Thursday, June 8, 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:

Spruce Kings Name McNamara New Business Director:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are excited to announce that Len McNamara has been named the new Business Director of the club. Len will be taking over for Lu Verticchio who is retiring. Len has held the positions of assistant coach, head coach and general manager with the Spruce Kings on a number of occasions over the years since first arriving in Prince George in 1982.  He has guided the Spruce Kings while it was a member of the Peace Cariboo Hockey League as well as its entry to both the Rocky Mountain Hockey League and BC Junior Hockey League. “I’m excited and would like to thank the Spruce Kings’ management for bringing me back once again. I’m looking forward to working alongside staff and our many volunteers, in continuing to build upon our strong ties to our community that have made this club a proud tradition in our city,” said new Business Director Len McNamara. “From Len I think he’s someone that’s been involved in the athletic world in Prince George with his time with the Spruce Kings, the university, and soccer. Over the last three or four years we’ve grown to a business that exceeds over 1 million in revenue with our house and various other lotteries along with the hockey side of things. We do a great job of being in the community, but I think we have to be pushed to be better and we need a single point of contact to lead that charge. Len puts us in a position where we can continue to be strong members of the community and give back which is important for the growth of the Spruce Kings. With Lu transitioning to the back nine of his career I think the opportunity that was presented with the Spruce Kings was one that was beneficial to both him and the club. We challenged Lu at the outset to grow revenues such as naming rights for the building, as well as to grow our presence in the community which he handled very professionally and gave us a great foundation for moving into the future.” said Spruce Kings President Tom Bohmer. The entire Prince George Spruce Kings organization would like to welcome Len to the team, while also thanking Lu for all of his hard work, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Bell Commits To Powell River Kings:

The Powell River Kings would like to announce the commitment of 97-born forward Trent Bell from the Nanaimo Buccaneers in the VIJHL. The 5’9, 175lb forward from Nanoose Bay enters his first, and final season of Junior A hockey with a wealth of experience. He’s a former North Island Silvertip in the BC Major Midget League, and for the last three seasons he has suited up for the Buccaneers where he scored 129 points in 130 regular season games, along with being named to team’s co-MVP last season. “I’m really excited and can’t wait to get going,” said Bell. “It’s always a long summer between seasons and I’m excited to do something different this year and I can’t wait to get to Powell River.” Bell describes himself as a quick, physical forward. In addition to a nice offensive touch, Bell prides himself on battling for loose pucks, playing physical and engaging in an aggressive fore-check. “Trent is going to bring a lot of grit to our organization” said Kings Head Coach Kent Lewis. “We’ve been watching him for a while and obviously got him involved in a game last season where he gelled really well in a big road game for our hockey club.” That game was in Nanaimo against the Clippers, a game where the Kings beat the Clippers 8-0. Bell scored late in the 3rd period, and stood out with his physical play. “He lay a great hit in that game and that’s when you sort of sat up and saw what he can bring,” added Lewis. “He keeps his energy up no matter the score and is going to be a good addition for us this season.” “Some guys have been teasing me about my goals per game,” Bell said while reflecting on his 1 goal in one game start with the Kings. “I just hope to be able to help out offensively and support the really talented guys that are already there. But if I need to be the guy who is bringing energy and physicality, and by being responsible defensively then I’ll do that too. Whatever it takes really.” Bell not only brings plenty of playing experience and maturity, he also has a familiarity with the Kings through former teammates on the Island. “I know Carter (Turnbull) quite well, I played a couple of years with Hunter (Findlater) and I know Curtis McCarrick who just aged out as well,” said Bell. “They’ve all had really good things to say about Powell River, they’ve said it’s a great program, they’ve had a good time and it was an easy decision once you talk to guys who have been here before.” For the remainder of the summer, Bell is planning to hit the gym almost daily. He’s working out with Turnbull and Ben Berard a few times per week and will look to get back on the ice before training camp in August here in Powell River. All these preparations geared towards making a seamless jump to a higher level of hockey this fall. “I’m hoping it’ll be an easier transition than coming out of midget because of my experience in Junior so far, but at the same time I know it’s going to be faster and my goal is to use camp and pre-season to transition and make sure I’m ready to go for the regular season,” added Bell. Bell and the Kings return to Powell River in mid-August ahead of a short training camp and exhibition schedule. Play in the 2017-2018 season is expected to begin in early September, with the schedule to be released in a few weeks time.

