Tuesday, May 31, 2016
BCHL News & Trades:
BCHL News & Trades:
Vees Unveil Big Plans For Next Season:
The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club held a press conference Tuesday unveiling plans for the upcoming 2016-17 season. The Vees will be hosting the 2017 Western Canada Cup (WCC) which runs April 29th-May 7th, 2017, and Tuesday the team announced early bird pricing for the event. For existing season ticket holders, early bird packages are available for just $129 and $149 for the general public. Season ticket holders can buy their WCC early bird packages at this discounted rate now. The general public can purchase their early bird WCC package staring July 1st through to December 31st. Director of Player Personnel & Corporate Sales David Michaud says they wanted to encompass all fans with their pricing, “As an organization we work very hard to make our hockey as affordable as possible. We are thrilled that we are able to offer ticket packages that are far and away the most affordable in the history of the event. The entire week promises to be a treat for our fans both on the ice, and off.” The team also announced plans for a “Ring of Honour” that will be launched at the WCC next year, and Michaud says fans will be thrilled with the first group of honourees, “We wanted a legacy piece around the WCC and by creating the “Ring of Honour” inside the SOEC, it will provide a special reminder of all the great players, and builders who came before us. We can’t wait to unveil the newest members during the WCC week, the fans will be so thrilled with whose coming back to celebrate with us.” More exciting news for Vees’ fans is the fact the team is freezing season ticket and playoff pricing for the 2016-17 season. Season tickets and playoff tickets will be priced the same as they were in the 2015-16 season. Season tickets are based on three pricing levels, starting at $169. Playoff packages are $168 for adults and $140 for seniors, a savings of $4 per game over walk-up pricing. Season tickets are on sale now for season ticket holders. Deadline for season ticket holders to guarantee their seat for next season is Friday, April 22nd. Season tickets go on-sale to the general public on Monday, May 9th. President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson also announced a restructuring of the Hockey Operations department. Steve Cawley has moved from his role as Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach, and now will involve with the team’s Scouting department. Harbinson says Cawley was instrumental in the programs’ success, “Steve has been a part of this organization for the past six years and was big piece in what we’ve built here; his passion for the team was infectious. He’s not only a tremendous coach but a great friend and will always be a part of this team.” Cawley spent the last six seasons with the organization, helping guide the team to two Fred Page Cup championships, Doyle Cup championship, Western Canada Cup championship and the 2012 RBC Cup national championship.
West Leaves Wild For Sports Talk Radio:
My Family and I are so excited for Don as he begins this new chapter of his professional life. I have made a new lifelong friend and have also had the unique opportunity to work with someone who always makes me smile. The world needs more laughter, and Don has never let me down in that area. I will miss him terribly, but couldn’t be more excited as he moves onto to something I know he was custom made for! He still will be the biggest wild fan there is, and we look forward to working together promoting the teams in the future! We did try and get a statement from Walt…but as usual, he has no comment. Wild Fans, we have diligently been on the search for someone to lead our marketing efforts, rest assured we will have an announcement soon.
TO THE GREAT FANS OF THE WENATCHEE WILD.... These last four years working for the Wenatchee Wild have truly been incredible and life changing for my wife Terri and myself. The Wenatchee Valley has become our home and we have never been happier. There are so many people that I need to thank for making this such a special time in my life. I want to thank the greatest Owners in the world David and Lisa White for giving me this opportunity. They truly are the nicest people you will ever know and I love them dearly. Special thanks To Head Coach and General Manager Bliss Littler for your friendship and helping me become a better person. I have learned so much just from being around you every day. Thank you Dave Rayfield for being my partner in crime in the office and all the things you do. You are a great friend and one of the hardest workers I know. Thank you Coach Clark, Coach Rudrud, Coach McKelvie, Coach Obermeyer, Pepe, JT, Evelyn, Jeri and all those that I have worked with in the Office these last four years. Thank you Steve Jackson, Uncle Ernie, Ken Dale, Randy Dawson, John Meissner and all those who work so hard to put on the Show every game. Thank you to Mark Miller, Chris Berg and all the staff at the Town Toyota Center and the incredible support you give to the Wild. Thank you to all the Sponsors for your support and friendships and for making this all possible. And now to the greatest fans in the world. Thank you for all your support as you make the Town Toyota Center the best Arena in all of Junior Hockey. Terri and I have made so many lifelong friends because of the Wenatchee Wild. I have an opportunity to pursue a career that has always been my dream and passion. I will be hosting a Daily Sports Talk show with Cherry Creek Radio and am so excited about my future here in Wenatchee. I will always be the biggest Wild fan and will promote and support them tremendously in my new position. Thank you for letting Terri and I be a part of your lives. And lest I forget Thank you Walt as you truly are the greatest mascot in the world. GO WILD!!!
