A world gold medallist is set to add experience and depth to the Port Moody Panthers' blue line for the rest of the year.
Brandon Jung recently signed with the local junior 'B' team and has already suited up in two games.
The 18-year-old defenceman comes to the Tri-Cities from South Korea, where his family originated but did his growing up in the United States, after playing the first half of the 2022-23 season in the country's high school league.
But Jung is bringing much more than international experience to the 10-win Panthers — he's bringing a résumé that includes a championship title for a growing program.
Back in April, Jung won the 2022 IIHF under-18 men's world championship in the Division II Group A event.
As a result, South Korea earned promotion to Division I Group B, which is three steps below the top level of international hockey.
This was a major boost to South Korean hockey, and arguably one of the biggest since competing against the world's best when they hosted the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
Jung notched one assist on defence in five games at the 2022 worlds — his first-ever international appearance for his home nation — served as an alternate captain for the blue and red, and was even named player of the game in the tournament final.
South Korea was the only Asian country at the six-team event alongside host Estonia, Great Britain, Lithuania, Serbia and Romania, with whom they blanked 9-0 in the last game to claim the trophy.
Jung joins a Port Moody club that's on the rebound from a three-win campaign in 2021-22.
To date, the Panthers have reached double-digits in the win column, currently holding a 10-20-1 record following a 9-2 loss Saturday night (Dec. 17) at home against Delta.
Port Moody currently sits 10th in the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) standings.
Jung does have experience playing North American-style hockey. Prior to the pandemic, he recorded four goals and 11 points in 35 games with Okanagan Hockey Academy in the under-16 division of the Canadian sport school league (CSSHL).
He'll suit up once more with the Panthers on Wednesday (Dec. 21) when the team travels to Langley to play the Rivermen.