Monday, July 25, 2016
BCHL News & Trades:
BCHL News & Trades:
Rivermen Will Call George Preston Recreation Centre Home For This Coming Season:
Over the past few months there has been speculation, discussion, and ultimately significant changes for the home of the Langley Rivermen, which will now be at the George Preston Recreation Centre. The announcement of the team relocation brought about much concern over the state of the Recreation Centre. It was noted that many areas of the existing siding have deteriorated over a number of years, exposing the building envelope to the elements of nature. Due to this, the Township of Langley has scheduled some significant renovations to be completed prior to the Rivermen home opener. The new exterior treatment will reflect the look of a Lodge paying homage to the original pioneers and explorers of Langley. The new aesthetic will help make it feel like home for the Rivermen. Once fans walk through the doors to the ‘Lodge,’ there will be additional upgrades that will benefit all of the user groups of the arena. Some of the updates include: improvements to help with humidity levels and ice conditions; the addition of loge style seats in the upper mezzanine areas of the arena bowl; arena lighting upgrades, and a new video display system. Roy Henderson, Langley Rivermen’s President stated, “We are thrilled to be moving into ‘The Lodge’ for our upcoming season. We are proud to be the “Langley” Rivermen. Our goal is to put a competitive team out on the ice that the people of Langley can be proud of” The BCHL was recently in the spotlight with a record-setting three first round NHL Draft picks. Tyson Jost (Penticton Vees) went 10th overall to the Colorado Avalanche, Dante Fabbro (Penticton Vees) went 17th to the Nashville Predators and Dennis Cholowski (Chilliwack Chiefs) went 20th to the Detroit Red Wings. The draft spotlight will help to further elevate the level of play in the BCHL as well as bring more scouts to prospect the league. The Langley Rivermen begin their season in September 2016 – their inaugural season at George Preston Recreation Centre. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a season ticket holder starting at just $99. Email tickets@langleyrivermen to secure your season tickets today!
Centennials Name Bhandal New Broadcaster:
Mantar Bhandal is the new play-by-play voice of the Merritt Centennials.
2016 Bauer BCHL Showcase Released:
The 2016 Bauer BCHL Showcase schedule is set and again all 17 teams will be in action at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. The dates of this season’s event are Sept. 21 to 25. The one extra day is to accommodate a single game on the Wednesday night, Sept. 21. All 17 games will be completed by the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 25 meaning each game will be well attended by scouts and college coaches. Opening this year’s Showcase is a rematch of last season’s Fred Page Cup Finals with the champion West Kelowna Warriors facing the event host Chilliwack Chiefs. All matchups feature non-division opponents and all games count for points in the standings. Each team will have gone through two weekends of regular-season play by the time the Showcase starts. The secondary sheet of ice at Prospera Centre will be used for two games during the Showcase. This allows all games to be completed prior to Sunday evening, which is when many scouts have to leave for travel.
Wranglers Name Mick New President:
Troy Mick, the president and general manager of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, has a new junior team to oversee. Mick will now also be the president and managing partner of the Colorado-based Steamboat Springs Wranglers, an expansion franchise in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League. This circuit is heading into its second year of operations. The league currently features seven squads, all based in Colorado. Misko Antisin, who spent the past two seasons as a Silverbacks’ assistant coach, has been named the Wranglers’ head coach/GM.
Trail-Sherwwod Park Trade:
The Trail Smoke Eaters have acquired the rights to goaltender Zach Dyment from the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the AJHL for future considerations. Dyment, an Abbortsford native, played for the Crusaders in the 2015/16 season. In 25 games he chalked up 15 wins, 9 losses and one tie with a GAA of 3.4 and a save percentage of .893. In 11 games with the Salmon Arm Sillverbacks during he 2014/15 season he had 4 wins, 4 losses and a tie in 11 games. He played for the North Okanagan Knights of the KIJHL in the 2013/14 season and in 37 games had a GAA of 3.69 and a save percentage of .907. The Trail Smoke Eaters welcome Zach to the Smoke Eater family and wish him the best of luck for the upcoming season.
The Nanaimo Clippers have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Joseph Visconti(97)(F) from the Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for future considerations.
Prince George-Salmon Arm Trade:
The Prince George Spruce Kings are excited to announce the acquisition of 18 year old defenceman Sam De Melo from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for future considerations. The 5’9” 160 pound De Melo is from Kelowna, BC. Last season with the Silverbacks, De Melo had 3 assists to go along with just 4 penalty minutes in 26 games. He will have some familiar faces on the team as he played in the Pursuit of Excellence program with both Cavin Tilsley and Jarod Hovde. “Sam is a player that I’ve been intrigued with for a while. He’s a smart player who handles and distributes the puck well. He also skates well and will be able to create some offense for us from the backend. His skill set will be a nice addition to our group” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “It’s going to be nice to get a fresh start, and hopefully have a good season here. I like to think of myself as a 200 foot player. I’m a good skater, pretty skilled, can play in all situations and I like to put up points,” said De Melo on joining the Spruce Kings. Sam De Melo 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.
