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Next Generation: West Kelowna Warriors.

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 West Kelowna Warriors.


The West Kelowna Warriors finished third in the Interior Conference last year with a record of 28-20-6-0, but were upset by the Vernon Vipers in the first round of the BCHL playoffs in six games.

As is always the case in junior hockey, many players from last year’s team have moved on and graduated from the program, so fifth-year head coach and general manager Simon Ferguson has had a busy offseason filling his roster.

He tells us all about the new recruits and offseason acquisitions.

New recruits

Callum Hughes (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Basking Ridge, N.J.
  • Previous team: Mount St. Charles Academy (16U AAA)
  • College commitment: Boston University

Hughes was the fourth-leading scorer on a high-flying Mount St. Charles team last year after finishing his season with 56 points in 39 games. He is currently representing the USA at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Czechia and Slovakia.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s a young, skilled player who has the ability to play beyond his years.”

Jack Pridham (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Stoufville, Ont.
  • Previous team: St. Andrew’s College (CAHS)
  • College commitment: Boston University

Pridham tied for second in team scoring last year with St. Andrew’s after putting up 72 points in 49 games. His father Brandon is currently the assistant general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and has been with them since 2014-15.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s got great speed and a great shot. He also has the ability to change the pace of a game. He’s a smart hockey player.”

Rorke Applebee (2003, G)

  • Hometown: Chateauguay, Que.
  • Previous team: Ottawa Junior Senators (CCHL)
  • College commitment: Lake Superior State University

Applebee played his rookie season in junior hockey last year with Ottawa of the Central Canada Hockey League. He led the league with a .934 save percentage and a 2.07 goals-against average with three shutouts and finished the season with an incredible 24-2-3 record. He had even better numbers in the playoffs with a .936 save percentage and 1.93 goals-against average, while backstopping the Senators to a league championship. He was named playoff MVP.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“With his playoff run in the CCHL, he is used to playing in high-pressure situations. He has the ability to be a consistent starter for us.”

Trey Ausmus (2004, D)

  • Hometown: East Grand Forks, Minn.
  • Previous team: Madison Capitols (USHL)
  • College commitment: University of North Dakota

Ausmus is a two-year veteran of the USHL, playing for Madison the past two seasons. Last year, he scored two goals and added 11 helpers for 13 points in 48 contests.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s an elite puck-moving defender who we expect to drive offence from the blueline, while playing in all situations.”

Viggo Nordström (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Luleå, Sweden
  • Previous team: Luleå HF (J20 Nationell)

Playing for his hometown club in Sweden last year, Nordström finished second in team scoring with 48 points in 43 games on 16 goals and 32 assists.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s an elite forward who was a top scorer in J20 last year. He’s an elite shooter and passer.”

Johannes Løkkeberg (2004, F)

  • Home country: Norway
  • Previous team: Mora IK (J20 Nationell)

Løkkeberg played in Sweden’s top junior league last year and was his team’s third-highest point producer with 36 in 45 games. He has also represented Norway multiple times at international tournaments.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He was a top player at the J20 level in Sweden. He’s shown an ability to score, make plays and out compete opponents.”

Zhenya Miles (2006, D)

  • Hometown: Kelowna, B.C.
  • Previous team: RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna (CSSHL U18)

Miles tied for the most points by a defenceman on his team last year, finishing his campaign with 63 points in 72 games across all competition. He also played in six regular-season games and two postseason contests with the Warriors as an affiliate.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s an elite young defender with the ability to control the play from the blueline. He’s also an elite skater.”

Frédéric Deschênes (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Sorel-Tracy, Que.
  • Previous team: Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
  • College commitment: Michigan State University

Deschênes played his rookie season in the USHL in 2022-23 with Des Moines and had six assists in 41 regular-season games.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s a smooth-skating defender with a good shot. He can create offence and play in all situations.”

