Knights ready for opener

The North Okanagan Knights are ready for their Kootenay International Junior Hockey League opener.

The North Okanagan Knights wrapped up their exhibition schedule by losing 1-0 to the Revelstoke Grizzlies in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play Saturday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The Knights went 0-3 in the exhibition season, getting outscored 10-2.

“In exhibition games you want to see progress and evaluate your players. If you compare our first game with our last game, you would see a more structure-based team,” said Knights’ bench boss Jim Armstrong.

The Knights were blanked twice during the pretend season and it is something that Armstrong has already addressed.

“It’s always a concern when you don’t score. Thankfully, Logan Mostat is coming back. He is a veteran in this league and he brings a scoring prescence to our lineup,” said Armstrong.

Mostat was released by his hometown Salmon Arm SilverBacks  after playing against the Vernon Vipers Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. He supplied nine goals and 17 points for the Knights last season.

Dryden Profeit has been named the Knights’ captain, but Armstrong and his coaching staff are still working on the assistant captains.

Armstrong enters the season with assistant coaches Bobby Nichols, Jeremy Wiebe and Chris Kingdon. Nichols will work with the forwards, Wiebe with the defence and Kingdon the goalies.

Local product Layne Greene appears to have earned a spot with the Knights. Armstrong was impressed with the young defenceman, who joined the Knights late after leaving the Revelstoke Grizzlies.

“He is going to help us a lot. He is a mobile deeman, he’s smart, he’s physical, he doesn’t shy away from contact and he has an offensive side to him as well,” said Armstrong.

It looks like returnee goaltender Mitch Profeit has cashed in on the starting job. Profeit was 7-10 with a 3.36 goals against average and a .894 save percentage last year.

A pair of 17-year-olds in Nathan Harmel and Tyler Quiring, along with 18-year-old Brady Lenardon, will battle it out for the backup position. Lenardon was an affiliated player with the team last season. The Knights open their regular season at home Friday night against the Osoyoos Coyotes.

“I’m feeling good about the regular season. It’s gonna be a tough game, Osoyoos has 16 returning players, but we’ve got a few practices to work on our structure and finalize this team,” said Armstrong.

The Coyotes eliminated the Knights in five games during last season’s playoffs.