After missing the B.C. Hockey League playoffs for a second straight season, the Cowichan Valley Capitals will immediately begin building for next season, and head coach Bob Beatty, a two-time winner of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League championship at the helm of the La Ronge Ice Wolves, remains optimistic.
“We have to keep in mind it is a process, and it takes time to develop a winning culture and a team that consistently and perennially competes for a championship, and we certainly haven’t given up on that task,” he said. “We have to get going and work extremely hard and make sure that we’re not having our exit interviews and banquet in March next year.”
The Caps have six graduating 20-yearolds in Robin Gusse, Mason Malkowich, Reilly O’Connor, Matthew Berry-Lamontagna, Adam Moody and Blake Butzow. Moody, who will head to Utica College, is one of three players with commitments for next season, along with 19-year-olds Myles Powell (Rochester Institute of Technology) and Jarrett Brown (Alaska Anchorage).
The current roster includes 10 players who are eligible to return, including captain Kyle Horsman and second-leading scorer Dane Gibson.
“We certainly like the core group coming back,” Beatty said. “Even though we do have a lot of recruiting to do.”