Jackson Kyrkostas (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Windham, N.H.
  • Previous team: Kimball Union Academy (USHS-Prep)
  • College commitment: Rensselaer Polytechnic University

Kyrkostas was the captain at Kimball Union last year, as well as the team leader with 55 points and 33 assists in 33 games. His 19 goals were second most on the team.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s an elite passer and skater. He can play in all situations. We expect him to drive offence.”

John Franceschetti (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
  • Previous team: RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna (CSSHL U18)

Franceschetti was a top scorer for his U18 team last year, finishing his season with 33 goals, 43 assists and 76 points in 70 games across all competition.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s got speed and grit with a scoring touch. He also has a competitive edge that is hard to find.”

Jack Farrell (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Wilmington, Mass.
  • Previous team: The Governors Academy (USHS-Prep)
  • College Commitment: Bentley University

Farrell was the captain of his prep school team last season at the Governors Academy. He led them in scoring as a defenceman with 29 points in 28 games, including a team-high 22 assists.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s an elite-skating defender who can log hard minutes. We expect him to shut down opponents.”

Simon Houge (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Woodbury, Minn.
  • Previous team: Cretin-Durham Hall (USHS-Prep)
  • College Commitment: Air Force Academy

Houge was the captain of his prep school team last season and led all Cretin-Durham Hall blueliners in scoring with 37 points. He also had a team-best 34 assists in 31 games.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He skates well, defends hard and moves the puck well.”

Mikka Kelechian (2004, F)

  • Hometown: L’Île-Bizard, Que.
  • Previous team: Milton Academy (USHS-Prep)

Kelechian had eight goals, 18 assists and 26 points in 18 games with Milton Academy last year to finish third in team scoring.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s a player with a scoring touch. We expect him to compete and win puck battles in all areas of the ice.”

Kaiden Schaupmeyer (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Kelowna, B.C.
  • Previous team: Okanagan Rockets AAA (BCEHL U18)

Schaupmeyer was the highest scoring blueliner on the Rockets last year, finishing with 23 points in 29 games. He was also captain of the team and led them to a league championship. In addition, he suited up for eight games with West Kelowna in 2022-23 as an affiliate player.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s a simple, effective and physical leader.”

Caden Kemkaren-Humble (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
  • Previous team: Calgary Buffaloes AAA (AEHL U18)

Kemkaren-Humble played the previous two seasons with Calgary in the Alberta Elite Hockey League and was the team’s second-leading scorer in 2022-23 with 38 points in 33 games.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s shown the ability to be a dominant force with the Buffaloes in the AEHL. He has the potential to be an imposing power forward.”

Owen Drury (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.
  • Previous team: South Shore Kings (NCDC)

The Drury family name is familiar in hockey circles. Owen’s father Ted played in the NHL in the 1990s, while his uncle Chris is a Stanley Cup champion from his time with the Colorado Avalanche and is currently the president of hockey operations and general manager of the New York Rangers. Owen had 12 points in 45 games for South Shore of the NCDC last season.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s a smart hockey player who knows how to play a 200-foot game.”

Benjamin Henshall (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Edmonton, Alta.
  • Previous team: HC Edmonton (JPHL U18)

Playing for Edmonton in the Junior Prospects Hockey League, Henshall tied for third in league scoring with 56 points in 32 games, while his 36 goals were just one off the league lead.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He’s a crafty forward with a nice shot. He scored a lot of goals in the JPHL and we are excited with his potential.”

Acquired via trade

Trent Wilson (2004, F)

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

Wilson was actually acquired by the Powell River Kings early in the offseason, then picked up in a separate trade by West Kelowna. The 19-year-old played the past two seasons with the Surrey Eagles and had 33 points in 83 regular-season games.

Ferguson’s scouting report:

“He can play in all situations and has the ability to drive the play to the sides with his physicality.”


Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Hughes, Pridham, Kyrkostas, Farrell, Houge, Kelechian), Erica Perraux/Hockey Canada Images (Applebee), Dan Hickling/USHL (Ausmus, Deschênes), CSSHL (Miles, Franceschetti)