PLAYERS


Carter Rowney: Carter Rowney is the first former Grande Peace Athletic Club player to win the Stanley Cup, which he did in the spring of 2017 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. After playing bantam and midget with GPAC, the Sexsmith-born Rowney played his junior hockey with the Grande Prairie Storm, where he won the playoff MVP award helping the Storm to the AJHL championship in 2009. He received an NCAA scholarship with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, where he spent four seasons. He began his pro career with the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL in 2012 before going back and forth between the AHL and East Coast Hockey League, eventually sticking in the AHL with the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. He was called up to the NHL Penguins in January of 2017 and remained with the big team for 27 regular season games and another 20 in the playoffs. In 2017-18 Carter went 44-2-3-5 with the Penguins during the regular season and 3-0-0-0 in the playoffs. He was acquired by the Anaheim Ducks to start the 2018-19 season. He is the second Junior A Storm player (Grant Stevenson being the other) to play in the NHL. His 47 NHL games is seven more than Stevenson played when he was with the San Jose Sharks.

Tanner Fritz: Tanner Fritz, who was born in Fort St. John, played bantam and midget with GPAC before spending four seasons (2007-2011) with the Junior A Storm. After spending four seasons with the Ohio State Buckeyes, where he ended his collegiate career as team captain, in the NCAA, he started his pro career in the East Coast Hockey League with the Missouri Mavericks before joining the American Hockey League Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2015. He was at the New York Islanders NHL training camp in the fall of 2016 and in the spring of 2017 signed a two-way, two-year contract with the Islanders and played 34 games with the NHL team after being called up scoring three goals and adding four assists with his first goal in February of 2018. He attended the Islanders training camp, but was sent down to Bridgeport to start the 2018-19 season. He also had an amateur tryout with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Kenton Helegson: Kenton Helgeson is the first-ever GPAC graduate to be drafted into the National Hockey League. The Grande Prairie-born player was chosen in the seventh round 187th overall by the Anaheim Ducks. Kenton played bantam and midget in GPAC. He played one season with the Junior A Storm (2010-11) before joining the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, where he played for four seasons and is a former Coach's Award winner and Player of the Year with Calgary. His pro career started in the East Coast Hockey League with the Utah Grizzlies in 2015. In 2017 his rights were traded to the Chicago Blackhawks who moved him to the Indy Fuel of the ECHL. In 2017-18 he played with the Norfolk Generals and Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL.

Schael Higson: Grande Prairie product Schael Higson (GPAC Bantam AAA and Midget AAA) is coming off of his best season in the Western Hockey League, and going into his final year of junior hockey, he will be looking to do one better. Higson is one of three over-age players that the Brandon Wheat Kings have returning this upcoming year. Higson, who attended the Las Vegas Golden Knights training camp, was a major factor in the teams' success last season as the 6"0, 220-pound blueliner registered 5 goals and 23 assists in 71 games during the regular season. He started his WHL career with the Saskatoon Blades in 2014 before joining the Wheat Kings partway through 2015-16 campaign.

Dennis Rix: Dennis Rix was born and raised in Grande Prairie and come up through the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association system playing bantam and midget with GPAC and then from 2006 to 2001 with the Junior A Storm including being part of the AJHL champion 2009 Storm club. He received an NCAA scholarship at Michigan Tech where he played for four seasons. He played one year of pro hockey with the Edinburgh Capitals of the EIHL before returning to Grande Prairie where he was assistant coach and business manager with the Junior Storm for two years before a career change. He played in the Allan Cup with the Lacombe Generals in the spring of 2018 and currently plays senior hockey with the Grande Prairie Athletics of the North Peace Hockey League.

Reech Harsh: Reech Harsh played bantam and midget in GPAC and four games with the Junior A Storm before joining the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL in 2015. The former Storm Bantam AAA Top Defenceman was part of the Seattle team that won the WHL championship in the spring of 2017. He also played for Team Northwest in the Alberta Cup in 2013-14. He attended the Las Vegas Golden Knights rookie camp in September of 2018 and is now playing in the New South Wales Hockey League with the Penrith Phantoms.

Colton Sandboe: Former GPAC player Colton Sandboe wore a variety of uniforms at the junior hockey level - Canmore Eagles, Grande Prairie JDA Kings, Grande Prairie Storm, Espanola Express and Dryden Ice Dogs among them. He had the most success with the Ice Dogs helping them to a Superior International Junior Hockey League championship in the spring of 2017. His hockey career continues in the ACAC with Portage College Voyageurs.

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