In the summer of 2016, the Bakersfield Dragons program was rebranded the Bakersfield Junior Condors to emphasize the close relationship that youth hockey in Bakersfield had with the professional team who played down the street.

That partnership, in just one year, has reaped rewards.

Four players from last season’s Bakersfield Jr. Condors Under-16 AA team have been confirmed to play for three junior hockey programs for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

Michael Gomez will play for the Valley Jr. Warriors (Massachusetts) in the Eastern Hockey League, Nick Leach will suit up for the Cheyenne Stampede (Wyoming) of the Western States Hockey League, and Kanan Hays and Sebastian Culver will each play for the Steamboat Wranglers (Colorado) of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League.

“This is the first time that any player has ever gone straight from Bakersfield to any junior league,” said Condors legend and Jr. Condors Head Coach Glen Mears. “We are extremely proud of these young men and their accomplishments. The future is bright for Bakersfield youth hockey and with the partnership with the AHL Condors, only greater opportunities will come for players here.”

“We’re thrilled to recognize these players for moving on and making the Jr. Condors, the Condors, and the city proud,” said Condors Team President Matthew Riley. “We wish these guys nothing but the best with their junior programs and know that the instruction they’ve received here will only help them in their collegiate and professional aspirations.”

Established in 2016 the Bakersfield Jr. Condors program features teams at all age groups which play games out of the Ice Sports Center, down the street from Rabobank Arena. Jerseys were purchased through the Bakersfield Condors last season and scholarships will be funded in future years to help families with costs of playing hockey.

For more information on the Jr. Condors or to get involved, click here.

The Valley Jr. Warriors program produced current NHL stars Chris Kreider and Corey Schneider and the league boasts alumni in John Carlson, Rob Scuderi, and Jarred Tinordi.

For more information on the Jr. Warriors, click here.

For more information on the Cheyenne Stampede, click here.

For more information on the Steamboat Wranglers, click here.