Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Aiden Hansen-Bukata will be making the jump to NCAA Division I hockey in the 2020-21 season, but the BCHL rookie won’t have to adjust to a new colour scheme as he will trade the Clippers orange and black for the orange and black of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tigers.
Hansen-Bukata is having an impressive first season in Nanaimo after playing a handful of games as an affiliate for the Surrey Eagles last year. The 19-year-old from Delta, B.C. is in the top-15 in scoring among BCHL defencemen with 30 points (five goals, 25 assists) in 47 games. He also leads his team in that category and is fifth among all Clippers skaters. He’s been a key contributor to a Nanaimo team that has had a strong second half of the season which has seen them pull away from the teams at the bottom of the Island Division and solidify their third-place position.
RIT plays in the Atlantic Hockey conference along with Air Force, American International, Army West Point, Bentley, Canisius, Holy Cross, Mercyhurst, Niagara, Robert Morris and Sacred Heart. RIT are currently in third place in the conference with a record of 10-7-3.
The Tigers 2018-19 roster features Surrey Eagles alum Christian Short, Powell River Kings alum Adam Brubacher, Langley Rivermen alum Spencer Berry and former Chilliwack Chiefs captain Will Calverley.
Coquitlam Express goaltender Kolby Matthews (2019-20), Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Dimitri Mikrogiannakis (2020-21) and Prince George Spruce Kings forward Sam Kozlowski (2019-20) are also committed to RIT.