Merritt-Alberni Valley Trade:
The Merritt Centennials have completed their trade with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, as the Bulldogs send 1998-born defenceman Marshall Skapski to the Centennials. Picking up Marshall Skapski completes the trade that began on December 1st 2015, when Ryan Finnegan was sent to the Bulldogs for future considerations. The Abbotsford-born Skapski spent all of his first season in the BCHL with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Skapski had one goal and five helpers for six points in 47 regular season games, along with 40 PIMs. During their playoff series Skapski had one assist and two PIMs in five games. “We’re happy to include Marshall into our veteran defensive group. Marshall’s a great player, we were happy with what we saw playing against him this year. We think he’s going to fit into our defensive core just fine.” -Head Coach Joe Martin.
Coblenz Commits To Powell River:
The Powell River Kings are excited to announce the signing of Josh Coblenz (98) from the VIJHL Campbell River Storm. While with the Storm, Josh played in 42 games, contributing 24 goals, and chipped in with 23 assists in his rookie campaign. He continued that success into the VIJHL playoffs, leading his team in scoring with 17 points in 16 games. “I had the chance to watch Josh play in the playoffs on the island, and he he was dynamic” said Kent Lewis, Kings Head Coach and General Manager, “and we are excited to add Josh to our lineup for this season.” The tenacious forward should be familiar to Kings Fans, as he suited up in five games as an alternate player this past season scoring a goal and adding an assist. “In his 5 games with us, he showed his potential and versatility playing the wall and down the middle. He brings us depth and energy to the lineup which will allow us to roll four lines” added Lewis. The Campbell River native will join fellow Campbell Riverite recruits, Andy Stevens and Gavin Rauser this upcoming season. “It was a familiar program for me, having affiliated and played in games this season. I felt it was a great fit systems wise and it truly is a first class organization” said the newest King. “With the returning players coming back and the coaching of Kent and his track record in the league, I felt the team is on the verge of winning a championship and that is intriguing” added Coblenz. Josh will join his new teammates in August when the Kings open up training camp. Be sure to check back throughout the offseason for news as it happens, or on Facebook or twitter @BCHLKings.
Spruce Kings Name Howse New Assistant Coach:
The Prince George Spruce Kings are very excited to announce the hiring of Ryan Howse as an Assistant Coach. Ryan will join Head Coach Chad van Diemen and Associate Coach Adam Maglio on the coaching staff. Ryan is from Prince George and played his minor hockey locally before graduating to the Chilliwack Bruins of the Western Hockey League. During his very successful junior career Ryan was drafted in the third round, #74 overall in the 2009 NHL draft by the Calgary Flames. For the past few seasons Ryan has been coaching minor hockey including the past season where he led the Prince George Midget Tier 1 Cougars to a very successful season including 7 tournament wins, culminating with a win at the British Columbia Provincial Midget Tier 1 Championships. Ryan had also been a scout with the Spruce Kings for the past year. “I’m thrilled to be able to add a great young coach like Ryan to our coaching staff. He has a great mind for the game and has a lot to offer our players. He’s played the game and excelled at a high level and more recently has proven that he can coach at a high level and be successful. To add his energy and enthusiasm to our group will be nothing but beneficial for our organization moving forward” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “It is an honour and privilege to be joining the Spruce Kings staff. I am very excited for the opportunity to work and learn a long side Chad and Adam and to do my best to help the Spruce Kings organization be competitive and successful in the future. I would like to thank Mike Hawes and the rest of the Spruce Kings staff for this opportunity” said new Spruce Kings Assistant Coach Ryan Howse. “Ryan brings a lot of knowledge and playing experience to our hockey club. He’s not far removed from playing the game and he has been very successful in his first couple years of coaching minor hockey. He has a great relationship with his players and he brings a lot of energy and passion to the rink every day. We think he is ready to make the jump to junior and believe he will make an immediate connection with our players” said Spruce Kings Head Coach Chad van Diemen.
