Vancouver NE Chiefs U17 defender Matthew Kim signs with the Panthers

The Port Moody Panthers today announced the signing of 2006-born defender Matthew Kim for the 2023-24 Pacific Junior Hockey League season.

Kim spent most of this past season as captain of the Vancouver North East Chiefs U17 AAA program in the B.C. Elite Hockey League U17 division. In 32 games, he tallied six goals and 10 assists for 16 points, good enough for first in scoring among all blueliners on the Chiefs.

He also played four games for the NE Chiefs U18 AAA squad as an affiliate player. Additionally, the Coquitlam, B.C. product joined the Panthers for a trio of games as an affiliate player, including a pair of wins over the Tom Shaw Conference-leading Delta Ice Hawks.

“I think the most appealing parts about the (Panthers) program for me were the staff and the program’s history. For the short time I’ve known the coaches and other members of the program, they’ve already treated me really well and I think we agree on a lot of things concerning my development and future,” said Kim. “This, along with the various other players who’ve moved on from the program with the help of coaches and other staff, are also things that make the move to Port Moody so exciting for me. I’m looking forward to the new group of people who I believe will help me reach my goals and support me however they can.”

He split the 2021-22 season between the NE Chiefs U17 AAA and U18 AAA teams. Kim had six assists in 21 games at the U18 level and a goal and seven assists in 17 games at the U17 level. Kim has designs on making the jump to a higher level of junior hockey after spending the season with the Panthers.

“My goals for the upcoming season mainly revolve around continuing to develop my game to eventually become a player who can consistently perform at the junior A level. I plan on continually tweaking and building upon my style of hockey with the help and mentorship of other players and the Panthers’ staff,” Kim explained. “(I’ll work at) making plays faster, simpler, safer, etc. while still possessing that creative aspect of myself to create deception and offense.”

“Being surrounded by a new environment, new players, and larger competition gives me the opportunity to get perspective and really understand what works and what doesn’t. I’m ready to put in the work and whatever else it takes this year for me to reach that next level.”

Kim describes himself as the type of defender who can make a positive impact at both ends of the ice. “I’d like to think that my current style of hockey is best described as a two-way defenseman with an offensive mind. (I’m) a fast and deceptive defenseman who takes care of his own end while constantly trying to drive the play up and join the rush,” he said.

“I love to work my creativity on the blue line and use my speed on all parts of the ice to create opportunities for myself and my teammates. I look to continue and build upon this style of play and adjust and improve wherever necessary.”

Kim is the first incoming player to sign with the Panthers for the 2023-24 PJHL season.