West Kelowna Warriors open up their five-game pre-season schedule Friday against Salmon Arm

Warriors kick off pre-season

Fans can expect to see some familiar faces back in a West Kelowna uniform when the Warriors kick off their pre season schedule against Salmon Arm tonight at Royal LePage Place.

Forwards John Evans, Tyler Cristall and defenceman Charles-Alexis Legeault and Pat Lawn have all returned after spending part, or all of last season playing elsewhere during the pandemic-shortened season.

Forward Felix Trudeau, who suited up last fall before leaving for greener pastures, is also back in the fold.

All four are expected to be key contributors to a veteran-laden team looking to compete at the top of the Interior Division.

This year's roster includes 16 players returning from the shortened season.

The Warriors went 15-14-1-2 during two stretches last fall and again in the spring.

They went 7-4-0-1 during the Okanagan Cup, then finished 8-10-1-1 during the pod season featuring 10 games against both Vernon and Salmon Arm.

Along with the returning veterans, the Warriors also added former Trail captain Chase Dafoe through trade.

Two familiar names will also suit up this season on what should be a stout blueline. Zach Reim (brother of former Warrior Willie) and Isaiah Norlin (brother of ex-Warrior Bennett) have committed to the team this season.

Head coach and GM Simon Ferguson described Norlin as a player who skates well, sees the ice well and defends well, while Reim is a good first pass defenceman who has the ability to add some offence from the back end.

The Warriors play in Salmon Arm Saturday before hosting Prince George Tuesday.

They conclude the pre season with back-to-back games with Vernon next weekend.

As per provincial health regulations, the Warriors will welcome back fans at half capacity at least through the pre season.

Everyone entering Royal LePage Place will be required to show proof of full vaccination.

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