Demin Commits To Wild:
The Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League, have announced that Slava Demin from Cypress, CA, has signed with the team for the 2016-2017 BCHL season. Demin was selected by USA Hockey to participate in last month’s NTDP tryouts for the top forty eight 2000 birth year players in the country. This past season, he played defense for the Anaheim Ducks where he helped the team to a fifth place finish in the twenty six team Tier One Elite League. Demin finished the year with fifteen points in thirty two games for the Ducks. Demin a 6 foot 1 inch and 185 pounds is a big kid that is growing. ”I am excited to announce I will be playing for the Wenatchee Wild in the BCHL next season. A huge thanks to my family and friends for helping me along the way,” said Demin Tom Rudrud Wenatchee Wild Associate Head coach commented “Slava is a good sized defenseman with excellent vision. He makes the transition out of his own end zone exceptionally well. Slava is also a player that has the ability to create offense. “ Bliss Littler Wenatchee Wild GM/Head coach also added “We could not be more excited to get Slava committed to come to Wenatchee. Slava is a high end kid that has high NHL draft potential. The BCHL is an excellent league to develop his skills in” The Wenatchee Wild will report to main camp August 22, 2016 to start their 2nd season in the BCHL and begin their quest for the 2016-2017 Fred Page cup.
Alberni Valley-Steinbach Trade:
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs send 20-year old forward Adam Donnelly to the Steinbach Pistons of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for Future Considerations. This move is the first step of alleviating the log-jam of 20 year olds eligible to return next season. In 56 regular season games with the Bulldogs, Donnelly scored 7 goals and added 20 assists for 27 points, adding 73 PIMs. In 5 playoff games, Donnelly scored 1 goal.
Foley Commits To Eagles:
The Surrey Eagles are pleased to announce that 19-year-old Ryan Foley of Rosemount, Minnesota has committed to the team for the 2016-2017 season. He is the fourth player to commit to the Eagles already this offseason. Foley was a redshirt for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (NCAA Division III) this past season. Previously, he was the captain for Rosemount High School in his senior year, where he finished as one of the school’s top ten all-time leading scorers. “I’m excited to be a part of a successful program next season,” Foley said in an interview with SurreyEagles.ca “The BCHL is full of top skilled players and is a fast paced game. I’m looking forward to playing junior hockey to show what I can really do.” The 6-foot-1, 175 pound Foley is known primarily as a speedy and skilled forward, who possesses the ability to break games open with his scoring touch. He has had experience playing in all types of situations throughout his career, and looks to be a player that Eagles’ head coach Blaine Neufeld will be able to trust in the upcoming season. “We are tremendously excited to bring Ryan into our organization,” Neufeld announced. “He was a top level player at the high school level in Minnesota, and after spending a year with the Wisconsin program, we are pleased to bring his experience and maturity to our group.” Foley’s main goal is to prove himself as a 19-year-old in the league, and has his sights set on a NCAA Division I scholarship. “While talking to Ryan, I got the sense that he is very motivated to get into a Division I program. That is exactly what our culture is going to be this year.” As the long summer approaches, Foley already intends on getting himself in shape and ready for the season ahead. “Surrey is in a good location, and seems like a great hockey town. I plan on coming in top shape, and I will be out there to win every game.”
Rawnsley Leaves Kings:
Powell River Kings play by play man Alex Rawnsley has informed the Powell River Kings that he does not intend to return as broadcaster for the 2016-17 season. Rawnsley started with the Kings in 2011 said he really battled for motivation with a lot of the "extra" stuff fans don't see and needs some time away from the rink.
Fahie Commits To Clippers:
The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Michael Fahie has committed to play for the Team for the 2016-2017 season. The 18 year old forward joins the Clippers after playing the past three seasons at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Massachussetts. During the 2015-2016 season the 5’10” 160lb Pembroke Massachussetts native tallied 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points in 26 games played. Michael is also committed to the NCAA Division 1 Brown University Bears in the ECAC league.
Gricius Commits To Wenatchee:
The Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League, have announced that Jake Gricius from Colorado Springs, CO, has signed with the Wild for the 2016-2017 season. Gricus, a 1999-born player, joins the Wild after a successful midget AAA career with one of the best programs in all of midget hockey in the Colorado Thunderbirds. In 28 games this year, he posted seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points in the Tier One Elite League. Tom Rudrud, Wenatchee Wild Associate Head coach had this to say about Gricius. “Jake’s a strong skating center iceman who will make plays. At 6’3 and 180lbs, Jake also brings some needed size and strength to the Wild. He will be an asset in our chase for the Fred Page Cup” Gricius, commented that “I am really excited and looking forward to a great year in Wenatchee and playing in the BCHL” Bliss Littler, Wenatchee Wild GM/Head coach had this to say about Gricius. “After watching Jake play in the National tournament I can see why our staff has been so excited about this young man all season. I feel Jake will develop into one of the better play making big men in the BCHL in time. Jake has been very well coached. He should be able to step in and make plays and compete right away.” The Wenatchee Wild will report to main camp August 22, 2016, to start their 2nd season in the BCHL and begin their quest for the 2016-2017 Fred Page cup.