Matthew Stienburg poses after being selected 63rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche during the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)

An Ivy League hockey player and Colorado Avalanche draft pick is joining the West Kelowna Warriors for the B.C. Hockey League season.

Forward Matthew Stienburg was drafted 63rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft before playing his freshman season with Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ivy League has cancelled its hockey season.

Stienberg is the second Ivy Leaguer to join the Warriors, after Wyllum Deveaux from Harvard.

Both are Nova Scotia natives — Deveaux from Sackville and Stienburg from Halifax. They played against each other as kids.

“We are thrilled to have Matthew join the Warriors,” said Warriors coach Simon Ferguson. “There was a reason why NHL teams were so high on Matthew — he plays fast, he plays mean and he is relentless on loose pucks.”

He’s also big at six-foot-two, 195 pounds.

Stienburg was looking forward to the season at Cornell, but “I’m trying to take some positives out of this situation and make the most out of my opportunity here in West Kelowna. I came here to win and develop my game further and I think Coach Ferguson and the management team here will give me a great opportunity to do that,” he said.

Okanagan Newspaper Group