Lansink Commits To Clippers:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Holdyn Lansink has committed to play for the Team for the 2017-2018 season.  The 1998 born forward joins the Clippers after playing the past two seasons for the Listowel Cyclones of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.  During the 2016-2017 regular season the 6’0″187lb Seaforth, Ontario native scored 26 goals and 46 assists for 72 points in 49 games played.  In the playoffs Lansink tallied 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points in 19 games helping the Cyclones win the Cherrey Cup GOJHL Midwestern Conference Championship.  Holdyn was recently named to the GOJHL 1st All-Star Team and participated in this year’s GOJHL Top Prospects Game.  We would like to welcome Holdyn to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice with his new teammates at Training Camp in August.

Vees Announce New Season Ticket Membership Program:

The Penticton Vees Jr. A Hockey Club held a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC), where they made several announcements, including launching their 2017-18 season ticket membership program. New for the 2017-18 season is a 12-month interest free payment plan for Vees’ Season Ticket Memberships, which now includes exhibition, regular season and playoff tickets- which includes potential Doyle Cup games. Payment options are just $28, $30 and $32 per month! Fans still have the option to pay in full and those packages start at just $189. The Vees are only releasing 300 new season ticket memberships for the upcoming season. “We continue to push the envelope when it comes to the value we offer to our dedicated fans. Year after year, we have a team that’s competing for championships and in the one of best facilities in junior hockey, and all of tis at arguable the best value in the entire league. Our new monthly payment plan makes it easier than ever to become a member of Vees Nation,” said Director of Corporate Sales David Michaud. Season Ticket Memberships save fans 40-50 percent on regular season ticket prices and 25 percent on playoff pricing. Season Ticket Members will also receive discounts on Vees’ merchandise on select nights in the team store and access to exclusive merchandise items.

Bowen Commits To Chilliwack Chiefs:

The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce the commitment of 15 year-old forward Ethan Bowen for the 2018-2019 hockey season.  Bowen will be an affiliate player with the Chiefs for the 2017-18 season as they host the RBC Cup. In addition to his commitment to the Chiefs, the Chilliwack native has accepted a full scholarship as a “true” freshman to the University of North Dakota for the 2020-2021 season. Ethan comes to the Chiefs after being the 39th overall pick in the 2017 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. Bowen was a consensus top five pick prior to the draft but fell to the second round because he would not sign a WHL Standard Players Agreement prior to the draft with any team.  Despite this, the Kelowna Rockets used their first selection on Bowen.  When asked about the selection, Bowen said, “I am honored to be drafted by such a great organization as Kelowna.”  When asked about his decision to play with the Chiefs versus the WHL Bowen said “ thanks to guys like Tyson Jost, Dante Fabbro and Dennis Cholowski, the BCHL has demonstrated to younger players like myself that you can play Junior A and College and not fall off the radar with Hockey Canada and the NHL. I am very excited to join the Chiefs and UND to further my hockey career.” This past season Bowen captained the Abbotsford based Yale Bantam Prep Lions where he scored 33 goals and added 29 assists  in 29 games.  Adding to his resume, Bowen was voted an All-star at each tournament the Lions competed in this year. He also captured the Top Scorer award at the Pat Quinn Classic and was named Tournament MVP at what is widely held as the top Bantam Tournament in Western Canada—The John Reid Memorial in St. Albert, Alberta where he led the tournament in scoring with eleven goals and ten assists points in six games. It was the third highest total put up at the tournament behind only Jonathan Toews (36 points) and Michael St. Croix (23 points).  Bowen has been nominated by the Hockey Now magazine as the British Columbia Minor Hockey Player of the Year. Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Jason Tatarnic is thrilled to have Ethan committed to Chilliwack, “Anytime you can add a player with pedigree that Ethan has your organization has to be extremely happy.  When you look at what Ethan has accomplished to this point you have to be full of smiles knowing he will be in a Chief uniform. By choosing the college route we know we will play an important part in his development for the two seasons minimum and that is very exciting for our organization.  On behalf of the Chief organization and Chiefs fans welcome to Chiefs family Ethan.”

