Fraser Valley Thunderbird looks forward to playing for Chilliwack Chiefs

Abbotsford’s Will Dow-Kenny will take the next step in his hockey career with the BCHL team.

Will Dow-Kenny says the deal that landed him in Chilliwack last week ‘came out of left field,’ but he is very happy to be a Chief.

“It sounds like a great fit and I’m excited for the season to start,” said Dow-Kenny, who was acquired from the Vernon Vipers in return for the rights to veteran defender Carver Watson. “I’m looking for a good environment centered around hard work and dedication, and I think I can enjoy my time there.”

Dow-Kenny comes off an impressive season with the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League’s Fraser Valley Thunderbirds.

The defenceman helped the team to a league championship, producing 11 goals and 36 points in 41 regular season and playoff games.

“I’m really proud of what our team did, and working together is the reason we went so far,” the teenager said. “I think we did a really good job and the whole experience in the playoffs really helped me develop a lot.

Dow-Kenny also saw action in two BCHL games for Vernon last season, suiting up against Salmon Arm and Langley.

“The game against Langley was in October and it was closer to home, so lots of my family came out to watch me play,” he recalled. “It was awesome and we ended up winning in overtime.

“The pace was a big change but I thought I fit in pretty well.”

When Dow-Kenny steps onto the ice with the Chiefs this fall, he says he’ll bring a physical element to the D, and he won’t be shy about getting involved at the offensive end of the ice.

“I’m a physical presence out there and I like to jump in the rush a lot,” he said. “I like to move the puck and be as offensive as possible.”

Chiefs head coach and GM Brian Maloney says Dow-Kenny has been on his want list for a long time.

“Will has been a player I’ve personally been watching for a while now,” he said. “Last season, especially during playoffs, I thought Will was the best defenseman in the BCMML, playing for a fantastic organization under the guidance of Peter Hay and his staff.”

Maloney says a key part of Dow-Kenny’s game is his work ethic, which fits with the culture the bench boss is trying to build.

“Will is always one of the hardest working kids on the ice and he competes every shift,” Maloney said. “We’ve given up a lot to add him to our team but we felt as a staff that with Will being 18 years old and the strong possibility of having him on our team for a few years it was an easy decision.”

Dow-Kenny hopes to catch the eye of college scouts this season and secure an NCAA scholarship.

“I want to develop each part of my game and talk to some universities over the next year,” he said.

The Chiefs are less than a month away from the start of the 2018-19 BCHL season, opening Sept. 7 in Prince George.

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