BCJALL Season Preview: Langley Thunder
2018 RECORD: 10-10-1
2018 GOAL DIFFERENTIAL: -2
PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 15-6, 2nd Place
It was a disappointing 2018 campaign for the Thunder, who were originally tabbed as being a team who can fight for a competitive playoff run but ended up missing out entirely by six points. Much like Delta, the Thunder were maybe a bit too young for primetime, something Langley’s coaching and management staff will surely be trying to rectify this season.
The allure of playing a Minto in front of a hometown crowd will be top of mind, and Langley has already made a number of moves to help realize that goal. It all starts with Dane Dobbie, who brings a boatload of experience and a name that will immediately earn him the respect of players in the locker room.
Ryan Martel returns on the backs of 87 and 97 point seasons, respectively. He simply adds another weapon when he steps on the floor because he can function as a passer as much as he can as a pure goal scorer. He’ll keep opening up the floor for a number of other players, including the likes of Connor Watson and Dylan Mcintosh.
The club is also bringing in veteran Cam Overby to compete with the likes of Torin Vanrheenan and Braden Washington. Vanrheenan, like much of the team, had an up-and-down 2018. While he had a .814 save percentage, he’ll want to lower his goals per game average from the 9.21 he had. Washington, a former No. 2 overall pick out of Maple Ridge, had a solid rookie campaign and this seems like as good a time as any to begin pushing for the starting role, if not a timeshare of sorts. He put up a .777 save percentage in limited time, turning away 233 shots in that span. He might end up in Junior B1 to give him some quality minutes to hopefully give him a better chance to succeed in the future.
Langley does seem set up to make a run for the Minto and you can expect them to be buyers at the Trade Deadline, bolstering their depth on both sides of the ball.