The Bryn Athyn College Lions will have another Manitoban on the roster for the 2020-21 season, as defenceman John Jebamani of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Swan Valley Stampeders recently committed to the program for the coming season. Situated northeast of Philadelphia, the NCAA Division III Lions play out of the Colonial States Athletic Conference.
The 21-year-old is the second player from the 2019-20 Stampeders to sign to Bryn Athyn College, as teammate Frazer Dodd of Hazelton, BC, also agreed to terms with the Lions earlier this summer. Along with the familiarity of his MJHL teammate, Jebamani is also expected to be the second Winnipeg product on the team, as Tyler Besner – who spent the past year with the Lions – is planning to return for the coming season.
“I am honoured to announce my commitment to attend school and play hockey at Bryn Athyn College,” Jebamani said in a team-issued press release. “I chose Bryn Athyn College because of the tight knit community, as well as having a strong hockey program and a high level of education. I would like to thank my billets, coaches, teammates, family and everyone else who has supported me in achieving my goal of playing college hockey. Lastly I would like to thank the fans and the community of Swan River for welcoming me with open arms. I have made many great memories while being in this town and I will always remember my time as a Stampeder.”
Jebamani – a six-foot, 195-pound blueliner – spent the past three seasons lacing up in the MJHL, where he put up eight goals, 56 points and 78 penalty minutes in 180 total regular season and playoff games between the Dauphin Kings, Waywayseecappo Wolverines and Stampeders. After splitting the 2017-18 season between the Kings and Wolverines, the former Winnipeg Monarch found a home in Swan Valley with the Stamps.
The 2019-20 season saw Jebamani register five goals, 31 points and 26 penalty minutes in 57 regular season games with Swan Valley, before collecting four assists in just three postseason games, prior to the league-wide COVID-19 shutdown. He will now join a Bryn Athyn College team that went 12-10-3 in 2019-20, finishing third (27 points) in the independent division behind Anna Maria College (29 points) and State University of New York at Canton (29 points).
“We are excited to have John join our college, community, and our hockey program,” said Andrew Burke, Bryn Athyn College head coach in the release. “We pinpointed John early in the season as one of our top recruits and our staff made a personal connection with John and his family. John was very mature and professional through the recruiting process. We are looking forward to John bringing his size, puck moving ability and skating to our back end. He will be looked to as a freshman to come in and play in vital situations.”