With playing commitments from a pair of top-notch defenceman, the three-time defending British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) champion Selkirk College Saints have started to rebuild a key component to continued success.
With the majority of the 2014-2015 Saints blueline contingent graduating this spring, the team is pleased to announce the addition of tier II junior veteran Ashton McLeod and junior B champion Nathan Browne.
Ashton McLeod recently completed his final season with the Humbolt Broncos in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. A solid defenceman in his own zone, McLeod also has the ability to move the puck and will be an asset to the Selkirk College Saints blueline corps in the upcoming season.
“Ashton will be a very smart, capable player in our league,” says Saints head coach Alex Evin. “We are looking to replace a lot of veteran championship winning defenseman next season and we couldn’t be happier adding a player like Ashton.”
McLeod is a 6-foot, 200-pound defenseman who recently completed his final season with the Humbolt Broncos in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. A product of Lethbridge Minor Hockey, McLeod previously spent two seasons playing for the Canmore Eagles in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In three seasons of tier II hockey, McLeod played 147 games scoring three goals and 25 assists.
Appearing in the playoffs in all three seasons, McLeod is a good first passing defenseman who takes pride in playing in his team’s own zone. His ability to read the play, both defensively and offensively, puts himself in the best possible position to either break up offenders or jump in the play without giving up poor positioning.
“I didn’t know much about Selkirk when I first got the call, but after looking into it and hearing from one of my friends how great it is, it was hard to say no,” says McLeod. “It is a beautiful place to play and go to school and they had the courses that I was planning on taking.”
McLeod plans to take the Electrical Foundation Program at Nelson’s Silver King Campus and hopes to one day run his own company.
“I would just like to thank Selkirk College and the Saints hockey team for giving me an amazing opportunity to pursue my hockey career as well as education, I’m extremely honoured,” says McLeod.
A Proven Winner on the Blueline
Browne is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound defenseman who recently won a Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Championship with the Campbell River Storm. He contributed three goals and three assists in 10 playoff contests. The Storm will now compete in the Cyclone Taylor Cup beginning this Friday in Mission, BC.
With the ability to skate and move the puck, Browne will play a significant role with the Saints as they rebuild their defense corps. Browne began his junior hockey career with the North Okanagan Knights of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League after graduating from the Okanagan Rockets Major Midget program. After a run to the KIJHL championship finals with the Knights in 2013, Browne signed on with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the British Columbia Hockey League and spent time in junior A in Ontario before landing with the Storm.
Nathan Browne will provide an imposing presence on the Selkirk College Saints blueline in the 2015-2016 season and is a proven junior hockey champion.
“Coach Lee [Stone] gave me every opportunity to perform at my best in Campbell River and I am very thankful to him and the entire Storm organization,” says Browne. “I’m excited to join Selkirk College because they have established themselves as a winning program and that is something I value and want to contribute to.”
Knowing how to win at a high level is something the Saints have entrenched in their program and Browne will help fill the skates of an excellent 2014-2015 graduating class.
“Adding another player with championship experience is valuable to our hockey program,” says Evin. “Nathan is a quality person and athlete who we believe will be very successful in academics and athletics.”
Browne’s former coach is confident the blueliner will make an impact at Selkirk College.
“We are very excited for Nathan to take the next step in his hockey career while pursuing his post-secondary education,” says Storm head coach Stone. “Selkirk has a great tradition of winning hockey, something Nathan has become accustomed to over the last year. There is little doubt in my mind that Nathan will be a difference maker at the BCIHL level both on and off the ice as he is with our program here in Campbell River.”
Browne plans to study in the School of Environment & Geomatics at Selkirk College.
McLeod and Browne join the 2015-2016 Saints recruiting class of forwards Dallas Calvin (Trail, BCHL), Troy Maclise (Osoyoos, KIJHL), Nelson Hurry (Summerland, KIJHL), Brett Huber (Summerland, KIJHL) and Marcel Fuchs (Creston, KIJHL).