Calverley & Bernard Commit To Chilliwack:
Chilliwack Chiefs General Manager Jason Tatarnic continued to add to his roster today with the addition of forward William Calverley (1998) and defenseman Colin Bernard (1997). Calverley joins the Chiefs after an impressive stint with the national champion North York Rangers Midget AAA team of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. As Captain of the Rangers last season, Calverley scored 11 goals and 17 assists in 28 games. In seven games at the Telus Cup national championship he scored six times and added four assists. Bernard comes to the Chiefs from Brunswick Prep School in Greenwich Connecticut. Bernard spent two seasons at Brunswick, scoring twice and adding 14 assists in 41 games. Calverley On joining the Chiefs: “I am very excited to be a part of a well-respected organization such as the Chiefs. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to this new chapter of my hockey career." Tatarnic on Calverley: “Will is a player we've had our eyes on for a while now. He had an excellent year last year captaining his team to the Telus Cup Championship. He's a great two way player. He's committed to RIT and we look forward playing a part in his development. We are extremely happy to add Will to our line up.” Bernard On joining the Chiefs: "I’m very excited about the opportunity to play for the Chiefs. I can't wait to get things started in August. I’m looking forward to being a part of a wonderful culture in British Columbia and to have the honor of calling Chilliwack home." Tatarnic on Bernard: “Colin is a very mobile defenseman that competes very hard. He has the potential to produce offensive numbers for us on the backend. We feel we've added an important piece to our defence.”
Silverbacks Head Coach-GM Brandon West talks about the Salmon Arm Silverback’s interests in Colorado and what that means for the S’Backs. He also talks about looking for a new assistant coach plus looks at the team’s future goals going into the 2016-17 season with a number of positions to fill.
The Penticton Vees have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Ryan Markovic(97)(D) from the Brockville Braves of the CCHL in exchange for future considerations.
Menard Returns As Centennials Team President:
A small crowd of club faithful gathered at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on June 23 for the Merritt Centennials’ annual general meeting. The Centennials, in their 43rd year of existence, are the longest continuously-run franchise in the British Columbia Hockey League. Those in attendance at the Cents’ AGM heard reports from club president Neil Menard, treasurer Beth Nadeau, director of hockey operations Brian Barrett, assistant coach Matt Samson and booster club president Betty Doberstein. Despite the Centennials’ failure to make the playoffs, Barrett felt that the 2015-16 season was a successful one for the club, with an even brighter future ahead. Barrett stated that the BCHL continues to enjoy considerable success, and be generally regarded as the premier Junior A hockey league in Canada. The addition of a franchise in Wenatchee, Wash. was very well received. The Centennials’ 2015-16 financial statement showed a small loss of just over $11,000, due in large part to reduced season ticket sales, along with an increase in player transfer and release fees. Barrett conceded that marketing continues to be a challenge for the Centennials hockey club with no one person currently in place for that position. Sales and promotion is being largely handled by volunteers and the coaching staff. “I want to reach out to the community and ask that the people of Merritt help their hockey club in whatever way possible,” concluded Barrett. Doberstein reported that the Centennials booster club was able to contribute over $60,000 to the hockey team this past season. Longtime volunteer Rusty Brewer indicated that the club is looking to promote the 10-game flex passes as a viable alternative to purchasing a season pass. The AGM’s election of officers saw the return of Neil Menard to the position of club president, Dave MacCauley as vice-president, Nadeau as treasurer, and Heather Fader as secretary. Several directors were also elected: Barrett, Doberstein, Steve Rose, Rita Cavaliere, Frank Etchart, Jessica and Rich Culbertson, and Sandy Hostrawser.
