Williams Lake’s Tyler Povelofskie will begin his junior hockey playing career as a member of the six-time national champion Vernon Vipers.
The Vipers, members of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), announced Thursday they’d received commitment from Povelofskie for the 2013/14 season.
Povelofskie, 16, began his career in the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association, before spending his last two seasons with the Prince George Cougars of the BC Major Midget League.
“All I can say is that I am very excited to go down there and get the season started,” Povelofskie told the Tribune Monday. “I’m also looking forward to being part of such a great organization.”
In 36 games last season he scored 18 goals and 14 assists to go along with 87 penalty minutes.
“Tyler is a player that plays in all three zones and competes very hard,” said Vipers head coach Jason Williamson who, incidentally, is also a former Williams Lake resident.
“He also has tremendous character and will fit very well into our dressing room.”
The Vipers won the RBC Cup junior ‘A’ national title in 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2009 and 2010.
During the 2013/14 season, the Vipers are slated to host the RBC Cup at the Wesbild Centre in Vernon.
Some similarities could be drawn between Povelofskie and Williamson.
They both played through the ranks of the WLMHA and will, if all goes as scheduled, have been players on the Vipers.
Williamson then parlayed his junior playing career into an assistant coaching position with the club, before moving on to take the head coaching job.
Then there was Chris Crowell — also originally from Williams Lake — who played with the Vipers from 2005 to 2009, including picking up an RBC Cup.
Now, Williamson said it’s Povelofskie’s turn.
“I’m from there, obviously,” Williamson said. “And then I played in Vernon, was the captain there. Then we had Chris Crowell, and he was the captain, and now we’ll have Tyler.”
Williamson said it was Povelofskie’s intangibles that propelled the club’s decision to pursue him.
“He was a leader for that team [the Cougars] and I get a good feeling when I talk to him about, just about his character and the way he always puts the team first and I think that’s really important going into a championship season where we have a lot of team-first guys and Tyler’s definitely that,” Williamson said.
As hosts of the RBC Cup the Vipers will automatically earn a berth to the tournament.
“Tyler’s definitely committed,” he said. “He went through the process … He was very mature about the whole situation and we definitely pursued him hard.”