Friday, October 14, 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:

West Kelowna-Prince George Trade:

The West Kelowna Warriors has acquired forward Braiden Epp (’96) from the Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for defensemen Tyler Anderson (’96). Epp, 20, is a veteran of 166 career BCHL games and playing the last three seasons with the Prince George Spruce Kings. Epp has amassed 41 goals and 80 points over that span with the Spruce Kings, including 6 points in 19 playoff games with PG. Epp had his best season in 2014/15 where he collected 24 goals and 43 points in all 58 games of the regular season. The Prince George, BC native has spent his entire hockey career up north, playing his Major Midget hockey with the Cariboo Cougars. Anderson, 20, spent last season with the Warriors while appearing in every game with the club, collecting three goals and nine points over the course of 58 games. In 24 playoff games, the Niverville, Manitoba native had a goal and six points en route to a BCHL championship. He then went on to play 11 games between the WCC and RBC Cup Championship. “Moving Tyler was tough,” commented Warriors head coach and general manager Rylan Ferster on dealing Tyler Anderson, “He is a quality person that has done everything we have asked of him. But in this business you have to give to get.” “We needed a veteran forward and Braiden fits that role,” continued Ferster, “A gritty guy that has a nose for the net.” In another move, the Warriors have traded defensemen Daly Hamilton (’98) to the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in exchange for future considerations. Hamilton, 18, appeared in three games with the Warriors this season with no points. The Calgary, Alberta native spent last season with the Calgary Flames Midget AAA team. The Warriors would like to thank Tyler and Daly for their time with the Warriors and would like to welcome Braiden Epp to West Kelowna. Epp will make his debut for the Warriors on Friday night when West Kelowna hosts the Penticton Vees.

Surrey-Salmon Arm Trade:

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club has announced the acquisition of goaltender Michael Botiz from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for future considerations. Botiz will join the team immediately and will start on Thursday night against the Chilliwack Chiefs at South Surrey Arena. The Oakville, Ontario native played in 20 games for the OJHL’s Oakville Blades last season, and was acquired by the Silverbacks this offseason. He was a member of Team East at last year’s CJHL Prospects Game, which was held at South Surrey Arena. He won co-MVP honours in that game alongside fellow goaltender Colton Point of Carleton Place. Botiz, 18, stands at 6-foot-3 170 pounds, and will look to form a tandem with Daniel Davidson between the pipes for the Eagles. His most recent game actually came against the Eagles at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, in the Silverbacks 8-6 victory last Sunday.

Rodriguez Returns To Wild:

In a last minute turn of events that will be celebrated by Wild fans near and far, long time public address announcer Ernie Rodriguez, who recently had declared he was stepping down for health reasons, has informed the team he will in fact return to the sound booth for his ninth season. “The problem was directly related to failing eyesight. I was struggling to read the items I needed to read to do the job”, Rodriguez revealed. “I truly love the Wild organization and I knew I was failing them.” Then, with assistance from Lilac Services for the Blind, “Uncle Ernie” received equipment that will assist him in being able to continue his passion of creating a unique environment in the Town Toyota Center on game night. His trademark “howl” and phrase, “How ‘bout them Wild boys?” will be incorporated into a new Wenatchee Wild goal song this season as well. Wild Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler recognizes what Rodriguez brings to the franchise. “The two things the fans love most about the Wild are definitely Walt (the team’s Wolf mascot) and Ernie.” Littler adds, “The energy he helps create in the building makes a difference, and our players feel it.” The team’s scheduled “Thank you, Ernie” Night on Oct.1 will go on as scheduled, as the Wild honor the man whose voice has been synonymous with Wild hockey since the team arrived.

Vees TV:

The Penticton Vees are at 10 wins and zero losses at the BCHL Showcase tournament over five years. Last week's wins, along with the home opener this week, today's season ticket pick-up barbecue and the newest addition to the team, defenceman James Miller, were the topics of this week's addition of Vees' View with Coach Harbinson. Head coach Fred Harbinson lauds the team and all of the crew working behind the scenes for its success in Chilliwack for last week's Showcase tournaments, which put the team at five wins and one loss for the season. Plus, host Fraser Rodgers speaks to Miller about coming to a new team in a new league and what he can offer for the Vees.

Meeting Offers Information On Sale Of Trail Smoke Eaters:

