100 Mile House Wranglers Head Coach & GM Dale Hladun is excited about the impact a trio of Williams Lake minor hockey products will make during the 2022-23 season.
Hladun signed Jackson Altwasser, Curtis Roorda and Boston Pierce from the U18 program and all three played eight games as affiliates with the Wranglers last season. Described as great people coming from “great families”, Hladun said he knows the “community will be proud of how they carry themselves and how hard they will compete in front of the fans of Wrangler Nation.”
Atlwasser is a left-handed forward at 6-3, 175 pounds and had two points. He brings a “shot first” mentality with his heavy shot. He produced 29 points in 11 games last season.
“He is very competitive and had a large role on his U18 hockey team. I like a lot of what Jackson brings to our club and I foresee huge potential in his development,” Hladun said.
Altwasser is excited for the opportunity that Hladun is giving him and he’s hoping to contribute. Altwasser felt this was a good option for him to play as it’s close to home for the 17-year-old. The games he played showed him the quicker pace of the KIJHL compared to what he is used to.
“I kind of know what to expect. I will be prepared for when the season starts,” he said. “It just gives me an inside edge.”
Pierce brings creativity and competitiveness to the blueline and put up 35 points in 35 games last season.
“I like his vision and hockey IQ,” said Hladun. ”Boston also possesses strong leadership skills and will bring great character into our dressing room.”
Like Altwasser, Pierce is excited about playing close to home, but added the Wranglers are a step up for his hockey career. Pierce, 16, is eager to keep improving.
Playing last season with the Wranglers gave Pierce a chance to see what the organization is like and the people involved.
“That definitely helped me choose them,” he said. “It’s a great team, a great town – a hockey town.”
Playing games also gave him a good idea of what the league is like.
“I can keep up and I just need to be confident in myself. I was able to fit in with the competition. I was able to fit in with the team,” he said.
Roorda is a big power forward at six feet,185 pounds and put up 39 goals and 74 points last season while captaining his team.
“Curtis is a strong skater with a heavy shot and will finish his hits on opponents. He is a well grounded young man and possesses very strong leadership skills,” said Hladun. “I feel Curtis will be a big reason why opponents will find our club tough to play against.”
Roorda chose to sign with the Wranglers after several conversations with Hladun and attending a couple of his camps. His experience last season was valuable because despite feeling some nerves, he noticed the change in pace at the junior level.
“I was pretty shaky for those eight games,” he said. “It was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it and it made me want to come back this year.”
Roorda also discovered the physical play of the KIJHL, and saw that the goalies are better.
“It’s just better hockey. A really fun atmosphere in the dressing room. It’s pretty cool,” he said. “I’m really excited to get in there and see how I perform.”
While Hladun highlighted skating as a skill he likes that Roorda possesses, the player recognizes it’s an area that can be better. He plans to work on that during ice sessions at Total Ice Training Centre in Williams Lake.