Mustangs players turning heads in B.C.

The Mustangs' competitive season is over, but success stories keep rolling in. Seven players from the Whitehorse rep hockey club have caught the eye of B.C. Hockey scouts.

The Mustangs’ competitive season is over, but success stories keep rolling in.

Seven players from the Whitehorse rep hockey club have caught the eye of B.C. Hockey scouts this post-season.

“I’m really for happy for the boys,” said Bantam Mustangs head coach Martin Lawrie. “It’s a testament to how hard they’ve worked these last few years. It’s nice to see their individual success.

“To be honest, I think B.C. has missed a couple of (Whitehorse) players still, even though we’ve never had this many go before.”

Five players from this year’s Bantam Mustangs – arguably the best minor hockey team ever to come out of Whitehorse – have been invited to elite showcases.

The Tier 3 Bantam Mustangs opened the season winning a Tier 2 tournament in Richmond, beat numerous Tier 1 teams through the season, and became the first Yukon team ever to win gold at the B.C. Hockey Championships last month on Vancouver Island.

Team captain Joe Stokes was a big part of the team’s success and scouts noticed. His performance on the Mustangs, and on Team Yukon at the Canada Winter Games, earned him an invite to the U16 B.C. Cup later this month in Salmon Arm, B.C. The Cup is an opportunity for the best players from B.C. and Yukon to perform in front of scouts from B.C. Hockey, Hockey Canada, the Western Hockey League and more. It is also a selection camp for an elite provincial camp this summer in Nanaimo.

“In U16 they used to have zone camps and you’d have to go through there,” said Lawrie. “They switched it this year to just an invite only – 120 hockey players straight to Salmon Arm. You had to be seen through the season and invited from there.

“There’s no question in my mind that Joe deserves the opportunity. He owes a little bit of thanks to the success of his team and teammates to ensure he got to play in front of the high performance B.C. scouts.”

Four Mustang teammates prevailed through a regional trial this past weekend in Vanderhoof. Forwards Bryce Anderson, Oscar Burgess, Dylan Cozens and defenceman Brett Walchuk were four of 20 selected from 140 of northern B.C.‘s most talented players to attend the B.C. Best showcase in Richmond next month.

“It’s not a big surprise given how strong that team was this year,” said Carl Burgess, president of the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association. “I think 140 kids were at the tournament in Vanderhoof – it’s a big jamboree tournament and there’s about a dozen evaluators – and at the end of the tournament they select the top 20 to move on.

“All four of them certainly did Whitehorse, our association and Yukon quite proud,” he added. “They were impressive there. It’s quite something to have four of the top 20 in the North moving on.”

The Vanderhoof tryouts consisted of a practice followed by a five-team jamboree tournament. Anderson and Oscar were together on one team and Cozens and Walchuk were together on another. All four registered goals.

“I was confident going to the tryouts – I’ve played a lot of hockey this year,” said Anderson. “Our skill level was pretty good compared to the other players.

“We’ve been playing with each other all year, so we had better passing, we knew where to be on the ice. The evaluators really noticed that.”

While the four Bantam Mustangs were showing their stuff in Vanderhoof, two members of the Female Mustangs were performing at the Female U16 B.C. Cup in Salmon Arm.

Forward Maddie Nicholson and defenceman Cayman Oestreich earned invites to the prestigious event following regional tryouts at the start of the year. During the jamboree tournament this past weekend both players logged goals.

All seven Mustangs players represented Yukon at the Canada Winter Games this past February in Prince George, B.C.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen


Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/ Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

Most Read