Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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:

Penticton Vees Name Cruikshank & Sillinger Co-Captains For 2017-18 Season:

The team has also named Grant Cruikshank and Owen Sillinger as Co-Captains for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Sillinger will wear the ‘C’ for all home games and Cruikshank for every road game. The Vees will solidify the remainder of their leadership group closer to the start of the 2017-18 regular season. “When you look at Vees’ Captains in my time here they all have the same characteristics and Owen and Grant are cut from that mold. They’re natural leaders and will work well together,” said President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson. Sillinger, who will turn 20 in September, is returning for his third season with the Vees and served as an Alternate Captain this past season. In two seasons in Penticton Sillinger has compiled 33 goals and 86 points in 115 regular season games, and another 22 points in 43 playoff games. The Regina, Saskatchewan, native is committed to Bemidji State University. Cruikshank just completed a very successful rookie season, where he led the Vees with 32 goals in 57 regular season games, and finished second in team scoring behind Jones with 53 points. His standout season didn’t go unnoticed, as Cruikshank was named to the BCHL’s All-Rookie Team. The future Wisconsin Badger had another 11 goals and 21 points in 32 playoff games.

Clippers Name Ward New Athletic Therapist & Equipment Manager:

The Nanaimo Clippers are excited to announce the addition of JT Ward to our Hockey Operations Staff in the position of Athletic Therapist and Equipment Manager.  JT joins the Clippers after spending the 2016-2017 season in the same position with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.  Before joining the Bulldogs, JT spent the previous two seasons as a Student Athletic Therapist with the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League.  In the Spring of 2016 JT graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Athletic and Exercise Therapy and became a Certified Athletic Therapist.  JT grew up in Prince Rupert British Columbia and spent three seasons playing Junior ‘B’ hockey for the Kimberley Dyanamiters of the KIJHL.  He is currently 27 years old and resides in Lantzville, BC.  We would like to welcome JT to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him at Main Camp in August.

Cowichan Capitals - Eligible Returnees and Graduating Players:

Graduating Players

Mitch Skapski (aged out)
Ayden MacDonald (aged out)
Ben Verrall (aged out)
Josh Owings (aged out)
Lane Michasiw (aged out)
Chris Harpur (Niagara University)

Eligible Returnees

(* indicates an open spot - assuming the team goes with 13 forwards and 8 defencemen)

Only counting eligible returnees, the Capitals are currently one over the limit of six 1997-born players for 2017-18.


Rhett Kingston (97)
Max Newton (97)
Michael Montambault (97)
George Sennott (97)
Haydn Hopkins (97)
Jared Domin (97)
Ty Pochipinski (98)
Justin Perron (98)
John Sladic (98)
Nicholas Wilson (99)
Alex Zawatsky (99)


Simon Chen (97)
Nii Noi Tetteh (98)
Marshall Skapski (98)
Sean Driscoll (98)
Ben Grist (99)


Adam Marcoux (98)

Wenatchee Wild Moving To Interior Division:

In a move voted on and approved by the British Columbia Hockey League, a structural realignment will place the Wenatchee Wild in the Interior Conference beginning in the 2017-18 season. The 17-team league is divided into two conferences, with the Coastal Conference comprised of the Island and Mainland Divisions, each with five teams. The Interior Conference has just one division, made up of seven teams which now includes Wenatchee. The Wild competed in the Mainland Division for their first two seasons in the BCHL. The BCHL schedule calls for teams to play a full interlocking schedule, which means each team will play twice against every other “out-of-division” team, one time in each team’s home rink. The remaining games are split up and played within the division. The Wild fared well against the Interior Division last season with a record of 10-3-0 (.769). By comparison, the Wild went 27-5-2 in their own division (Mainland) last season (.824). Wenatchee won the division and also the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy for best record overall (45-9-4). The shift into the Interior Division, which has produced 8 of the last 10 BCHL Fred Page Cup Champions, presents a challenge that Wild Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler embraces. “We’re looking forward to joining the Interior Division this season”, he remarked. “With new rivalries growing and new challenges, it’s an exciting time for all of us.” The Wenatchee Wild are celebrating their tenth season in the Wenatchee Valley.

