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West Kelowna Warriors Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Ayrton Nikkel has accepted a Head Coaching role in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Bonnyville Pontiacs. Ayrton joined the Warriors organization as Assistant coach in the summer of 2019 and helped lead Warriors through numerous winning seasons, most notably, advancing to the Interior Conference Finals in 2022.

“We are proud to see Ayrton graduate to a lead role. Not only are we in the business of developing players, but we are pleased to see our coaches and staff members advance their careers as well. Ayrton worked hard for us over the past five years and is very deserving of this opportunity.” said Warriors President Chris Laurie.

During his tenure with the Warriors, Ayrton was tasked with overseeing the Defence and Special Teams assignments, working alongside Head Coach and General Manager Simon Ferguson.

“When I joined the Warriors in 2020, Ayrton was with the team and he impressed me with his maturity and knowledge right from the start. He has done a great job over the last five seasons developing players, but also growing personally as a coach and leader. We wish him nothing but the best.” said Head Coach and General Manager Simon Ferguson.

Ayrton, originally from Peachland, is no stranger to the Prairies, as he spent four years as a defenceman in the Western Hockey League, suiting up for Brandon, Saskatoon, and Swift Current.

“I would like to thank the entire Warriors organization for the past 5 years. It has been an honour and a privilege to have coached where I grew up playing as a child. I have developed relationships and friendships that will last a lifetime.” said Ayrton Nikkel. “I will miss seeing the seats full of the passionate West Kelowna faithful and I was always proud when our guys killed off the first penalty of the second period. Lastly, to all the players that have come and gone in my time here, I thank you all for your hard work and dedication to your craft; without it, I would not be in a position to have this opportunity with such a great franchise in Bonnyville. Good luck next year West K!” added Nikkel.


The Warriors would like to thank Ayrton for his contributions to the organization and wish him the best moving forward.

The club will look to fill the Assistant Coach position in the immediate future. Interested candidates can inquire by emailing