The Kamloops Blazers have a spectacular roster, and their list of prospects is no different. In this prospects report, the spotlight is on four Blazers prospects: Jesse Sanche, Jordan Murray, Luke Korte, and Ashton Tait.
Jesse Sanche (G)
Goaltender Jesse Sanche was selected in the second round, 42nd overall, in the 2021 WHL Draft, and signed with the Blazers in December 2021. The Kamloops native plays for the Okanagan Hockey Academy U18 Prep team, and in eleven games this season he holds an 11-7-1-0 record. With a 3.37 GAA and .888 SV%, his numbers have improved since last year.
Although he has yet to make his WHL debut, Sanche suited up for the Blazers on Wednesday, January 4, backing up starter Dylan Ernst. Michael Schnattinger, Ernst’s previous backup, had been placed on waivers after the Blazers had acquired Matthew Kieper from the Regina Pats. Kieper had yet to arrive in Kamloops, and so Sanche was called to the bench.
As of Thursday, February 23, Sanche’s most recent game played was on February 18, 2023.
Ernst and Kieper were both born in 2004, so it’s unlikely we’ll see Sanche on the roster full-time soon. In special circumstances, however, he may get called up and make his official debut.
Jordan Murray (D)
Jordan Murray was acquired by the Blazers in the sixth round of the 2021 WHL Draft. Roughly six months later, he was the highest Westman player to be chosen in the 2022 MJHL Draft. “There’s not many people that can say that they were picked in both drafts, so I feel really fortunate,” Murray said. He has since played 39 games in the MJHL, recording twelve points (1G-11A).
As of Thursday, February 23, Murray’s most recent game played was on February 8, 2023.
Murray has yet to sign with the Blazers, but his future is promising. He was one of the top defensemen on the Rink Hockey Academy U16 Prep team, with 19 points (3G-16A) in 32 games played during the 2021-22 season.
Luke Korte (F)
Seventeen-year-old Luke Korte was drafted by the Blazers 52nd overall, in the third round of the 2020 WHL Draft. The forward currently plays for the Saskatoon Contacts of the SMAAAHL and has recorded an impressive 27 points (8G-19A) in 31 games played this season.
Korte signed with the Blazers in July of 2020 and made his WHL debut over a year later on December 28, 2021. Four days later, on January 1, 2022, he scored his first WHL goal. This season, he’s made one appearance, back in September of 2022.
As of February 23, Korte’s most recent game played was on February 16, 2023, in which he earned first-star honours.
Noted as an “exciting player to watch who uses his high hockey sense along with skating and puck skills to be an offensive threat” by previous Blazers General Manager Matt Bardsley, hopes are high that Korte will enter his rookie year in the 2023-24 season.
Ashton Tait (F)
With the most WHL games played out of this list, Ashton Tait has made 20 appearances with the Blazers this season. He was drafted 26th overall in the 2021 WHL Draft and signed with the team later that year in December. Tait’s first game with the Blazers was on April 8, 2022. Although he has yet to score his first WHL goal, he recorded his first point with an assist on December 9, 2022.
He currently plays for the Prince Albert Mintos U18 team of the SMAAAHL, where he’s posted a stellar 25 points (12G-13A) in 21 games, averaging 1.2 points per game.
As of February 23, Tait’s most recent game played was on February 22, 2023.
With 20 WHL games under his belt this year, fans can most likely expect to see his first full season with the Blazers take place next season.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled to the Area 51 Sports Network for more WHL content throughout the 2022-23 season.