North Delta’s Justin Ivanusec has signed on to play with the Vancouver Giants.
On Wednesday (Dec. 22), the team announced they had signed the 15-year-old right-shot forward to a standard WHL player agreement, two weeks after selecting him 79th overall in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft Dec. 9.
“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my hockey career with the Vancouver Giants,” Ivanusec said in a press release. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to meeting my future teammates and coaches, and seeing how the Giants can help develop my game for the next level.”
In 15 games so far with the Burnaby Winter Club’s U18 Prep program, the five-foot-eleven, 150-pound right winger has tallied six goals and six assists for 12 points. The season prior, Ivanusec had eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in just six games with the club’s U15 Bantam Prep team.
“Justin is a player that has the ability to be a one-shot scorer. He can create separation with his speed. His speed also can be disruptive on the forecheck. We are pleased he has chosen to trust his development with the Vancouver Giants,” general manager Barclay Parneta said in a press release.
As an under-ager, Ivanusec is eligible to suit up with the Giants five times this season, prior to the conclusion of his season with the Burnaby Winter Club.
Ivanusec is third player (and first forward) chosen by the Giants in this year’s WHL Prospects Draft to sign with the team.
On Dec. 13, just four days after the draft, the Giants announced they had signed first-round pick (11th overall) Colton Roberts to a standard WHL player agreement.
The six-foot-one, 161-pound right-handed defenceman from Maple Ridge has 26 points (five goals, 21 assists) in 18 games so far this season with the Delta Hockey Academy’s U-17 Prep team, and has also appeared in one game the DHA’s U-18 Prep team. Roberts, 15, is eligible to appear in up to five games with the Giants as an under-ager prior to the completion of his CSSHL season.
On Dec. 17, the Giants announced they had signed 15-year-old goaltender Matthew Hutchison. The Nanaimo native was drafted by the Giants in the third round (50th overall).
The six-foot-two, 165-pound Hutchison has a 1-6-1 record through eight games this season with the BC Elite Hockey League’s U18 North Island Silvertips, with a goals-against average of 4.36. He’s also appeared in two games with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals, posting a 1-1 record (including a 51-save win against the Vernon Vipers on Oct. 31) and averaging four goals against with a save percentage of .909.
Hutchison is also eligible to play up to five games with the Giants prior to finishing his season with the Silvertips.