WSHL New Stars

by Steven Force

Each season, there are new names that pop up in the Western States Hockey League, and some turn out to be stars for their teams.  Now that each team has had a chance to settle in to the season, I decided to take a look and see which new names in the Western Division stand out.

As is the case with most top players in the WSHL, the three chosen are all in their final season of junior hockey, and they’re making the most of it so far. 

Adam Barvik – Fresno Monsters

Barvik’s play between the pipes has been behind the Monsters’ strong defensive start this season.  His 2-3-0 record doesn’t do him justice.  Through Fresno’s first nine games, the 20-year-old Czech goaltender has a save percentage of .932 and a 2.28 GAA.  Add in there that the first three games of the season were against the Long Beach Bombers, and their offensive attack that’s averaging 6.25 goals per game, and Barvik’s numbers look even more impressive.

Prior to coming to Fresno, Barvik played in the Czech Republic.  He played mostly for HC Zlin, before playing for LHK Jestrabi Prostejov of the Czech2 league last season.

Miroslav Rohlik – Long Beach Bombers

Rohlik is leading the way for the Long Beach Bombers through the team’s first eight games of the season.  His 11 goals are most on the team, along with his 17 points.  How has he put up those impressive numbers so far this season?  He doesn’t take a night off.  He’s been on the scoresheet in each of the team’s eight games this season, including a span of three straight games where he had three points each night.  This success shouldn’t come as a surprise, however.  Prior to signing Rohlik, former Bomber Filip Martinec played a big part in the move, telling the coaching staff about Rohlik.  When the team announced the signing in August, Long Beach’s Head Coach and GM Chris White mentioned Martinec’s role in the process.

Like Barvik, Rohlik is also a 20-year-old from the Czech Republic.  Prior to joining the Long Beach Bombers in the offseason, he played for HC Paradubice U20, where he was the captain, along with HC Dynamo Pardubice of the Czech league and SC Kolin of the Czech3 league.

Jesse Zaharichuk – Ontario Avalanche

It’s not every day that a WSHL team can turn to a player with the experience of two-plus seasons in the Western Hockey League for the Kamloops Blazers, Kootenay Ice and Lethbridge Hurricanes.  The Avalanche can, however.  Zaharichuk has points in eight of the team’s first nine games this season, including a four-point night against Phoenix (1G, 3A) in Ontario’s home opener. 

In his time in the WHL, Zaharichuk played 125 games, scoring 23 goals to go with his 50 assists.  He also played 25 games for the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the AJHL last season, where he had six goals and 15 assists.

Which newcomers have stood out to you this season?  Let me know on Twitter @Steven_Force_