Whitehorse Daily Star

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SKILL DISPLAY – Johnny Elias scored a goal for the Kootenay Conference during the KIJHL Top Prospects Game. Photo by JEN JENSEN

Two Yukoners play in prospects game

Two Yukoners had the chance to play in a top prospects game also providing them a chance to play against each other.

By Dustin Cook on January 19, 2018

Two Yukoners had the chance to play in a top prospects game also providing them a chance to play against each other.

Even though they play in the same league, Johnny Elias and Lukas Jirousek play in separate conferences in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) and don’t get to play each other during the season.

The two Whitehorse hockey players grew up playing with and against each other before both making the leap to B.C. to play at a higher-level. The Junior B hockey league held their Top Prospects Showcase on Saturday with players under 18 representing every team in the league.

This is a chance for these players to showcase their skills and talent to coaches and scouts from different leagues.

The two Yukon players took different roads to get to the game. It was a whirlwind beginning of the season for Elias who started playing with the North Island Silvertips in the BC Hockey Major Midget League before moving to the Junior B level.

He then found his home with the Golden Rockets in the KIJHL where in 14 games played, Elias has four goals and two assists.

“It was a bit tough switching team from team, but I found the comfort level in Golden and everything just kind of fell into place here it was nice coming here and it was a good fit to end the season,” the 17-year-old forward said. “It’s so great to play junior hockey in the Kootenays. All these towns are hockey towns and the community really supports the team.”

On the other side, Jirousek – who moved away from Yukon at the age of 12 to play in Alberta – has been with the Summerland Steam since the end of last season and picked up right where he left off.

In 20 games, Jirousek has 16 points for the Steam who are in second place in their division.

“It’s going really well. I just had an injury that stopped me for a bit, other than that it’s been a really good season.”

Jirousek was one of two players on his Steam team to play in the prospects game for the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference.

“It was amazing,” Jirousek said of the chance to play in the game. “I met a lot of new guys in our league, the pace of the game was really fast and really nice to play in.”

Elias was the lone representative for the Rockets on the Kootenay Conference team and scored the final goal of the game en route to a 7-3 victory for his team.

“It wasn’t a game-breaker, but it still felt good to put that in the net,” he said.

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