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Next Generation: Nanaimo Clippers

Presented by Chevrolet.

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2023-24 season, we will go team-by-team to profile new players entering the league for the upcoming season, including scouting reports from the coaches.

This year, we will go in reverse order of how the teams finished last season, starting with the two clubs that missed the playoffs and ending with the two league finalists. Next up is the Nanaimo Clippers.


The Nanaimo Clippers followed up their run to the league finals in 2021-22 with a first-place finish last year as they went 37-14-3-0 to finish atop the Coastal Conference standings.

They won a hard-fought series against the eighth-seeded Langley Rivermen in six games, but were then defeated in six by the Chilliwack Chiefs in Round 2.

The Clippers hired Curtis Toneff as an assistant coach this summer after he spent two seasons as the head coach and general manager of the Merritt Centennials. Toneff helps us break down Nanaimo’s new recruits this offseason.

New recruits

Chase Hull (2007, F)

  • Hometown: Ottawa, Ont.
  • Previous team: Renfrew Wolves U18 AAA (HEO U18)
  • College commitment: Penn State University

Playing the majority of the year as a 15-year-old, Hull led his U18 team in goals (33), assists (30) and points (63) last year.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s an elite talent at 16-years-old who will slot into our top-nine. Once he gets his feet wet, it might take him five to seven games, but he’s so smart that we know he will figure it out and be one of those 16-year-olds that puts up numbers. That’s hard to do in our league, but we feel like he’s going to come in and have a great deal of success.”

Isa Parekh (2003, D)

  • Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
  • Previous team: Georgetown Raiders (OJHL)
  • College commitment: Bemidji State University

In his second full season in the Ontario Junior Hockey League last year, Parekh finished as the league’s second-highest scoring defenceman, just one back of the league lead with 61 points in 54 games. Splitting his season between Georgetown and the North York Rangers, his 48 assists were the most among all OJHL blueliners.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s a very dynamic, elite offensive defenceman. His style of play gives off a bit of an Erik Karlsson vibe. He’s very shifty and has a lot of swagger on the ice. He’s going to be a threat on the power play and a threat at 5-on-5 as well. I wouldn’t want to be a player trying to defend him on the blueline.”

Andrew Brown (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Oakville, Ont.
  • Previous team: Oakville Blades (OJHL)

Brown played the past two years with Oakville of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and was the captain of the team last season. He led the Blades in points from the back end in 2022-23 with 36 in 52 games, good enough for third overall in team scoring.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s a really steady, two-way defenceman. He was the captain of his team in the OJHL as a 17-year-old, which speaks volumes to his character. Coming in as a 2005-born player with over 100 games of junior hockey experience in a leadership role, that’s pretty exciting for our back end.”

Connor Deturris (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
  • Previous team: Janesville Jets (NAHL)
  • College commitment: University of New Hampshire

Deturris put up 37 points in 47 games last year with Janesville of the North American Hockey League to finish second in team scoring. His 19 goals were also tied for the team lead.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s going to start the season a little bit late because of injury, but he’s a highly skilled forward with experience. He’s coming in and looking to do damage. Sometimes it takes time for a guy to really pop, but we’re built pretty solidly with veteran junior players, and he’s another one of those guys. We’re excited for him to get healthy and add to our offence.”

Noah Alvarez (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Previous team: Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL)
  • College commitment: Army West Point

Alvarez played the past two seasons with Camrose of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 2022-23, he was top-five in team scoring with 38 points in 60 games.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“We’re excited about him. We think he’s going to have a great year. He came highly recommended. He seems to have great character with skill and tenacity as well. Just from talking to him on the phone, you can tell that he’s dialed in and ready to have a great year.”

Thomas Kiesewetter (2005, G)

  • Hometown: Plymouth, Mass.
  • Previous team: Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Princeton University

Kiesewetter split last season between Danbury and the Corpus Christi IceRays in the North American Hockey League where he got into 30 games and had a record of 6-17-4.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s a 6-foot-6 goaltender and was at the Columbus Blue Jackets development camp this year. The Clippers have had some recent success with recruiting goaltenders, so we couldn’t be more excited to see what he can do. At his age, with his size and potential, he’s going to be tough to beat. He had some ups and downs last season, but that’s junior hockey. We’re excited to see what he does.”