Other than scheduled road trips, the Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL hockey team won’t be going anywhere soon, however, a sale is imminent. Amid rumours and concerns about the exit of the team and the iconic Smoke Eater logo, the Trail Smoke Eaters directors will hold an information session on Tuesday at the Trail Memorial Centre to clear up any questions regarding the sale of the BCHL franchise. “We called the information meeting because of a lot of rumours around town, and we want to make sure everyone knows where we’re coming from,” said Smoke Eater president Tom Gawryletz. “I can tell you that what we’re looking at right now is a partnership between the Smoke Eater Society, that runs the hockey club, and someone from outside the area. It’s not local like some people think. We tried locally but we just couldn’t muster it up.” Talks with an interested investor have been ongoing for a couple of months, but until the Smoke Eaters can finalize an agreement the potential buyer will remain anonymous. “We don’t have anything on paper at the moment. We’re discussing things and we actually have lawyers involved … and they’re the ones doing the negotiations right now.” The Smoke Eaters have been a community-run team since its entry into the BCHL in 1995, and based on discussions, the Trail Smoke Eater Society will retain limited ownership. “We’ve negotiated a price with him,” said Gawryletz. “The Society is going to hang on to 10 per cent of the ownership, and we’re still going to operate pretty well the way we are. What he is going to be is a big financial help more than anything.” The potential buyer contacted the Smoke Eaters through the BCHL head office with an interest to buy a junior hockey team. According to Gawryletz, he had looked at a number of teams with a for sale sign in the North American Hockey League and BCHL before contacting the Smoke Eaters. A big question mark in the sale revolved around the rights to the Smoke Eater name and logo, which are owned by the City of Trail. Trail Corporate Administrative Officer David Perehudoff says the city has been discussing a variety of issues with the buyer, with its main caveat that the team remain in Trail. “As far as the trademark goes, the city will provide consent for use should the sale close,” confirmed Perehudoff. “This will encompass certain conditions with the primary restriction associated with the hockey club continuing to operate in Trail.” The Smoke Eaters have struggled on the ice and at the gate, and haven’t made the playoffs since 2011. Despite the best efforts of volunteers, staff, players, and executive, the team’s financial future has been uncertain, and the ability to ice an elite product increasingly difficult. “I think it’s going to be a benefit for all of us,” said Gawryletz. “I know the Society has owned the club for years, but if you look at the financial statement every year it’s not hard to figure out that sooner or later time is going to catch up on us.” Smoke Eater coach and GM Cam Keith says the deal is a very positive move for the Smoke Eaters. “It’s really exciting. Once it all gets into place it will be an energizer for the team and the city as well.” The potential buyer has already met with the league office and commissioner, John Grisdale, and has gone through league protocol regarding the sale of the team. While the deal is not finalized, the Smoke Eaters are hopeful that it will be done soon. “I’m hoping by Tuesday that we’re going to have some more answers (at the information session), and hoping we may be able to release the name of the party that’s interested and say what’s going on,” said Gawryletz. “I really believe in the next week to 10 days we’ll have something on paper.” The Smoke Eaters information meeting goes at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Red Room of the Trail Memorial Centre. The public is invited to attend.

Alberni Valley-Calgary Trade:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have transferred the CJHL playing rights to Tyler Lenz(98)(D) to the Calgary Mustangs of the AJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Cowichan-Humboldt Trade:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals have transferred the CJHL playing rights to Nathan Ellis(98)(D) to the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Rivermen Sign Fleming & Berry:

Rivermen make pair of roster moves adding even more local flavor The Langley Rivermen are pleased to announce the signing goaltender Braedon Fleming and defenseman Spencer Berry. Fleming, a 17-year-old Langley minor hockey product, played at Yale academy last season where he had a 2.4G goals against average and a 91.8% save average. Fleming saw duty as a affiliate player last season with the Riv. The Rivermen staff were impressed with Fleming during pre-season but wanted to see the young goaltender take the next step in his development before making the jump to Jr A full time. Fleming did just that posting an impressive 1.78 goals against average with a 94.6% save average in 5 games with the Ridge Meadow Flames of the PIJHL. During that time, he also recorded two shut outs. “We wanted to be sure not to rush Braedon into the league” remarked coach Henderson. “We decided, the time is right to add him to our roster, with the added confidence he has gained in his Jr B experience.” Spencer Berry joins the Rivermen Defense core as an 18-year-old from the Richmond Sockeyes, also of the PIJHL. Previously, Berry played major midget in Langley with the Fraser Valley Hawks. Last season with the Sockeyes, he recorded 6 goals 11 assists. Berry also gained valuable Jr A experience playing 8 games as an affiliate player with cross town rivals the Surrey Eagles. “Spencer is a solid two way defenseman. He has a good feel for the game. He skates very well and shows good poise with puck. In the defensive zone, he battles extremely hard night in and night out. Spencer is what we want our team identity to be.” To make roster room, the Rivermen traded veteran defenseman Zach Bleuler to the Merritt Centennials for future considerations and are in the process of facilitating a trade for goaltender Nick Trenciansky. Both of the former Rivermen were outstanding volunteers in the community with various charities and causes, as well as being great teammates. The Rivermen organization is extremely grateful for their contributions and would like to wish both players all the best as they continue their hockey careers.

