North Okanagan Knights Junior Hockey Club
2023-2024 Recruitment Package
Proud Member of the KIJHL
The North Okanagan Knights are a franchise in the KIJHL based in Armstrong, BC. The KIJHL is widely regarded as the best Jr. B league in Western Canada. We compete in the Bill Ohlhausen division. The top 4 teams in our division make the playoffs and compete for the KIJHL Championship – The Teck Cup. The KIJHL champion team moves onto play in the Cyclone Taylor Cup against the champion teams from the PJHL and the VIJHL, as well as the host team.
North Okanagan Knights Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide a positive platform of growth and improvement for young men in all areas of life.
About the KIJHL:
The KIJHL is widely regarded as the best Jr. B league in Western Canada. With 20 member franchises, the KIJHL offers a competitive league for players aged 16-20. The playing style of the KIJHL is fast, physical, skilled, and structured. There is no question that the KIJHL is filled with older, bigger, and stronger players, but the days of Jr B hockey being “just for goons” are completely gone. More than ever, there is heavy emphasis on skill, structure, speed, and learning to play the game the right way – with integrity, class, and sportsmanship. Each year, there are typically 3 players from each team who move onto play a higher level of junior hockey, and most 20 year olds aging out of the KIJHL are recruited heavily for NCAA D3, ACHA D1, BCIHL, ACAC, and many other college/university conferences. Since the 2019-2020 season, the Knights have helped 13 players sign in various Jr A leagues, 2 players sign with WHL teams, and 10 players sign with various college hockey programs.
Dean and Mynah Keller are successful and well-respected business people in the community. They purchased the Knights prior to the 2015-2016 season. Their son and current President of Operations, Dallas Keller, played for the Knights in his final year of junior hockey and since the 2018-2019 season has been involved in hockey and business operations. The Keller family also owns and operates Need A Lift Trucking Services Ltd. based in Oliver, BC.
Head Coach & General Manager
Liam was named Head Coach/GM prior to the 2021-2022 season, following 5 years with the organization spent as an associate/goaltending coach, and a short stint in the 2018-2019 season as interim head coach. Liam is a players first coach with a positive yet demanding approach to teaching and helping players improve. Aside from coaching the Knights, Liam’s coaching experience is substantial. From coaching minor hockey at Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy (now Rink Hockey Academy – Kelowna), coaching with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans and Kelowna Rockets, and working with NHL goaltenders in a consulting role (Carey Price, Eric Comrie, Stuart Skinner), Liam has an excellent ability to deliver his message with clear and concise communication.
Associate Coach/Assistant General Manager
Kaden joined the Knights following the 2021-2022 season, providing a calm presence with a vast understanding of the game. Kaden has deep roots in BC Jr hockey. Kaden’s grandfather, Larry Black, was a long time executive in BC Jr hockey, acting as a GM for the Revelstoke Grizzlies, Head Scout for the Vernon Vipers, and Director of Player Personnel and Assistant GM for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, aiding in the construction of RBC/Centennial Cup Championship teams. Kaden embraced his time spent with Larry, learning as much about the game as he could. As a player, Kaden was fortunate enough to play games for his hometown Vernon Vipers before returning to his KIJHL team the Chase Heat, leading them to the league finals in the 2016-2017. Kaden also handles off ice duties such as corporate partnerships, regional scouting, recruiting, and affiliation of local players
Goaltending Coach & Team Consultant
Josh has worked as an Associate and Goaltending coach with the Knights since the 2019-2020 season. Josh has played an integral role in developing and consistently advancing Knights players onto the next level. Josh brings a high energy, positive outlook on the game and preaches team comradery and chemistry. Aside from working with the Knights, Josh runs private goaltending sessions, clinics, and camps, as well as private consulting for various minor hockey groups in the Okanagan.
Team Chaplain & Broadcaster
On top of presenting one of the KIJHL’s top broadcasts, Mike has run the Knights’ chapel program since 2012. Mike hosts the players at his house once every 2 weeks for a group meeting and discussion regarding day to day adversity that players may face – individually or as a team. Many of our past players have raved of the importance of the chapel program as it helped them to face their fears, conquer them, and rise to any challenge they have faced. Mike has been a hockey coach, lacrosse coach, and has great experience in driving character growth, an increase in personal responsibility, and self-accountability. Beyond working with the Knights, Mike runs Your Plan Financial, a financial planning firm for individuals, families, and corporations.
Armstrong is a small town in the heart of the Okanagan Valley of approximately 5,000 people. Armstrong is 20 minutes from Vernon, 30 minutes from Salmon Arm, 1 hour from Kelowna, and 1 hour from Kamloops. Armstrong is a growing, safe, small town with caring people and a great sense of community. The Okanagan Valley is surrounded by big mountains, beautiful lakes, and world class golf courses and ski resorts.
Team Workout Facility
The Training House Vernon
The Training House is a premier off ice training facility for hockey players and is also home to the Vernon Vipers. Home to one of the Okanagan’s finest summer development programs and having worked with many Pro and Jr hockey players, The Training House is the absolute best option for off ice development.
Culture & Team Information
Our team culture is quickly developing into one of a first class organization in the KIJHL. Under the guidance of Liam, Josh, and Kaden, the Knights have improved drastically from a basement dwelling team to a Bill Ohlhausen Division finalist, beating out the Osoyoos Coyotes in 5 games. Our team is built on speed, skill, and structure. The steady and consistent messaging of long term vision and trust in the day to day process of improvement and competitiveness has been vital to the Knights’ success and we are looking to add players who fit that mould and are ready to become the next generation. The best description of our program and its players are: Hard work, integrity, pride, passion, class.
In a typical week of 2 weekend games, practices run Monday-Thursday 8:00-9:30AM, then morning skates on home game days.
Proximity of Jr A & WHL teams
We are fortunate to be located within 2 hours to 5 Jr A teams, and 2 WHL teams. We have consistently been able to have players each year from our team join local Jr A teams as Affiliate Players. In the 2022-2023 season, we had the second highest number of players in the KIJHL listed as AP’s with Jr A clubs, and have since had 4 sign LOI’s to play Jr A hockey.
Vernon Vipers (BCHL) – 20 Minutes
Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL) – 30 Minutes
West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL) – 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Merritt Centennials (BCHL) – 2 Hours
Penticton Vees (BCHL) – 2 Hours
Kelowna Rockets (WHL) – 1 Hour
Kamloops Blazers (WHL) – 1 Hour 15 Minutes
The Knights provide the following equipment and apparel to their players each season: Helmet, gloves, pant shells, team bag, tracksuit, hoodie, workout t-shirt, and workout shorts. There are various other pieces of apparel and equipment that differs each season.
Sun Valley Source for Sports, in Vernon, provides a 15% discount for any retail item in their store to our players.
President of Operations
Office Administration and General Inquiries