The Merritt Centennials announced yesterday that Captain Rylan Van Unen has committed to Northern Michigan University for the 2020-21 season.
Van Unen is a rare specimen in the BCHL in that he spent his entire 4 year junior career with one team, the Centennials. In total, the Captain got into 212 regular season games and 16 playoff games during his tenure registering 50 goals and 45 assists over that span to go along with 213 penalty minutes. Characterized by his honest north-south game, Rylan also possesses breakaway speed, a lethal shot, and a grinders mentality that should serve him well at the next stage in his hockey career.
Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter says its the work ethic that sets Van Unen apart.
"I am extremely happy for Rylan. He has worked hard for this opportunity and I can't wait to see him succeed at the next level. His work ethic is second to none andhe's a great leader and person. I am proud of him and wish him nothing but success in his new journey."
The departing Captain Van Unen says that he's excited to be joining a program on the rise and the prospect of playing with a familiar face.
"I couldn't be happier to join a program like Northern Michigan, and I'm especially excited to play with my brother again. I'd like to thank everyone in Merritt for what they have done for me in the last 4 years."
In joining the Northern Michigan Wildcats, Rylan will not only suit up with his twin brother Mike, but he will also play against former Centennials that have gone onto play in the WCHA conference in Nick Wicks, Zach Court, Tyrell Buckley, Jacob Berger and more.
The Centennials would like to thank Rylan and the Van Unen family for their commitment to the Nicola Valley community and Cents hockey over his 4 year stint, and wish them all the best on this next chapter in hockey and education.