The Chilliwack Chiefs are getting competition in the spring hockey market from a cross-town rival.
The Chilliwack Jets, a junior B team operating in the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL), have started the Chilliwack Junior Jets program, which will operate out of the Sardis Sports Complex.
The program will be available to players in 11 age groups from U8 to U18 and the first tryouts were held Nov. 27.
“We are just looking to provide another option for kids,” said Clayton Robinson, the owner/general manager/head coach of the junior B Jets. “Skills development will be the focus of the program and the reward for the hard work will be the couple tournaments we will attend. Our goal is to make sure all the kids learn and improve but also have some fun on the ice.”
Around 150 players have registered so far, and there still a handful of openings for skaters born in 2011 and 2012.
The program will run April through June for approximately 10 weeks. Players will participate in 15 practices over that stretch and also play in two tournaments.
Coaches include Robinson along with Graeme Strukoff, Kevin Zarrillo and Drew Martz.
Strukoff is a born-and-raised Chilliwackian who is the head coach of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds U15 AAA team. As a player he skated in the BCHL with the Trail Smoke Eaters and Victoria Grizzlies and spent four seasons with the NCAA University of Alabama-Huntsville. He added three seasons of minor pro hockey, including 28 games with the Sydney Bears in Australia.
Kevin Zarrillo is a former major junior and U-Sports player who has 10-plus years of experience mentoring and developing young hockey players. Most recently he worked as an assistant/video coach with the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express. From 2012 to 2017, Zarrillo was the senior development coach for the River East Minor Hockey Association in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Martz will be the Junior Jets goalie instructor.
He is the owner and head instructor of Monster Goal Tenders, with 15 years experiencing coaching netminders. As a player, he guarded the cage for the PJHL’s Abbotsford Pilots and spent parts of three seasons in the BCHL with the Chilliwack Chiefs and Merritt Centennials.
For more info or to register, see chilliwackjrjets.com
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