Sunday, June 26, 2016

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Ross Commits To Eagles:

Jackson Ross, a 19-year-old defenceman who played last season with the Kamloops Storm of the KIJHL, has committed to the Surrey Eagles for the 2016-2017 season. The 6-foot, 172-pound Ross led all defencemen on his team last year with 26 points. Ross is an American-born player, originally hailing from Centennial, Colorado, where he played two years of hockey with Cherry Creek High School. He will be a welcome addition to the team’s back end, as his puck-moving ability will be put to use. His 23 assists were the second-most on his team last season, despite being a defenceman. reached out to Ross, who revealed more about his ability to dish the puck. “I think my biggest strength is my hockey IQ. I try to make good decisions on the ice. I also love to pass the puck, because I see the game well. Making that quick, strong pass to set up a teammate is a great feeling.” When it was time to decide where to play in 2016-2017, the Surrey Eagles were at the top of his list. His philosophies as a hockey player, and desire to win meshed well with the current coaching staff. That made it feel like a good fit. “My coaches in Kamloops really recommended that I commit to the Eagles. They had great things to say,” explained Ross. “I want to be part of a team that is hungry for success and growth. Looking at the youth of the team and its recent commitments, I know that we have great potential and better days lie ahead. As an added bonus, Surrey seems like a great place to play hockey and experience life! The team has great facilities, and I doubt that there is a better rink and dressing room in the league. I don’t think there is a better place for me to be next year.” BC interior scout and assistant coach Craig Sterzer initially contacted Ross about the potential of moving to the BCHL. Ross made a very strong impression on the staff that watched him play. It was clear that he had outgrown the KIJHL, and was ready for the next challenge. “The KIJHL was a fantastic experience, but it didn’t have the depth of talent that the BCHL has. The speed and the pace of play is much higher at the BCHL level, and it’s a faster, rougher, more skilled game. I know, without a doubt, that I can skate and compete with the players at this level.” Ross now plans on spending the rest of the summer mentally and physically preparing himself, on and off the ice. “I’m hoping to play a big role on the team this year as both a productive player, and a leader. I want to be a dependable defenceman that is capable of logging a lot of minutes.”“Most importantly, I’m ready to compete and to help restore a winning mindset.”

Kings Add To Next Season’s Roster:

Powell River Kings continue to announce names of new players who have committed to the team for the 2016/17 BC Hockey League (BCHL) season. Last season the team came up short in the BCHL Island Division final, but Kings head coach Kent Lewis is looking ahead to the next season. “We had a lot of new guys come in and play key roles,” said Lewis. “I think they’ll benefit this year, and so will the team with that experience.” A starting goaltender is the biggest hole to fill for the Kings, following the departures of 20-year-old Jeff Smith, who has moved on to start his college career at St. Cloud State of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Stefan Wornig, who was traded to Prince George Spruce Kings in April to complete a deal that brought defenceman Adam Brubacher to the Kings in January. Kings have a commitment from 18-year-old goaltender Mitch Adamyk from Winnipeg, Manitoba. For the past two seasons, Adamyk played for the Winnipeg Wild of the Manitoba Midget Hockey League, posting a 2.01 goals against average and a save percentage of .930 in 2015/16. Already returning to the Kings on defence are Andy Stevens, a rookie last season, Brandon Kennedy and Jack Long. Jake Kohlhauser will be coming back as well. “We return with four defencemen,” said Lewis, “that’s a good core.” Offensively, the club has commitments from some strong new players. In April, the team announc highly-touted left winger Ben Berard, a seventh-round pick in the Western Hockey League bantam draft, will be coming to town. “He’s a very, very skilled young player,” said Lewis. “Like all rookies, he’ll take a little time to adjust. He’ll attract a lot of division one interest.” Berard scored 58 points in 36 games with Shawnigan Lake School Bantam Prep in Canadian Sports School Hockey League action last season. Also in April, Kings signed forward Josh Coblenz from the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s Campbell River Storm. Coblenz played five games as an affiliate for the Kings last season. Right winger Cam Donaldson, a 17-year-old American player, will join the Kings forward ranks. The young Texan spent last season at the Gunnery, a prep school in Connecticut, and scored 50 points in 32 games. Donaldson already has a college commitment with Cornell University. “He’s very speedy, and I like his compete, skill set and his work ethic. He’ll definitely figure into our top-six forward group,” said Lewis. Forwards Tristan Mullin, Kyle Betts, Jonny Evans and Carter Turnbull are expected to return to the Kings for another season. Lewis said forward will be a contested position. Lewis has set August 22 as the start date for the Kings main training camp. Kings have also announced that Craig Beauchemin, former broadcaster for North Battleford North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, will be the team’s new play-by-play announcer, replacing Alex Rawnsley.