Cole Lonsdale (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Mississauga, Ont.
  • Previous team: Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Rochester Institute of Technology

Lonsdale put up 15 goals, 17 assists and 32 points in 39 games last year in the North American Hockey League.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s a guy with two years of junior experience under his belt. We really believe he’s going to pop off and do good things for us this season. He can skate and he can play centre or the wing. He’s got a good motor on him as well. We’re excited to bring him in.”

Samuel Boisvert (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Mirabel, Que.
  • Previous team: Mount Academy Saints (U18 AAA)

Boisvert put up over two points per game last season at Mount Academy, notching 127 points (45 goals, 82 assists) in 63 games to lead the team.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“The sky is the limit for him. He’s a big lad and has been committed to the team for quite some time. He’s 6-foot-4 and about 200 pounds. He’ll be one that scouts will be watching closely the next couple years.”

Gus El-Tahhan (2005, F)

  • Hometown: New Maryland, N.B.
  • Previous team: Mount Academy Saints (U18 AAA)

A teammate of Boisvert’s at Mount Academy, El-Tahhan was another point producer, finishing second in team scoring with 119 points in 65 games across all competition. He was also the team’s leading goal scorer with 63 on the year.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s been committed to us since halfway through last season. There have been a couple of players in our league recently that have had success coming from that program. We’re excited to add his skill to our forward group. It’s going to be highly competitive to crack our top-nine this year and he will be in the mix.”

Gabriel Westling (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Mora, Sweden
  • Previous team: Maryland Black Bears (NAHL)
  • College commitment: St. Lawrence University

Westling had 10 goals and 16 assists in 42 games for Maryland of the North American Hockey League last year. Prior to that, he played his junior and youth hockey in Sweden’s Mora IK program.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“Gabriel is a 6-foot-4 player out of Sweden who can play centre or the wing. We really like the fact that he’s already used to the North American game, so there won’t be those adjustments to make. That size and strength makes him difficult to move in front of the net. He can also shoot a puck as good as anyone in the league probably. He’s very excited to come here. He’s put in a lot of work this summer.”

Tyler Hodges (2005, G)

  • Hometown: Gormley, Ont.
  • Previous team: Haliburton County Huskies (OJHL)

Hodges is coming off a strong rookie year in the Ontario Junior Hockey League where he went 13-5-0 with a .931 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average in 19 appearances with Haliburton.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He played on a really good team last year. He’s going to push to play at least a game a week. That’s his goal coming into the season. He’s been told he’s our 1B goaltender and his job is to knock on the door for the 1A job.”

Cole Semeniuk (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Oakville, Ont.
  • Previous team: Milton Menace (OJHL)

Semeniuk is a two-year veteran of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, most recently playing for Milton in 2022-23 where he put up three goals, 21 assists and 24 points in 50 games.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s a big, steady, two-way guy. We identified that as a need on the right side of our defence corps. He’s 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and still adding to his frame. I think he’ll be a miserable guy to play against. Growing into our top-four and playing in all situations would be the goal for him.”

Jack Edwards (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, Penn.
  • Previous team: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite (16U AAA)

Edwards worked his way through the Penguins Elite program for the past five years. Most recently, he suited up for the 16U squad and averaged over a point per game, finishing his season with 71 points in 64 games to end up second in team scoring.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s coming in as a pretty sought-after player. He has a righthanded shot, which is big for us since we have a lot of lefties in there right now. He’s had consistent growth coming up through the Penguins Elite system. I’ve always liked players that come from there. He’s a guy who is going to be one to watch for scouts and fans of our team.”

Luke Bibby (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Brantford, Ont.
  • Previous team: Brooks Bandits (AJHL)

Bibby won a league championship and a national title last year with Brooks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He contributed nine points in 24 regular-season games.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s a big, physical guy and has that attitude that he’ll do whatever it takes to win and be a thorn in people’s sides. He has a history of putting up points, so it’s an exciting add for our dressing room and on the ice.”

Connor Haynes (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
  • Previous team: Hamilton Kilty B’s (GOJHL)

Haynes played in Ontario’s top Junior B league with Hamilton the past two years. In 2022-23, he scored 18 goals and added 26 assists for 44 points in 40 games to finish third in team scoring. In the postseason, he was over a point per game with 18 in 16 postseason contests.

Toneff’s scouting report:

“He’s a steady centreman. Players that have had success in the GOJHL often come to our league and do quite well. He checks a lot of boxes for us. He’s a guy that can be very versatile and take care of both ends of the ice, along with putting up good numbers.”


Photo credit: Dan Hickling (Edwards)