Coquitlam Express - Eligible Returnees and Graduating Players:

Graduating Players

Luca Leone (aged out)
Erik Udahl (aged out)
Cameron Bertsch (aged out)
Lawson Fenton (aged out)
David Giunta (Bentley University)
Mitchell Newsome (Michigan Tech University)
Owen Stout (Rochester Polytechnic Institute)

Eligible Returnees

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

The Express have nine eligible returning defencemen, so it is technically at one player over the 23-man roster limit at this point.


Alex Ambrosio (97)
Hayden Knight (97)
Cal Babych (97)
William Lawrence (97)
Keegan Jones (97)
Jonathan Irving (97)
Sam Kozlowski (98)
Blake Hayward (98)
Christian Bosa (98)
Callum Cusinato (98)
Jake Toor (99)


Jake Brien (97)
Brandon Kennedy (97)
Domenic Masellis (97)
Cal Walker (97)
Troy Robillard (98)
Noah Turanski (98)
Devin Mussio (99)
Jordan Schulting (99)
Michael Sande (99)


Reid Cooper (98)

Smoke Eaters Name Leung New Assistant Coach:

The Trail Smoke Eaters, of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), have hired a new assistant coach for the upcoming season. The Trail Smoke Eaters are pleased to announce that Jessie Leung has been hired as an Assistant Coach. Leung joins the Smoke Eaters coaching staff after spending the past six seasons with the Valley West Hawks in the BC Major Midget League (BCMML). During his time coaching in the BCMML, Leung was very successful, winning the BCMML league title in 2015-2016 and accumulating a combined record of 73-35-10-4 over the past three seasons as the Head Coach of the Hawks. Player development has been a focus of Leung, achieving high involvement with the BC Hockey Program of Excellence since 2012 from regional tryout camps to the BC Cup and Provincial Camps. He has also had other roles at various levels including: U16 Team BC Team Staff, 2012 Western Canada Challenge Cup (Video Coach), 2015 Canada Winter Games (Video Coach) and 2016 Western Canada Challenge Cup (Assistant Coach). Jessie was selected after a lengthy search for a replacement for the departing Curt Toneff. “We felt that with Jessie’s work ethic and commitment to player development, he would be a terrific addition to the Smoke Eaters coaching staff”, said Director of Hockey and Business Operations, Craig Clare. The Smoke Eaters are happy to bring Jessie on board with the club and feel confident that his skills and experience will help build the program.

Heinold Commits To Nanaimo:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Collin Heinold has committed to play for the Team for the 2017-2018 season.  The 1998 born defenceman joins the Clippers after playing the past two seasons for the Culver Academy Eagles of the United States High School League.  During his two seasons at Culver the 6’1″205lb Mount Pleasant, South Carolina native scored 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points in 85 games played.  Collin recently helped the Eagles win the Mid-American U18 Championships and advance to the USA U18 Nationals which were held in Pittsburgh in early April.  We would like to welcome Collin to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice with his new teammates at Training Camp in August.

West Kelowna-Winnipeg Trade:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club announced Friday afternoon that the club has traded forward Jon Russell (’98) to the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), completing a trade retroactive to August 12th, 2016. Russell, 19, heads to Winnipeg as the future considerations in the late August trade that saw defenseman Stephen Kleysen come to the Warriors from Manitoba. The 5’11”, 161-pound forward scored nine goals and 15 points over the course of 48 regular season games to go along with 14 penalty minutes. The Harvard University commit added two assists in three playoff games for the Warriors with four penalty minutes. The Traverse City, Michigan native came to the Warriors from the Odessa Jackalopes of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) where he played in 41 regular season games, posting four goals and 12 points along with 37 penalty minutes. The Warriors would like to thank Jon for his contributions to the Warriors and the city of West Kelowna and would like to wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Vanroboys Commits To Nanaimo Clippers:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Lucas Vanroboys has committed to play for the Team for the 2017-2018 season.  The 1999 born forward joins the Clippers after playing the past two seasons for the Selects Academy U18 team of the USPHL. This past season the 6’0″165lb Thamesville, Ontario native scored 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points in 45 games played for the South Kent, Connecticut based Selects.  We would like to welcome Lucas to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice with his new teammates at Training Camp in August.

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