Scheel, Ewert, O'Connell, Reid, Barnes, Bowes, Hillis, Sandelin & Sillinger Commit To Vees:

To go along with over a dozen returning players, the Vees are excited to announce several recruits for the upcoming season. Goaltender Adam Scheel (99) comes to Penticton after spending the past two seasons with the US National Team Development Program (USNTDP) in Plymouth, Michigan. Scheel, who’s from Lakewood, Ohio, recently won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2017 Under 18 World Hockey Championship in Slovakia. Scheel is committed to the University of North Dakota. Reinforcing the blue-line are defencemen Garrett Ewert (99), Ryan O’Connell (99) and Luke Reid (01). Ewert, 18, played with his hometown Kamloops Storm in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League this past season, where he led the team in scoring with 42 points in 39 regular season games. Ewert also played 10 games with the Vees this past season as an Affiliate Player. O’Connell, who’s also 18, spent the past two seasons playing prep hockey at St. Andrew’s College (SAC) in Aurora, Ontario. O’Connell hails from Gloucester, Ontario, had 37 points in 54 games this past season for SAC and is committed to Boston University. He’s a projected late round pick by NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago. Reid, who turns 16 in September, is in the process of relocating with his family to Penticton from Warman, Saskatchewan. Reid played the last two seasons with the Battlefords Stars in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. This past season Reid had 23 points in 39 games and he is verbally committed to the University of North Dakota. Some familiar names highlight the forward crop that is coming in for the 2017-18 season, as Jack Barnes (00), Cassidy Bowes (99), Cameron Hillis (00), Ryan Sandelin (99) and Lukas Sillinger (00) will play for the Vees in the fall. Barnes 17, and Bowes, 18, both played next door at the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) for their Midget Prep Red team. Barnes, the son of former NHLer Stu Barnes, had 26 points in 24 games in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL), and 51 points in 60 games at OHA over the past two seasons. Bowes had 21 goals and 49 points in in 30 games with OHA Prep Red and had two goals and five points in 18 playoff games for the Vees as an Affiliate Player. Hillis, who turns 17 next month, played with Ryan O’Connell at St. Andrew’s College. The Enniskillin, Ontario, product had 37 goals and 99 points in 73 games with SAC. Hillis also played for Team Canada Red at the 2016 World Under-17 Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Hillis is committed to Providence College and his family will relocate to Penticton in the coming weeks. Sandelin, 18, comes to Penticton after a successful high school career in his hometown of Hermantown, Minnesota. In March, Sandelin helped the Hermantown Hawks repeat as Class A Minnesota State Boys’ Hockey Champions and he was named to the All-Tournament Team. As a senior, Sandelin led Hermantown in scoring in the Minnesota State High School League, with 27 goals and 63 points in just 25 games, and was a finalist for the Mr. Hockey Award, which is given out to top senior boys’ high school player in Minnesota. Sandelin is committed to Minnesota State University, Mankato. 16-year-old Lukas Sillinger, is the younger brother of Vees’ Captain Owen Sillinger, and he played for the Regina Pat Canadians in the SMHL. Lukas lead the Pat Canadians and the league in scoring, with 78 points in 40 games, and was also named to the SMHL First All-Star Team. Sillinger and the Pat Canadians won the SMHL championship and they finished fourth at the TELUS Cup, the National Midget Championship in Prince George. Sillinger and his family will be moving to Penticton over the summer.

Williams Commits To Powell River Kings:

The Powell River Kings continue to add pieces to their 2017/2018 roster puzzle, this time committing to 98-born forward Mitchell Williams from the Campbell River Storm. Williams, originally from Prince George brings plenty of hockey experience to the Kings, with a three year stint in the BC Major Midget League with his hometown Cariboo Cougars and finally the Vancouver NW Giants. More recently, Williams has been plying his trade with the Campbell River Storm in the VIJHL, helping his side win a league title last season. The 6’1, 195lb forward has worked hard to get to this point. “I’m super excited for the opportunity with Powell River” said Williams. “This had been something I’d wanted for a long time and had been trying really hard over recent years and getting this bounce and earning this chance is something I’m excited for.” Williams brings a good blend of size and skill to the Kings lineup. “Fans can expect to see a big guy, someone who can throw his body around,” added Williams. “But I like to think there’s a bit of finesse there as well, ability to make passes. Ultimately I just want to use my size to my advantage to create opportunities.” “He’s a good mix of a lot of good qualities you look for in a hockey player” said Kings Head Coach Kent Lewis. “He’s seen what this league is like, he knows what to expect come game 1 and we’re excited to have his here this season.” With BCHL experience under his belt as an AP over the last couple of seasons, Williams understands that the pace of the BCHL is what he’ll be ready for in September. “The BCHL is definitely a step faster than anything I’ve played before,” said Williams. “Last year I found I was a bit of a step behind when I played with Nanaimo as an AP so I think the speed is something I’m aware that I need to be ready for in September.” “We’ve got a good crop of returning players, but we’re always looking at not only supporting those pieces this year, but also how can players contribute in years ahead” added Lewis. “Mitch brings a lot to the club and we’re excited to see how he develops here in the last two years of his junior career.” Williams will join the Kings roster ahead of Main Camp in late August and wants to use his existing Junior experience to contribute from day one. He draws confidence from his third and final year of Major Midget hockey with the Vancouver NW Giants. “I can 100% say that my third year in major midget taught me everything I know about the offensive side of the game. I broke out that year and felt a lot more comfortable, like I was always a presence on the ice and that I could dominate in a lot of different situations” said Williams.

