The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) are elated to announce that 1997-born rookie forward Josh McKechney (Calgary, AB) has committed to attend and play for Colgate University.
McKechney, 18, is the second-highest scoring rookie player in the AJHL, having recorded 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 35 games so far, with his 10 power play goals also leading the league among all players.
“Josh is a tremendous talent, and his hockey intelligence ranks near the top of all of the players I have coached over the past 8 years in Brooks,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “We already rely upon him in all situations and believe he will be a major factor in any playoff success we might have.
“Josh is also great in the classroom which is what allows him to have an opportunity at such a great school,” Papaioannou added. “I am looking forward to working with him until he becomes a Raider”
Located in Hamilton, New York, the Raiders play in the NCAA’s Division I ECAC Hockey conference, under 23rd-year head coach Don Vaughan. Under Vaughan’s tenure, the Raiders have been in the NCAA tournament three times, won 20 or more games six times, and appeared in the ECAC Hockey tournament 21 times, with him being named ECAC Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2014.
The 6’0”, 180lb forward joined the Bandits this year after leading the Edge School Mountaineers in scoring in his second year of midget competition, recording 76 points (36 goals, 40 assists) in 63 games. The year prior, McKechney was named co-Student Athlete of the Year by the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.
“I am very honoured to be joining the exceptional program at Colgate University,” said McKechney. “I would like to thank the Brooks Bandits organization, as well as my family, friends and previous coaches, for helping me accomplish my goal of playing NCAA Division I hockey.”
McKechney is also the second Bandit this season to commit to Colgate, joining 1995-born forward Jared Cockrell who committed to the Raiders earlier this month.
The Bandits would like to congratulate Josh on securing a prestigious post-secondary destination so early in what has already become an excellent Junior A career.
McKechney is the thirteenth player on the current Bandits roster committed to an NCAA Division I institution, joining:
· Shane Bear (University of Massachusetts)
· Kyler Nachtigall (University of Massachusetts)
· Parker Foo (Union College)
· Derek Lodermeier (Army)
· Tristan Thompson (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)
· Austin Wright (Rochester Institute of Technology)
· Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts)
· Jeff Malott (Cornell University)
· Joe O’Connor (Quinnipiac University)
· Jared Cockrell (Colgate University)
· Jarrod Gourley (Arizona State University)
· Charlie Marchand (Bentley University)
The Bandits return home January 1 for a New Year’s Day matchup at the Centennial Regional Arena against the Olds Grizzlys. Puck drop is at 7 PM, with tickets available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.