Amonte & Kamps Commit To Vees:

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the commitments of prep school forwards Ty Amonte (98) and Jacob Kamps (97) for the 2016-17 season. “Both had successful seasons playing prep hockey in Massachusetts last year and will bring different qualities to our line-up. We expect Jacob and Ty to step in and make an immediate impact to our forward group,” said President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson. Amonte, 18, played at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts, for the past four seasons and had a standout senior year, amassing 17 goals and 70 points in just 30 games. Those numbers earned him the Boston Bruins’ John Carlton Memorial Trophy, as the top male high school player in eastern Massachusetts. Amonte was one of two players last season to hit the 70-point plateau at Thayer Academy, a first for the school since Jeremy Roenick tallied 84 points in 1988. The Norwell, Massachusetts, native compiled 151 points in 111 games in his four years of prep hockey, and is the son of former NHLer Tony Amonte, who played over 1,100 games and collected 900 points in 17 seasons. Ty is already committed to Boston University for the 2017-18 season. Kamps, 19, just completed prep school hockey at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. The Picking, Ontario, native averaged over a point per-game with Cushing collecting 11 goals and 28 points in 24 games. Kamps possesses great physical attributes standing at 6’3 and weighing in at over 200 pounds, and is a prototypical power-forward. Like Amonte, Kamps is a winger but can play both the left and right side. This spring he also played for the U-18 Boston Jr. Bruins in the Massachusetts Select League, scoring 13 goals and 19 points in 12 games. Kamps too has already committed to a Division l program, as he will join the University of Vermont in the fall of 2017. Amonte and Kamps will join the team in August in time for the Vees’ Main Camp at the SOEC.

Cowichan-Trail Trade:

The Smoke Eaters have acquired 96 Defenceman, Carter Cochrane and 96 Forward Luke Santerno, two 20 year old players from the Cowichan Valley Capitals in exchange for 97 Forward, Max Newton and 98 Defenceman, Nii Noi Tetteh. Assistant Coach, Curtis Toneff, is excited to bring in two veterans like Luke and Carter.  “Carter is an offensive D-man who hails from Kamploops BC and is a veteran of over 100 games of junior hockey split between the WHL and the BCHL.  He was also a member of the BCHL’s all rookie team and a second team All Star in the 2013/14 season.” Luke is a big, rangy cetreman and good on draws.  He makes smart plays all over the ice.  His career started with the 100-Mile House Wranglers of the KIJHL in their inagural season, before moving on to play the last two seasons with the Cowichan Valley Capitals.  He is from Smithers, BC.” The Smoke Eater organization welcome Luke and Carter to the Smoke Eater family. We would like to thank Max and Nii Noi for there dedication to the Smoke Eater organization.  We know that Max will leave his mark in the BCHL and know that Nii Noi will answer the bell when things get tough.  We wish both players success in Cowichan Valley.

Schneider Commits To Spruce Kings:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are excited to announce the commitment of 18 year old forward Travis Schneider to the team for the upcoming season. The 5’11” 175 pound Schneider is from Highland Park, Illinois but currently calls Palm Beach Gardens, Florida home. He played Prep Hockey last season for Canterbury School based in New Milford, Connecticut. At Canterbury, Schneider was a team captain and scored 16 goals and had 16 assists for 32 points in 30 games. “We are excited to add a player like Travis to our team. He’s a very intelligent player, skates well, sees the ice well and prides himself in being a complete 200 foot player. We were recently able to watch Travis play at a showcase in Boston and his abilities and his compete level stood out immediately. He will be able to step into our lineup next season and contribute at both ends of the ice” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “When I talked to Coach Chad he explained the type of culture and environment he was trying to create in the Spruce Kings’ locker room. He talked about how he wants players that are going to give 100% effort day in and day out and that’s something I am really excited to be a part of. I believe my attitude and effort reflect what Coach Chad wants to see on and off the ice. I am extremely excited to be a part of the Spruce Kings’ organization” said new Spruce King player Travis Schneider. Travis Schneider will join the rest of his Spruce Kings team mates just prior to the start of the team’s main training camp on August 25th.

Barnstable, Ripplinger & Babichuk Commit To Penticton:

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce that forwards Ty Barnstable (98) and Turner Ripplinger (98), and defenceman Cory Babichuk (98) have committed for the 2016-17 season. “All three had very productive seasons within their respective midget leagues and we are thrilled to add young talented pieces to our line-up for the upcoming season,” commented Vees’ President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson. Barnstable and Ripplinger played their 17-year-old seasons with the Regina Pat Canadians in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL) and both call Regina home. Barnstable hand a banner year with the Pat C’s, as he was named the SMAAAHL MVP, Top Forward and named to the league’s First All-Star Team. The winger had 22 goals, 31 assists for 53 points in 43 games. He led Regina in scoring and finished seconds in the league in assists and fifth in the scoring race; he had another four goals in six playoff games. Two seasons ago Barnstable, along with current Vee Owen Sillinger, won the SMAAHL championship and helped guide Regina to a third place finish at the Telus Cup, the National Midget Championship. His teammate was no slouch either. Ripplinger finished right behind Barnstable in team scoring with 22 goals and 46 points in 43 games; he finished 10th in league scoring. Ripplinger, who also plays the wing, turned heads at the Mac’s AAA Hockey Tournament in Calgary back in December, leading the entire tournament in scoring. Ripplinger was a point per-game player in the playoffs for the Pat Canadians, notching six assists in as many games. Ripplinger split two seasons of midget hockey in Saskatchewan between Regina and Moose Jaw. In 86 games in the SMAAHL he tallied 34 goals and 77 points. Babichuk is also entering his 18-year-old year and hails from Edmonton, Alberta. The rear-guard played the past two seasons in the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL) with the CAC Edmonton Canadians. Babichuk wore the ‘C’ this year for the Canadians and collected 21 points in 30 games from the blue-line. His strong play at the midget level has already landed him an NCAA Division l commitment to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and as of now, is scheduled to enroll in the fall of 2017. Former Vees that have played for the RPI Engineers include Luke Curadi, Bo Dolan and Louie Nanne. The Vees organization is excited to welcome Cory, Ty and Turner to the team and look forward to seeing them at Main Camp in August.

