Video Spotlight - Josh Stephenson

LANGLEY, British Columbia - Trinity Western forward Josh Stephenson was a pretty standard B.C. born kid.

Ball hockey in the living room and shinny in the driveway at three years old.

Skating lessons at four years old.

Organized ice hockey at five years old.

“I was totally that typical Canadian kid wanting to play in the NHL,” Stephenson said. “Wayne Gretzky all the way, Stanley Cup dreams.”
The only thing that wasn’t typical was his rooting preference in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final between Vancouver and the New York Rangers.

“In the 1994 final, I cheered for the Rangers,” Stephenson said. “I don’t remember a lot but I was the only one cheering for the Rangers.”

He says he has since “seen the light” and is now an ardent Canucks supporter, but maybe a little of Mark Messier circa 1994 rubbed off on him.

Because since then, he’s also become quite a hockey player.

Growing up in Aldergrove literally around the corner from the local arena, the now 6-foot, 175-pound centre was on the ice all time and at a moment’s notice.

And after a career of minor hockey, in his first year of midget hockey with the Aldergrove AA squad, all his dedication, and hundreds of hours on the ice, came to fruition. In the spring of 2007, his team became the first Aldergrove club to bring home a provincial championship banner. And it was sweet.

A year after that, in the fall of 2008, Stephenson joined the Junior B Aldergrove Kodiaks of the PIJHL (Pacific International Junior Hockey League) full time where he put up eight goals and five assists in 43 games as a rookie.

Then after trying out for, and subsequently being released from, both the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Penticton Vees, he received a call from TWU to come join the Titans.

“Both my parents came here so I always had a draw to come here but I just wasn’t sure if it would be financially possible,” said Stephenson, who is studying Kinesiology. “But when they called me and I found out I could get a scholarship, I thought maybe this is possible.”

In his first year, he delivered on expectations. He had 12 goals and 12 assists in 24 games and was third on the team in scoring. So coming into this year, he figured he would simply pick up from where he left off last year.

Unfortunately, this year didn’t quite blossom as he had hoped.

“I came in with really high expectations for myself,” said Stephenson, who has two goals and two assists in 13 games. “I don’t know if they were too high but I’ve been in a bit of a slump and I haven’t been able to score a whole lot. Maybe it’s the sophomore jinx. But I just need to keep working hard and have a positive attitude and hopefully I’ll come out of it soon.”
And that’s his whole attitude towards life. He may be having a tough season, but he’s still determined to change that. Even this year.
“I like to think in the here and now,” he said.

And for a kid who has played a lead role in a local version of High School Musical in Grade 12 and played the role of Scar in Lion King in Grade 8, Stephenson is hoping he’ll be singing a bit of a more dramatic tune on the ice in the very near future.

Just like those Rangers did in 1994.

Last Updated: 2011-01-20
Author: Mark Janzen