The 20-year-old logjam just got a little less congested for the Kootenay Ice.
Jeff Chynoweth, Kootenay Ice president and general manager, revealed Tuesday morning that forward Ryan Chynoweth and defenceman Lenny Hackman are not expected to return to the club for the 2015-16 season.
According to Chynoweth, his son Ryan is expected to move along to play Junior ‘A’ hockey, while Hackman is anticipated to go to school in the fall.
At the conclusion of the 2014-15 WHL season, the Kootenay Ice active roster contained a total of 11 players set to be 20-year-old WHL overagers.
Heading into the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, Chynoweth expressed the opinion that the market for 20-year-olds was going to be tough for sellers this summer, as most teams around the league are caught with an abundance of 1995-born players. He reiterated that point Tuesday.
“I think it will take time and I don’t expect anything to happen over the summer months,” Chynoweth said. “But you never know.”
WHL clubs are permitted to carry a maximum of three 20-year-old players beyond Oct. 16.
Forward Sam Reinhart and defenceman Rinat Valiev are also expected to move on from the Kootenay Ice ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, leaving seven 1995-born players to fill three slots.
“We’ll start the season with the seven 20-year-olds coming back,” Chynoweth said. “Then we’ll make a decision from there.”
Reinhart is expected to graduate to the professional ranks within the Buffalo Sabres’ organization, while Valiev is expected to join the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.
Left to compete for the three overage slots are forwards Jaedon Descheneau, Jon Martin and Luke Philp, defencemen Tanner Lishchynsky, Tyler King and Tanner Faith, as well as goaltender Wyatt Hoflin.
In 220 career WHL games scattered between the Ice, Tri-City Americans and Everett Silvertips, Ryan Chynoweth amassed 12 goals and 39 points along with 200 minutes in penalties.
During the 2014-15 campaign, the 6-foot-1 left-winger tallied five goals, 12 assists and 17 points for the Ice — all of which were career highs.
He was originally acquired by the Ice from the Americans on Sept. 25, 2013 in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft.
Hackman skated in 206 career WHL games over a span of three seasons, spent largely with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The 5-foot-9 native of Airdrie, Alta., was acquired by the Ice from the Hurricanes on Jan. 8, 2015 in exchange for a 12th-round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft.
Hackman tallied four goals and 24 points over the course of his WHL career.