Nanaimo Clippers Alumni & Former NHLer LeNeveu The New Face Of Clippers Ownership:

The Nanaimo Clippers announced a high-profile alumnus as a new face of ownership. The city’s B.C. Hockey League club held a press conference Wednesday to introduce former NHLer David LeNeveu as president and governor of the team. “The Clippers were a big jump-start to my career as a professional hockey player and I want to give back to that and I also enjoy watching them develop, the next crop of players,” he said. LeNeveu tended goal for the Clippers in 2000-01, went on to Cornell University and then played pro hockey including stints with the Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers. He and his family have lived in Nanaimo for 12 years, and he has recently helped out as a goaltending coach with the Clippers. The 33-year-old said joining the ownership group made a lot of sense at this stage in his career and life. The Clippers’ out-of-province ownership group had long been looking for a local representative, said Ken Wagner, the team’s co-owner. Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and general manager, said he’s been supporting and endorsing a greater role for LeNeveu for a long time. “I think it’s an important step for our organization,” Vandekamp said. “We’ve made some good strides in the last few years … and I think this just gives us another sort of boost of nitrous to give us a push in the right direction.” Though the move was only officially announced this week, LeNeveu was already in place as governor in time to attend the BCHL’s annual general meeting this month. His new role will be to oversee all operations of the Clippers, he said, and a major part of that is to try to help build excitement and passion surrounding the team. “We’ll develop a plan going forward to re-engage this community to come on board and hopefully fill this arena with fans and have that support that everybody dreams of having,” LeNeveu said. Another priority will be maintaining and expanding sponsorships with local businesses. “We want to establish the relationship that’s expected from both sides, with their involvement with the team and our support and follow-up with them,” LeNeveu said. “We really have to solidify that within this community.” In the past, he’s cheered for the Clippers as a coach, alumnus and fan, but he expects to have even more emotional investment now in wins and losses. “[It’s] going to be a lot higher,” he said. “Our goal is always to develop the players first here, but it’s also to win and win a championship, as well. That’s something that’s very difficult to do. And I’ll be the first one out of my seat when we score that winning goal and win a championship.”

Silverbacks Give Head Coach West Contract Extention:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have re-signed head coach Brandon West to a contract extention, the team announced on Monday. The Silverbacks hired the 31-year-old in August of 2012 as an assistant coach and 2 years later became the head coach in 2014-2015 season. He will enter his third full season as head coach in 2016-17 season. Team General Manager Troy Mick believes West has brought the team a long way both on and off the ice. “He’s done a great job taking it from where we were a few years ago and getting it to the stage where it’s at right now,” he said. “It’s great progress.” This past season, West led the Backs to a 29-20-5-4 regular-season record for 69 points, 3rd in the Interior Division. The team made the play-offs for the 1st time since the 2012-2013 season. Brandon’s overall Head coaching record in 2 seasons in Salmon Arm is 57-41-11-7. “I am very grateful and appreciative of the ownership group giving me the extension and opportunity to be a part of the team/community”. I’ve enjoyed my 4 seasons here in Salmon Arm and look forward to this upcoming season and continuing on what we did last season. Stated Brandon West. West would like to have a new assistant coach in place by the end of June as last years assistant coach Misko Antisin is the new Head coach with the Silverbacks Jr A team in Steamboat Springs, Colorado named the Wranglers of the RMJHL, but isn’t in a rush. At the very latest, he wants to have the position filled prior to training camp in August.

Prince George-Battlefords Trade:

The Prince George Spruce Kings acquired future considerations from the Battlefords North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for 19-year-old forward Connor Logan on Monday. Logan, a Victoria native who turns 20 on June 21st, had 19 points (9-10-19) in 53 games with the Spruce Kings this season as a rookie. He's a veteran of 134 games in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, posting 160 (58-102-160) over three seasons. Logan made his junior A debut with Powell River in 2014-15, getting into eight games as an affiliate player and posting one assist. He also played two games with the Kings in the 2015 BCHL Fred Page Cup playoffs.

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