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Next Generation: Salmon Arm Silverbacks

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 Salmon Arm Silverbacks.


The Salmon Arm Silverbacks were part of a group of five teams that finished the season separated by just three points in the Interior Conference. The ‘Backs went 27-20-4-3 and finished in fourth place and matched up with the Prince George Spruce Kings in round one of the playoffs, who they actually tied with in points, but got home-ice advantage because of the tie-breaker.

Salmon Arm went on to defeat PG in four straight, then beat the Vernon Vipers in five. In the Conference Finals , they matched up against the soon-to-be back-to-back champion Penticton Vees and were defeated in five games, but they were the only team to win a game against Penticton in the entire postseason.

The Silverbacks and head coach Tyler Shattock are hoping to capture that postseason magic and carry it into the start of the 2023-24 campaign. Shattock has made some big trades and added several new faces through recruiting this offseason. He gives us his scouting report.

New recruits

JJ Monteiro (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Hudson, Mass.
  • Previous team: Mount St. Charles Academy (16U AAA)
  • College commitment: Providence College

Monteiro produced at a remarkable clip last year with Mount St. Charles’ 16U group. His 95 points, 42 goals and 53 assists in 58 games were all team highs. He also represented the United States at the Hlinka Gretzky U18 tournament this spring and had a goal and three assists in five games.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s a talented kid. We think that he can come in and contribute for us right away. He plays the game at a fast pace because he skates so well. He’s going to be able to do a number of different things for us this year, even as a young kid.”

Nick Wellenreiter (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Dundas, Ont.
  • Previous team: Bishop Kearney Selects (16U AAA)
  • College commitment: University of Maine

Wellenreiter was Bishop Kearney’s leading scorer in 2022-23 after piling up 107 points in 71 games across all competition.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s offensively talented. He can definitely put the puck in the net. We think he can produce for us right away, even though he’s young. This summer, we were looking to get more production on offence and we think he can do that for us.”

Marcus Broberg (2003, D)

  • Hometown: Orebro, Sweden
  • Previous team: Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL)
  • College commitment: University of Nebraska-Omaha

The younger brother of Edmonton Oilers defenceman Philip Broberg, Marcus has a year of experience playing junior hockey in North American after coming over from Sweden last year. He split his season between the Omaha Lancers and Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL and Springfield of the North American Hockey League. During his time with the Blues, he had 14 points in 25 games.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s a really good skater. Once we were open to recruiting European players, one thing we wanted to do is grab a guy with some North American experience and he has that. He should be able to transition to our league pretty well. With his skating ability, he can go from defence to offence easily. He’ll be able to play in all situations.”

Adam Boatter (2007, D)

  • Hometown: Maple Ridge, B.C.
  • Previous team: Burnaby Winter Club Prep (CSSHL U18)
  • College commitment: Colorado College

Boatter was BWC’s top-scoring defenceman in 2022-23, notching 27 points in 29 games. He also suited up for a trio of games with Salmon Arm as an affiliate last year.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s a very talented 16-year-old defenceman. He has a really good sense for the game. He played some games as an affiliate with us last year and did really well. We just think he’s going to be a good, puck-moving defenceman.”

Chris Kobelka (2003, D)

  • Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
  • Previous team: Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL)
  • College commitment: University of Alaska

Kobelka was Fort McMurray’s second-leading scorer and highest producing defenceman last year with 42 points in 57 games. He brings some BCHL experience as well, having started the 2021-22 season with the Trail Smoke Eaters where he played in 20 games.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s a veteran defenceman. That’s kind of a theme with how we wanted to build our back end. We needed some veteran guys back there with some experience. He’s committed to defending well and has a good first pass. He’s also really good on the offensive blueline. What stood out when we watched him on video is that he has a knack for getting his shots through and creating offence from the blueline.”

Christian Kim (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Torrance, Calif.
  • Previous team: Wenatchee Wild
  • College commitment: Michigan State University

Kim played his rookie season in the BCHL last year with Wenatchee and put up 10 goals, 18 assists and 28 points in 50 games.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s extremely skilled. He had a pretty good year as a rookie last year, but we expect him to take a big step this year, playing with some good players in offensive situations where he can really shine. We want him to create offence for us on a nightly basis.”

Cole Cooksey (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
  • Previous team: Markham Royals (OJHL)
  • College commitment: Merrimack College

Cooksey played for Markham of the Ontario Junior Hockey League last year and was their second-leading goal scorer with 26 in 54 games. He ended the year with 42 points.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He has junior experience and proved he can score in his fist year in the OJHL last year. He’s a talented offensive player. We need to score more goals this year and we think that he’s going to be able to do that for us.”

Nathaniel Davis (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
  • Previous team: Burlington Cougars (OJHL)

Davis spent the last two years with Burlington of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. In 2022-23, he scored 10 goals and added 26 assists for 36 points in 45 games from the back end.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s big with a right shot. He defends hard. He’s a really good skater. We thought we needed to get a bit bigger on our back end and play a little bit harder and he fit all of those things. We think we’re bringing in a good player that can play in the top-four of our defence.”

