It’s BCHL Showcase Festival week in Chilliwack, which means Chiefs players will be conversing with collegiate talent evaluators, trying to secure their NCAA futures.
One Chief can focus on just playing hockey after announcing a commitment to the University of Northern Michigan Wednesday.
Forward Joey Larson will join the Wildcats in either 2020-21 or 2021-22.
In the meantime, Chilliwack’s leading scorer can build on a strong start to this season.
The Michigan product has produced four goals and nine points in eight games so far. He’s 22nd in BCHL scoring and second among rookies behind Wenatchee’s Nick Cafarelli (8-5-5-10).
That Larson will eventually head to Northern Michigan U is not the least bit surprising.
There are strong family ties to the school starting with his mother, Kristen.
His late aunt, Kim Ylitalo, also went to NMU where she was a dominant swimmer/diver.
Ylitalo was a four time All-American and record setter who was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
Larson is happy to have gotten his NCAA scholarship out of the way early and he’s happy to join a quality program that finished second Western Collegiate Hockey Association last season.
This year’s Wildcats were ranked fourth in a preseason poll.
Chiefs head coach/general manager Brian Maloney expects the 18 year old to do well when he eventually jumps to the next level.
In the meantime, the bench boss looks forward to having No. 9 on the roster.
“We are extremely proud of Joey, and are excited to be a part of his development as he looks to take the next step in his career,” Maloney said. “Joey is a class individual that handles himself the right way on and off the ice, and we look forward to him being a part of the culture here in Chilliwack for years to come.”