Thursday, February 25, 2016

Winterhawks Sign Ilijah Colina

The Portland Winterhawks announced today that they had signed their first 2000-born prospect in forward Ilijah Colina. The North Delta, British Columbia product was Portland's eighth round Bantam Draft pick this last June.

He is listed at 5'9" and 161 lbs and is currently playing for the Valley West Hawks of the BCMML, where he has 52 points in 32 games with one weekend of play left in the regular season. That is good for second on his team and fourth overall in the BCMML. Colina and the Hawks have already secured the first overall seed going into the BCMML playoffs, where they should be in for a long playoff run.

At this point, it is unlikely that Colina will join Portland, until the Valley West Hawks are done in the playoffs, which should be until after the Winterhawks regular season is over. Colina plays on the power house Hawks, who are led by BCMML leading scorer Ben Evanish who has 62 points, Colina and James Malm (Vancouver Giants' signed prospect), who has 37 points in just 16 games.

Colina also played two games this season in the BCHL with the Chilliwack Chiefs, where he notched an assist.

He is another product of the great Burnaby Winter Hockey Club, where current WHLers Mathew Barzal (Seattle), Ty Ronning (Vancouver) and Jake Kryski (Kamloops) all played, along with current NHLers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton) and Karl Alzner (Washington).

Colina is a right handed shot, who in the video here (at the 0:45 second mark) shows off dazzling anticipation and remarkable finish in scoring a short-handed goal. I would look for him to join the team next season, if he shines in the Neely Cup and during the preseason.

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