Zach Nicolas (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Winnipeg, Man.
  • Previous team: Winkler Flyers (MJHL)
  • College commitment: Colgate University

Nicolas was one of the top scorers on his team last year in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. He compiled 22 goals, 24 assists and 46 points in 57 games.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He did really well in the MJHL last year. We were looking for a responsible centre that can move up and down our lineup and he fit that. He’s a big kid that has good touch around the net and skates really well.”

Riley Ashe (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Warman, Sask.
  • Previous team: Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)
  • College commitment: University of Nebraska-Omaha

In his rookie season in junior hockey, Ashe scored eight goals and added 30 assists for 38 points in 54 games for Melfort of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“Last year, we identified him as someone we wanted to keep an eye on. He’s a big kid who plays the game the right way. He’s really good with the puck. We knew we needed some offence, so we thought he would be a good guy to bring in.”

Aidan Souligny (2006, D)

  • Hometown: Navan, Ont.
  • Previous team: New Jersey Rockets (16U AAA)
  • College commitment: Boston University

Souligny started last year with the Navan Grads of the Central Canada Hockey League, but joined the Rockets midway through the year. In New Jersey, he had four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 27 games.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He has some offensive upside and he skates really well for a big guy. There will be a bit of a transition period since he’s a young kid, but I think his upside is extremely high. We look forward to helping him transition to the league and get better on a daily basis. All his tools are there. We’re just going to help him grow his game.”

Ben Buckley (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Warwick, R.I.
  • Previous team: St. George’s School (USHS-Prep)
  • College commitment: Dartmouth College

Buckley was St. George’s leading point producer in 2022-23, piling up 29 in 26 contests. His brother Ryan joined the Silverbacks last season.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s someone we were watching early on last year. He plays a 200-foot game and can play up and down the lineup. Having Ryan here already, we knew what kind of kid we were getting. He’ll be a really good player for us.”

Ryan Grout (2007, G)

  • Hometown: Sturgeon County, Alta.
  • Previous team: Northern Alberta Xtreme Prep (CSSHL U17)

Playing for Northern Alberta’s U17 squad, Grout put up fantastic numbers, going 10-1-0 with a .921 save percentage and a 1.81 goals-against average with one shutout.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’ll be a good goalie for years to come in our organization. He’s a mature kid, but he’ll play behind [Eli] Pulver and learn from him. We expect him to be the starter in the future for us.”

Matthew Gillard (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Yellowknife, N.W.T.
  • Previous team: Northern Alberta Xtreme Prep (CSSHL U18)

Gillard had three goals, seven assists and 10 points in 28 games for Northern Alberta’s U18 team last year.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“Matthew is a hard-nosed kid who plays the game extremely hard. He’ll defend with a bit of an edge. Like I said before, we wanted to be tougher to player against, bigger and stronger on our back end, and he fits that criteria. We’ll look for him to defend hard, kill penalties and just play the right way.”

Ryan DeAngelis (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Previous team: Phoenix Jr. Coyotes AAA (T1EHL 18U)

DeAngelis came up in the Jr. Coyotes system and played for their 18U team last year where he suited up for 10 games and had one goal and one assist.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He’s a good skater and he defends really well. He makes a good first pass too. We think he’s going to come in, continue to get better and be a really solid defenceman for us.”

Acquired via trade

Eli Pulver (2003, G)

  • Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Surrey Eagles (BCHL)

Pulver’s .930 save percentage was the best rate in the BCHL last season, as were his six shutouts, while his 2.29 goals-against average was second best. He went 23-8-3 to help the Eagles to second place in the Coastal Conference before suffering a season-ending injury in March. Salmon Arm acquired Pulver in a three-team trade on June 8.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“He was one of the best goalies in the league last year. We needed a guy that can come in here and play 45 games for us and be a rock for our team. When he became available, it was a situation where we just couldn’t pass it up. We expect him to be one of the best goalies in the league this year as well.”

Jacob Bonkowski (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Richmond, B.C.
  • Previous team: Surrey Eagles (BCHL)
  • College commitment: University of Nebraska-Omaha

Already a three-year veteran of the BCHL, Bonkowski had his best year in the league last season with the Eagles, finishing with 27 goals and 27 assists for 54 points in 53 games, good enough for second in team scoring. The Silverbacks acquired Bonkowski in a trade on Aug. 3.

Shattock’s scouting report:

“We knew we needed some offence and he’s proven he can put up numbers in the BCHL. When he became available, it was a no-brainer for us. We needed a guy to play in our top-six on the left side and he was the perfect fit.”


Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Monteiro, Wellenreiter, Buckley, DeAngelis) Dan Hickling/USHL (Broberg), CSSHL (Boatter, Grout, Gillard), Garrett James Photography (Pulver, Bonkowski)