice preparations so that these players can capitalize on the opportunity to showcase themselves in front of Junior A coaches and scouts.”
The KIJHL’s Top Prospects will travel to Chilliwack on Monday, Nov. 21, where they will practice and attend an event banquet prior to the game the next day. The 2022 BCHC Top Prospects Game will face off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and will be broadcast on Hockey TV.