Summerland Steam rookie forward Simon Bowland has signed to play for the Calgary Hitmen in the Western Hockey League next season.
It’s an exciting opportunity for the Penticton product who had been working hard for an opportunity at the Junior A level.
Bowland had seven points in 44 games and added one assist in four KIJHL Teck Cup championship games. The season started tough for Bowland, but by the end, he worked his way from the bottom of the lineup to earning power-play time and more minutes.
“Throughout the season it was the progression with the guys around me that got me here,” said Bowland. “My decision-making on plays, as well as speed and skating improved over the season.”
Bowland said the Hitmen like his size (6-2, 175-pounds), speed and physicality.
“I just grind out in the corners, try to get the puck to the other guys and make room for them by using my speed and being physical,” he said.
Bowland said playing with experienced players on the Steam and facing older competition in the KIJHL helped his development. He also credited Pond Performance, Skate with Power and the Kaizen Sports Agency for helping him earn this opportunity with Calgary.
“He’s been an awesome kid to work with,” said Steam Head Coach-GM Mark MacMillan. “Simon battled his way to being one of our most effective players down the stretch. He became a player we could trust in any situation as a 16-year-old, and it’s exciting to see his hard work pay off. He is constantly looking for ways to get better and I am excited to see where his desire continues to take him.”