BCJALL Season Preview: Delta Islanders
2018 RECORD: 6-14
2018 GOAL DIFFERENTIAL: -81
PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 8-12-1, 6th Place
After making a splash the last time the Minto was held in Langley, the Delta Islanders have gone through a bit of a rebuilding stage. They had to replenish a stockpile of draft picks lost while going for a BCJALL title. I’m sure if you asked anyone within the organization if they would trade a few years of struggles for a Minto Cup berth, they would take it 10 times out of 10.
Things are trending upwards this season. Coaches Kyle Goundrey and Andy Ogilvie have been patient with an extremely young group, but the focus this season will transition from learning to producing. The Islanders return a number of key players, including a number of them looking to take the next steps in their development. Among them is Jake Cantlon, who scored a goal per game last season and has been a major producer for the University of Utah in their inaugural NCAA Division I season.
Another one to watch is Haiden Dickson. Besides setting a torrid pace in his rookie season with 30 goals and 44 points in 16 games, he was named Delta’s Offensive MVP. It’s obvious the team has put some trust in him to help carry the offence and he has so far exceeded expectations.
This all comes without mentioning Ryan Jones, who will return after being dealt to New West so the ‘Bellies can make a Minto run. Jones will vie for the league’s top scoring honours and having the veteran around will help set the tone for what hopes to be the most successful season in a few years. Delta built upon a rough 2017 campaign by putting up two more wins, and the focus will very much be on returning to the playoffs after a brief absence.
Photo by Mark Booth - Delta Optimist