Silverbacks Name Hay New Assistant Coach:
The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are proud to announce today that they have signed Darrell Hay (Kamloops, BC) & Welcome back Brooks Christensen (Salmon Arm, BC) back to the team. General Manager Troy Mick is excited for the additions to the club. “We are very excited to add Darrell to our staff and for Brooks to return for a 2nd year”. Stated Mick; whenever you can bring two guys in like this to your club you get better as a staff immediately and the players are going to reap the benefits on and off the ice. “Darrell has a tremendous amount of hockey experience and we are excited to have him join the Silverbacks family. He has a noticeable passion for the game and our defensemen will thrive under his tutelage”. Says Head Coach Brandon West. “Throughout his career, Darrell has always been known as a team guy that will do anything to achieve success and we want that type of person in our organization. Darrell was a player/coach last season in England and he is ready to take the next step in his coaching career”. “I am thrilled to be joining a first class organization and a premier league like the BCHL”. Stated Hay. I look forward to helping Salmon Arm fulfill the vision they have for the team on the ice and in the community. I am anxious to get to work at reaching our goals of winning a Royal Bank Cup and developing all the fantastic young athletes that will wear a Silverbacks uniform. I look forward to being a part of an excellent tradition that the Silverbacks and the community have worked hard to cultivate. It is a privilege and an honor to be able to pursue my goals as a coach as part of the Silverbacks organization in such a beautiful community in Salmon Arm. The Vancouver Canucks draft-pick brings a wealth of experience to the Silverbacks organization having played regularly in the AHL, ECHL and more recently having had spells in Germany, Czech Republic, Norway, Italy, Japan and finishing of in Sheffield, England. “We are very excited to have Brooks return to the program for another season. He came a long way in his development last season and his video knowledge and technical skills grew immensely”. Brooks is a huge asset to our team and we are grateful to have him back on board next season. Commented Coach West I’m looking forward to continue learning and working with Brandon & Troy and to work with our new assistant coach. Stated Brooks. I think we are going to have a great group this year that the community will really enjoy watching. Last year was a learning curve for myself and I’m very happy to be back and be apart of the team this upcoming season.
Fea Commits To Eagles:
The Surrey Eagles are pleased to announce that 19-year-old forward Nick Fea has committed to the team for the upcoming 2016-17 season. It will be his first season in the BCHL after playing last season with the North Jersey Avalanche of the EYHL. The ’97-born Fea scored a point-per-game with the Avalanche last season, posting 52 points in 52 total games in both AYHL and Tier 1 Elite Hockey League competition. “I was impressed by the time and effort that [head coach Blaine Neufeld] put into recruiting me,” Fea said in an interview with SurreyEagles.ca. “I know the program is on the rise, and I decided to commit because I felt like it was the best fit for me.” Fea was heavily pursued by other teams, which is why the extra effort was needed to bring him to Surrey. With an average build at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, he utilizes his exceptional speed to get around defenceman. He has been described as being “slippery with the puck.” His scoring touch will certainly be a welcome addition to the Eagles’ forward group. “I plan on coming in and bringing offense to the team,” Fea noted. “I know my biggest strengths are my speed and hockey IQ, and I need to use them to do my share on the offensive side of things.” This is the second time this summer that the Eagles have received a commitment from a player coming out of the AYHL. Tyler Riddle of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers also committed to the team less than a month ago. While Fea doesn’t know him personally, he recalls plenty of tough games against that team. Speed may be his best asset, but Fea isn’t taking it for granted. Players will be stronger and faster in the BCHL, and he is making sure that he prepares himself this summer. “The biggest jump I think from AYHL to BCHL will be the speed of the game. It’s going to be faster, and I need to be ready to play against bigger and stronger players.” The 2016-17 season officially begins on September 9th, as the Eagles will play host to the Coquitlam Express. Keep checking SurreyEagles.ca for ticket availability!
Bottomley, Ghantous & Sitzman Commit To Trail:
In a summer identification camp held in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho over the weekend the Trail Smoke Eater’s have committed to 1997 defence-man, Trevor Bottomley and 1998 born forwards Andre Ghantous and Jack Sitzman. Trevor has 2 years of junior hockey under his belt with the Campbell River Storm where he was a staple on their defensive core. Trevor was a key piece in the Storm’s 2014/15 season when they captured the Keystone Cup (Junior B Western Canadian Championship). Trevor returned this past season where the team had another successful campaign making it to the Cyclone Taylor Cup (BC Junior B Championship). Bottomley is a 2-way D-man who sees the ice terrifically and plays with an edge. At 19 years of age Trevor will be relied upon to play in all situations. From the U18 Anaheim Junior Ducks Andre and Jack come highly regarded by their coach and former Smoke Eater August Aiken. Andre and Jack impressed new Trail Smoke Eater head coach, Cam Keith, with their vision, character and compete level. Both are totally different players with Andre being a slick play maker who the coaching staff thinks could be a good fit at center or wing. Jack is a big physical power forward that plays with an edge. Despite being different players the two have a lot of chemistry together.
Alberni Valley-Yorkton Trade:
18-July-16 The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Paul Savage(96)(D) from the Yorkton Terriers of the SJHL in exchange for future considerations.
Victoria-Fort Frances Trade:
13-July-16 The Victoria Grizzlies have transferred the CJHL playing rights to Jared Virtanen(96)(F) to the Fort Frances Lakers of the SIJHL in exchange for future considerations.