Warriors Sign Allen & Campese:

The West Kelowna Warriors are pleased to announce the return of defensemen Scott Allan (’96) and the addition of forward Matthew Campese (’97), both from the Western Hockey League. Allan, 20, returns to the Warriors after being released by the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. The Thornton, Colorado native spent 53 games with the Warriors last season and played a big role in the team’s winning of the RBC Cup National Championship. Allan collected five goals and 21 points and went on to play in 35 playoff games amassing four assists. “Scott Allan was a huge part in our playoff run last year,” stated Warriors head coach and general manager Rylan Ferster, “He is a big presence on the ice and was very good in a shut down role last year.” Campese, 18, comes to the Warriors after being released by the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan native is a veteran of 95 WHL games split between the Victoria Royals and Kamloops Blazers, earning 10 goals and 16 points over that span. Prior to his WHL play, Campese dominated the Midget Prep level, collecting 79 goals and 145 points in just 61 games with the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Midget and Prep team and played for Team Western Canada at the U17 World Hockey Challenge. “Matt Campese is a player with a great shot and can score goals,” added Warriors bench boss Rylan Ferster on the addition of Campese, “To be ale to add a player like this should help out our offence.” Allan and Campese are expected to make their season debuts for the Warriors on Friday night when West Kelowna hosts the Penticton Vees.

Merritt-Truro Trade:

The Merritt Centennials announced today that 19-year-old defenceman Mark O’Shaughnessy has been traded to the Truro Bearcats of the Maritime Hockey League for future considerations. “I’d like to thank Mark for his contribution to our team,” said Cents GM and Head Coach Joe Martin. “Since his arrival last season, we feel Mark has grown as an individual and truly believe he will flourish with Truro and their great staff.” O’Shaughnessy played 56 career games in Merritt, posting 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) and 30 penalty minutes. The West Vancouver native was recruited by the Centennials from the Kamloops Storm of the KIJHL.

Spruce Kings Name Gore Goaltending Coach:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are excited to announce the hiring of Lucas Gore as the team’s new goaltender coach. The 26 year old Gore currently resides in Kamloops and will be making regular visits to Prince George to work with the team’s goaltenders. Gore had a stellar junior hockey career playing one season for the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL before playing over 140 games in the Western Hockey League over four seasons for the Chilliwack Bruins where he was teammates for three seasons with current Spruce King’s assistant coach Ryan Howse and Spruce King’s alumni and current Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning. After his WHL career Gore played four seasons of Canadian University hockey at the University of Regina. “We are thrilled to have Lucas come on board with the Spruce Kings to work with our goaltenders. He comes highly recommended by our former goaltender consultant and current Kamloops Blazers goaltender coach Dan DePalma who had nothing but good things to say about Lucas and his passion for helping young goaltenders. Lucas had a tremendous track record as a player and is not that far removed from playing which will allow him to relate very closely to today’s goalies” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “I’m definitely excited. Since my playing career ended I’ve always wanted to get involved in coaching. I’ve done some work around Kamloops with the Junior B and Major Midget teams, so I’m excited to take the next step with the Spruce Kings. This is the first full team job I’ve had, but with being a recent player I think I’ll be able to relate to the goalies pretty well and help them improve,” said new Spruce Kings goaltender coach Lucas Gore.

Salmon Arm-Victoria Trade:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are happy to announce that the team has  acquired 97 forward Haydn Hopkins from the Victoria Grizzlies for future considerations. Hopkins, a 5’ 9”, 183-pound forward, has spent parts of the last three seasons in the Western Hockey League. Originally drafted in the twelfth round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft by the Saskatoon Blades, the Victoria, British Columbia native has suited up for three WHL teams including Saskatoon, the Prince George Cougars, and most recently the Vancouver Giants. The 18-year-old, right handed shot appeared in 53 WHL games in his career, recording three goals and ten points. Prior to his WHL career, Hopkins tallied 19 goals and 60 points in 67 career games with the South Island Royals in the BCMML. To make room for the move the Silverbacks traded Ben Evanish to the Whitecourt Wolverines of the AJHL for future considerations.

Jennings & Forbes Join Eagles:

The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club is proud to announce that forwards Kyle Jennings and Kyle Forbes are joining the team as official affiliate players for the 2016-17 season. The two 16-year-olds will provide depth for the roster in case of injuries or other emergency situations. Jennings, a native of North Vancouver, is currently playing for the Vancouver Northwest Giants of the BCMML. Forbes is from Surrey, and is suiting up for Burnaby Winter Club’s U18 squad. Forbes has already seen game action for the Eagles during the pre-season this year. Both players expressed their excitement towards joining the team in an interview with “Being a part of the Surrey Eagles means a lot,” said Forbes. “Especially because it’s my hometown. I played minor hockey in South Surrey Arena, and watched games when I was younger. I looked up to a lot of the players. The organization is definitely a great one to be a part of.” Jennings was equally as enthusiastic, saying “It feels great knowing that I am an affiliate in this league now. It’s my dream to be playing at such a high level of hockey at this age. This is such a great stepping stone, getting to play at the next level.” Forbes describes himself as a productive, two-way forward that tries to lead by example. Jennings says that he is a hard worker that likes to battle for the puck, and can also contribute on the penalty kill. Both players are eagerly awaiting the call from the Eagles to AP in a regular season game and showcase their skills.

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