Quick Look: Valencia Flyers
Valencia has always been a top team in the Western Division. They have been making consistent appearances in the divisional playoffs since 2013, but have yet to break the threshold.
Unlike Ogden who is looking to establish an identity after the departure of their top scorers, the Flyers are looking at an entirely new team and new coaching staff.
“With this being the 25th anniversary of the league we want to do our part. We’re here to win and compete in our division like we do every year,” Head Coach Justin Dyke said. “We want to have an above .500 record and be top two in the division.”
Dyke named Forwards Dylan San Agustin and Tristan Warr as trusted members of last year’s squad to come in and continue the trend of success for the Flyers. San Agustin is a native of Santa Clarita near the rink where the Flyers play their home games—Ice Station Valencia.
(Mark Mauno Photo)
San Agustin contributed to the front line with 34 goals and 28 helpers in 81 games played. In two seasons, San Agustin experienced production growth in both goals scored and assists. Dyke hopes he continues the upward trend this year.
Tristan Warr played in his first season with the Flyers last year but hit the ground running. He netted 15 goals and 16 helpers in 44 games played under former coach Josh Berg.
Warr who is an effective power forward and boasts a heavy shot will supplement San Agustin, who more than likely will continue to push the pace for Valencia.
“We have a lot of young kids with skills but there will be an adjustment period for them coming in from a youth level to a junior level and playing with men. They have to grow and adjust to the level of play—physicality and the pace. ”
The Flyers lost two key players mid-season in Erik Ehrmanraut and Joseph Wheeler to the Long Beach Bombers. They also traded long time Flyer, Dawson Keay, to the Eagles. Keay is now with Finlandia University an NCAA D-III school in Michigan.
The biggest hit came from the departure of WSHL all-time leader of points in a season, Jakob Kranabetter. Kranabetter eventually went on to claim his first Thorne Cup with the Rhinos.
Western Division fans can expect a deep run by the Valencia Flyers although it may have a slightly less potent offense. Over the summer, the team underwent coaching changes and will require a few games early in the season to really start gelling with new faces and a new system of play.