Allen Douglas / Kamloops Blazers

Off-season outlook: Kamloops Blazers

This is an ongoing series as we start the long road to the 2019-20 WHL season. We will be going in the order that teams were eliminated from contention. Keep in mind that the roster guesses vary because of information made available to us. We did our very best to capture all of the signings, but could be missing some.

2018-19 WHL Season: Kamloops stumbled along the way in 2018-19, their first and only season under head coach Serge Lajoie.

A late-season run, led by 2001-born forward Connor Zary and 2002-born goalie Dylan Garand, brought them into a play-in game for the third seed in the B.C. Division. They won that game 5-1 over the Kelowna Rockets, setting up a first round series with the Victoria Royals.

Dylan Garand (Photo courtesy of Allen Douglas/Kamloops Blazers)

The Royals took them out in six games as the magic ran out for Kamloops.

Lajoie was then removed from his head coaching role, as was assistant coach Dan Kordic. The table seems to be set for late-season addition to the coaching staff, Darryl Sydor to take over the bench.

Sydor has yet to be named the new head coach though. Who will be coaching the 2019-20 Blazers is something that will need to be decided upon this summer.

2019 WHL Bantam Draft: Kamloops is picking twice in the first round on Thursday. Their first selection (their own) is seventh overall, while their second (from Everett) is 20th. In the first four rounds, they have another extra choice too as they have Everett’s fourth round pick. In the 16 rounds shown on the WHL site, they have all of their own picks, plus four more. None of their own choices have been moved.

Both of those picks from Everett came over in the Garrett Pilon and Ondrej Vala trade back in January of 2018.

Signed Players (26):

Forwards (15):

Zane Franklin (Photo by Christopher Mast/Everett Silvertips)

1999 – Travis Walton, Zane Franklin, Kobe Mohr

2000 – Orrin Centazzo, Ryley Appelt, Brodi Stuart

2001 – Connor Zary, Martin Lang, Jerzy Orchard

2002 – Josh Pillar, Kyrell Sopotyk, Reese Belton

2003 – Logan Stankoven, Caedan Bankier, Matthew Seminoff

Defensemen (9):

1999 – Jackson Caller

2000 – Luke Zazula, Montana Onyebuchi, Sean Strange

2001 – Quinn Schmiemann, Joonas Sillanpaa

2002 – Ethan Brandwood, Trevor Thurston

2003 – Logan Bairos

Goalies (2):

1999 –

2000 –

2001 – Rayce Ramsay

2002 – Dylan Garand

2003 –

Aged Out: Goalie Dylan Ferguson struggled through the first 3/4 of the season but then responded and regained his form. Jermaine Loewen had some big goals and was a pain for each of his opponents. He will be taking his infectious personality on from the WHL. The last overage moving on is defenseman/forward Jeff Faith.

Kobe Mohr-Brodi Stuart (photo-Brian Liesse)

Overage Shuffle: Zane Franklin came over from Lethbridge and instantly became one of the best play makers on the team. He led Kamloops with 68 points in 68 games and should be coming back as an overage.

They have three players right now for the other two spots. Kobe Mohr came over from Edmonton prior to the season and compiled 27 points in a depth role.

Travis Walton (three points) and defenseman Jackson Caller (four points in 45 games) are the two other 1999-born players on the roster.

Import Issues?: Martin Lang put up 33 points in his first season and as an incoming 18-year-old could be in line for a breakout second season in North America.

Quinn Schmiemann (photo-Allen Douglas)

Joonas Sillanpaa is also an incoming 18-year-old and seemed to adjust more and more the later we got into the season.

If they and the players want, Kamloops seems locked in to bring both of them back.

2019 NHL Draft: Quinn Schmiemann is the only Blazer listed. He is 94th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.

 

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    Brandon Rivers
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    This is an ongoing series as we start the long road to the 2019-20 WHL season. We will be going in the order that teams were eliminated from contentio
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