Salmon Arm Silverbacks Name Christensen Marketing Manager:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks General Manager Troy Mick is pleased to announce that Brooks Christensen (Salmon Arm, BC) has been hired full time by the club as Marketing Manager. “Brooks role will include overseeing the recently acquired Salmon Arm Hockey School and he will also support the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the Marketing department with Phil Stewart,” Stated Troy Mick. Brooks will also remain as an Assistant Coach with the newly announced Head Coach Scott Atkinson. Brooks is an amazing young man and we are very excited that he has join us in a full time capacity! I’m very excited to be joining Troy, The Ownership Group & the rest of the staff for the Silverbacks Organization for this opportunity. I look forward to working with all local business & everyone in the community. I would like to thank Braby Motors for all the opportunities they’ve given me as well.

Reid Chooses Penticton/BCHL Over SJHL-USHL:

Former AAA Stars defenceman Luke Reid has signed with one of the most storied franchises in junior A hockey. The 15-year-old will suit up for the British Columbia Hockey League champion Penticton Vees next season, after signing with the team following spring camp this past weekend. "Skill-wise, I like his shot. I think he can get pucks to the net but I think the biggest thing about him is his demeanor, his mentality," Vees head coach and general manager Fred Harbinson said over the phone on Wednesday morning. "Everybody says they want to be a hockey player at a young age but not everybody puts all the necessary work into it. "[Reid] makes a committment on a daily basis to make sure that he's eating the right things, he's in the gym, and he's working on his skillset even in the off-season. I think it's going to be a great relationship between our hockey club and the entire Reid family." Reid, a native of Warman, Sask., will move out West with his mother, after spending the past two seasons with the Stars, where he compiled 38 points over two seasons in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. He's a player that we've watched for a long time," Harbinson said. "There's a lot of logistical things that went into having to see if he could even play for us here because of his birth year so it started before we even got him on the ice. We had to see if the parents were willing to move out here, which the mother is. "Harbinson said puck-moving defenceman like Reid, especially those who shoot right, are in low supply. "For his age, he's very strong, very steady on the puck" Harbinson said. "He's a right-handed defenceman that are hard to find right now." Reid will turn 16 in September and be one of the youngest players on the team, if not the youngest. The Vees have had young players step in before, such as last season with 15-year-old Massimo Rizzo. Harbinson said the adjustment is simply about a quicker pace and bigger opponents. "The difference between midget and junior is just playing against heavier players on a nightly basis and playing the game at a higher pace," he said. "We play a real fast game here. We try to play with a real puck possession type game and we think that he's going to be able to fit in real well with us." Reid has already made a verbal committment to play for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in college, a NCAA Division I program, and he isn't the only Vee set to head there after junior. New teammates Jonny Tychonick, a fellow defenceman, and rookie goaltender Adam Scheel are also committed to the program. Last year's Vees squad also sent two players to the same program, as former captain Nic Jones and defenceman Gabe Best will be Fighting Hawks this fall.  The BCHL wasn't the only destination Reid could have chosen. He was drafted by the Kindersley Klippers in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League draft and by the Sioux City Musketeers in the United States Hockey League draft, but opted to head to the west coast.

Belisle Commits To Clippers:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Brad Belisle. The 19-year old forward joins the Clippers after playing the past two seasons with the Fargo Force and the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League. During those two seasons the 6’2″ 205lb Thunder Bay, Ontario native tallied 7 points in 85 games played.  Prior to moving to the USHL Brad spent his 16-year old season with the Thunder Bay North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League where he scored 23 goals and 24 assists for 47 points in 56 games played and was named the SIJHL Rookie of the Year.  Although being drafted in the 3rd Round by the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, Brad has committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for the Bemidji State University Beavers of the WCHA. We would like to welcome Brad to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice with his new teammates at Main Camp in August.

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