JADEN LITTLE OFFICIALLY SIGNS WITH THE COQUITLAM EXPRESS OF THE BCHL AS PLAY PREPARES TO RESUME; MORE PLAYERS AFFILAITE WITH BCHL CLUBS
The backbone of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats the last two seasons, goaltender Jaden Little, has officially signed with the Coquitlam Express on the BCHL. On the heels of the Jaden’s 20-year-old season being cancelled in the KIJHL, and the announcement of the BCHL resuming play, Jaden received some well-deserved good news in the 11th hour. While preparing for his next journey in hockey, in talks with multiple NCAA and ACHA schools, a different type of call came in.
In Jaden Little, Coquitlam gets a goaltender that has been on the ice almost continuous since the summer. With the travel restrictions, Jaden did not want to risk not being able to get on the ice, so Jaden, along with about half the team, chose to stay behind and take advantage of ice over the holidays. In addition, once the season was cancelled, the coaching staff made the decision to continue optional ice until the end of February, which Jaden took full advantage of.
Jaden is known for being a king amongst kings regarding his work ethic. On a Creston team that already prides itself in its consistent day to day work ethic, Little takes it to another level. “’Jado’ doesn’t have a bad practice. I put him right up there with the goaltenders that I have coached that made the NHL. A 20-year-old vet, and if you came and watched at any given time on any given day, you would think he was a rookie fighting for a spot. We were spoiled and treated to a daily showing of great saves at practice, and of course games” stated Thunder Cats’ General Manager and Head Coach Bill Rotheisler of Jaden Little.
Jaden Little’s signing, although not common in the twilight of a junior career, when you look deeper is not much of a surprise. Jaden has had a successful playing career that spanned 6 different leagues: including the BCHL, AJHL, SJHL and MJHL. He is an alternate captain for the Thunder Cats, and his analytics support his ability. Rotheisler speculated on the Little signing: “I think his shot break down was incredibly attractive to Coquitlam. It is the same things that have caught the eye of NCAA schools. When you look at the analytics, which are independently verified from the same firms NHL teams use, it breaks down just how successful he was. He was well above average in all quality shot categories and was perfect on clear shots for the year. In addition, when you look at where shots came from, he was again perfect from all the areas you expect a goaltender to save the puck, and some that you don’t.”
Coquitlam Express weighed in the transaction: “I am really excited to have Jaden joining our organization”, said Coquitlam Express General Manager Tali Campbell. “I know he has worked very hard for this moment, and now the opportunity is his to showcase what he’s got”.
Little responded enthusiastically: “I’m thankful for this opportunity and excited to get going with the Coquitlam Express. I couldn’t have got this chance without my time spent and support I received from the Creston Valley Thunder Cats organization”. Little starts his quarantine immediately and will join his teammates in Coquitlam immediately following.
In other news, four Creston Valley Thunder Cats have been officially affiliated following the announcement of BCHL resuming play. The Merritt Centennials got their hands on all four of them. Forwards Vin Jackson, Campbell Mclean and Tyler Badger; along with Defenseman Blake Hiltermann have been added to the Cents affiliation roster.
Assistant General Manger and Associate Coach of the Thunder Cats, Mark Readman, reacted to the Merritt sweep: “We are super excited for these players. There are no guarantee these boys will play, but it is a testament to how hard each of them worked throughout the course of this so-called ‘lost’ season. Putting their noses down and working to get better and reach the next level was their mindset day in, day out. We are beyond thrilled for them to be rewarded for all of their hard work”.
Games from both the Coquitlam Express and Merritt Centennials will be available to watch online on HockeyTV.