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Next Generation: Prince George Spruce Kings

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 Prince George Spruce Kings.


The Prince George Spruce Kings finished the 2022-23 season tied for fourth place in the Interior Conference with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, but Salmon Arm won the tiebreaker and got home-ice advantage in their first-round series. That gave them an early edge, which they took full advantage of, and PG ended up losing the series in four games.

Spruce Kings head coach Alex Evin is back for his seventh year with the team and his fifth as the team’s bench boss, after previously serving as an assistant for two seasons.

The former BCHL goaltender is tasked with leading Prince George back to its championship form from 2019 when they won their first Fred Page Cup in team history. The team has made a number of additions in the offseason and Evin gives us a scouting report on each one.

New recruits

J.R. Perdion (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Strongsville, Ohio
  • Previous team: Odessa Jackalopes (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Long Island University

Perdion is a veteran of three junior seasons in the North American Hockey League. His best year came with Odessa in 2021-22 when he had 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points in 59 games.

Evin’s scouting report:

“J.R. is a good-skating, hard-working player. He has play-making ability and should help provide offence for our group. He brings a lot of experience at the junior level. We’re excited that he is coming to Prince George.”

Max Ranström (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Filipstad, Sweden
  • Previous team: Skellefteå AIK (J20 Nationell)
  • College commitment: Lake Superior State University

In his first year at Sweden’s U20 level, playing alongside multiple NHL draft picks, Ranström notched a pair of goals and 12 assists in 36 games.

Evin’s scouting report:

“Max is a good-skating, puck-moving defenceman. While there will certainly be some transition to the North American style of play and culture, we believe Max’s skillset and mind for the game will allow him to contribute at a high level for our team.”

Ryan Sanborn (2005, G)

  • Hometown: Brookfield, Conn.
  • Previous team: The Hill School (USHS-Prep)
  • College commitment: Rensselaer Polytechnic University

In 67 prep school games over the past two seasons at The Hill School, Sanborn posted a save percentage of .921.

Evin’s scouting report:

“Ryan is a very calm, well-positioned goaltender. Once he is up to speed with the pace and quality of players in our league, I expect him to push for the number-one job and help us win games.”

Jared Langdon (2006, F)

  • Hometown: St. John’s, N.L.
  • Previous team: Wellington Dukes (OJHL)
  • College commitment: Clarkson University

Langdon played for Wellington of the Ontario Junior Hockey League last season as a 16-year-old and notched nine goals, 13 assists and 22 points in 53 games.

Evin’s scouting report:

“Jared is highly competitive and is a high-character individual with a good hockey IQ. Although he is young, he will have an opportunity to play a big role for us this season.”

Alexis Cournoyer (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Sorel-Tracy, Que.
  • Previous team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

Cournoyer played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last year for Saint John and put up 28 points in 67 regular-season games.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We lost our top three centermen from last year to college, but Alexis will help add to our depth down the middle. He has good size and can handle a puck. He will be relied on to play in all situations for us.”

Dylan Wegner (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
  • Previous team: Aberdeen Wings (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Michigan State University

Wegner brings two years of junior experience from his time spent in both the U.S. Hockey League and the North American Hockey League. In 2022-23, he had 14 goals, 15 assists and 29 points in 57 games for Aberdeen.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We wanted to add more competitiveness to our lineup this season. Dylan has the tools to be a very effective power forward. He will provide leadership to our locker room and play a solid 200-foot game.”

Kazumo Sasaki (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Nishitokyo, Japan
  • Previous team: Chippewa Steel (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Lake Superior State University

Sasaki was born in Japan, but has been playing hockey in North America for several years. Last season, he suited up for Chippewa of the North American Hockey League for his rookie year in junior and totaled 26 points in 54 contests.

Evin’s scouting report:

“He is very talented and can drive the play with his speed and competitiveness. I see a lot of potential for him to grow into a top player for us one day.”

Zach Zapanta (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Richmond, B.C.
  • Previous team: St. George’s School Prep (CSSHL U18)

Zapanta was with St. George’s program from 2018-19 to 2022-23. Last year with the U18 team, he was their leading scorer with 36 points in 33 games, with a team-best 23 assists.

Evin’s scouting report:

“Zach is a tenacious player and a high-character individual. He does a lot of little things well that sometimes go unnoticed on a score sheet. We are excited to have him grow and develop within our program.”

Skogen Schrott (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Lithia, Fla.
  • Previous team: Florida Alliance (18U AAA)
  • College commitment: Michigan Tech University

Schrott put up massive numbers for his 18U team in Florida last season, leading the club with 32 goals, 36 assists and 68 points, all in just 33 games played. He also scored 18 goals and chipped in seven assists in just seven games for Newsome High last year.

Evin’s scouting report:

“Skogen has very good puck skills and play-making ability. He will have lots to learn at the junior level, but we hope he can be a good player for us for a couple of seasons.”

Carter Hesselgrave (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Quesnel, B.C.
  • Previous team: Cariboo Cougars AAA (BCEHL U18)

Hesselgrave played in the Cariboo Cougars program the past four years, including the last two with their U18 squad where he put up 44 points over 66 games. He also spent nine regular-season games with Prince George as an affiliate last season and another two in the playoffs.

Evin’s scouting report:

“Carter was around our team a lot the past few seasons and did not look out of place. He always brings his best effort and a great attitude each day. We feel like he is going to be a very reliable player and a great Spruce King.”

Brogan McNeil (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Delta, B.C.
  • Previous team: Delta Hockey Academy Prep (CSSHL U18)

McNeil played his first year with Delta Hockey Academy’s U18 team last year, but was part of the program going back to the 2019-20 campaign. In 2022-23, his 17 goals in 32 games were the most on the team and his 27 points were tied for third.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We are hoping Brogan will have a good year of development with us and grow into a gritty power forward. He has a good shot and likes to play a physical game.”

Evan Bellamy (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Hampton, N.B.
  • Previous team: Grand Falls Rapids (MHL)

Bellamy spent last season playing for Grand Falls of the Maritime Junior Hockey League and was his team’s top-scoring defenceman with 37 points in 46 games.

Evin’s scouting report:

“Evan was raised in a good hockey family. He plays with an edge, has a high passion for the game and is eager to learn. We think he can be a top BCHL defenceman one day and a good college prospect.”

Marcus Ouellet (2004, G)

  • Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
  • Previous team: Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL)
  • College commitment: American International College

Ouellet was one of two Cochrane goalies last year that played significant minutes in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. The year prior, he spent time with St. Michael’s College School and the Don Mills Flyers U18 program.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We love his passion and drive to be the best he can be. He had a rough year in terms of wins and losses last season, but we were always impressed by his skillset and effort on a consistent basis. This year, we wanted two talented goaltenders that will compete each day for the net and be great teammates and we believe we have that.”

Acquired via trade

Markus Yim (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Cranbrook Bucks (BCHL)

Yim played in 30 regular-season games for Cranbrook during his rookie year in the BCHL and registered a goal and five assists.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We like the way he skates and moves the puck. Markus will be a great addition to our locker room and will fit in well with our style of play.”


Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Sanborn, Schrott), CSSHL (Zapanta, Mcneil), Garrett James Photography (Yim)