Braiden Epp plans to go from Cat to King next season.
The Cariboo Cougars forward has committed to playing the 2013-14 hockey season with the Prince George Spruce Kings of the B.C. Hockey League. The 16-year-old has 25 goals and 55 points with the Cougars this season, putting him third among B.C. Major Midget League scorers behind teammate Liam Blackburn (67 points) and Matthew Barzel (91 points).
In addition to the 32 games Epp has played for the Cougars this season, he also suited up once as an affiliate player for his hometown BCHL club.
Spruce Kings general manager Mike Hawes said he was happy getting the five-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed forward to commit.
"Braiden is a hardworking skilled player with tremendous hockey instincts," said Hawes. "He also has great character which comes from a strong family background. He is another player that the Cariboo Cougars have done a great job developing."
Epp was also added to the Western Hockey League Vancouver Giants' protected list earlier this season after being invited to the team's training camp last summer. With his commitment to the Spruce Kings it appears Epp will be keeping his NCAA scholarship options open.
"Im very happy to be playing junior hockey next season with the Spruce Kings," said Epp. "I think it is a great opportunity for me."