BCHL News & Trades:
Newhook Commits To Grizzlies:
The Victoria Grizzlies are pleased to announce the much anticipated signing of 16 year old Alex Newhook, who originally hails from St. John’s Newfoundland. The signing of Newhook should garner a lot of attention as he has already secured an NCAA Division 1 Scholarship with Boston College where he will attend beginning in September 2019. It doesn’t stop there, Newhook is also currently ranked to be a First Round draft pick into the NHL in 2019. “The BCHL is a great place for Canadian players to go before playing NCAA and I’m looking forward to getting better everyday leading up to university” said Newhook. “It will be a good challenge to play against older guys and it will be an adjustment I’m looking forward to.” Last season the 5’11”, 185 pound left-handed centreman captained the York Simcoe Express Midget AAA team in Ontario. In 32 games with the Express he tallied 43 goals 31 assists and 74 points. “Alex, although young in age, will come into the league and make an immediate impact and be an elite player right away,” commented Grizzlies Head Coach and GM Craig Didmon. Newhook, along with Grizzlies’ teammate Jacson Alexander, have also been invited to attend Hockey Canada’s U-17 development camp beginning July 22 in Calgary. Newhook and Alexander will be the only two 16 yr. Olds on the hockey club. The two should be fan favorites this season and should bring a flock of NHL scouts to the Q Centre on a regular basis. “No question, both Alex Newhook and Jacson Alexander possess some very special abilities and will be not only be a lot of fun to coach but I am also sure they will be real exciting to watch for our fans,” Didmon added. With 12 returning players and the addition of world class prospects like Newhook and Alexander the Grizzlies will look to protect their regular season and playoff Island Division Championship and are once again shaping into solid contenders to go after the a BCHL title.
Langley-Salmon Arm Trade:
Salmon Arm Silverbacks general manager Troy Mick today announced the team has traded D-Man Carter Stephenson (98), West Vancouver BC to the Langley Rivermen for Goaltender Bo Didur (97), West Vancouver, BC Bo comes to the Silverbacks after playing the last 3 years with the Langley Rivermen and started his career in the BCHL with the Surrey Eagles. His career totals are a 3.39 GAA & a .897 save percentage in 136 games. Bo also played for the WJAC for Team Canada West in 2015. “Bo is a tremendous goalie in the BCHL and his stats reflect this”, says GM Troy Mick. Having Bo Didur & Nic Tallarico as our 1-2 punch for this coming season it is a great way to start the BCHL campaign. Bo is a quality young man and will fit into the Silverbacks culture really well. He recently had a scholarship to Penn State NCAA but he is now looking for another program and we can’t wait to help him achieve his NCAA goals. The silverbacks would also like to thank Carter for his time with the Backs and wish him the best of luck with the Rivermen.
Prince George-Carleton Place Trade:
The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the acquisition of 18 year old forward Shawn Kennedy from the Carleton Place Canadians of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) in exchange for the Canadian Junior A rights to goaltender Tavin Grant and future considerations. The 6’0” 200 pound Kennedy is from Cornwall Ontario and just completed his second season with the Canadians.. Last season in 58 games he tallied 14 goals and 20 assists for 34 points plus 58 minutes in penalties. He also contributed 11 points in 16 playoff games. “Shawn is a gifted player who we are excited to add to our team. He thinks the game very well and competes hard in all areas of the ice. He’s also a young player but already has 2 years of Junior A experience with an excellent program in Carleton Place. We jumped at the opportunity to add a young, experienced and talented player to our lineup” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes.
Salmon Arm Silverbacks Name Solmonson New Athletic Trainer/Equipment Manager:
The Salmon Arm Silverbacks Hockey Club are excited to announce Pam Solmonson has agreed to be the new Athletic Trainer/Equipment Manager for the Backs this year. “Pam has a tremendous amount of experience that she will be bringing us this season”, stated GM Troy Mick. I have worked with Pam at the BC Hockey high performance program and she is an absolute professional in her field. Pam recently was with the Prince George Cougars BCMML this past season where they won the BC Championships and hosted the Telus Cup. She has also worked for the Prince George Spruce Kings in the BCHL and numerous other teams in multiple sports. Pam also has a degree in Kinesiology and will be a huge asset for our team moving forward. Welcome to the Silverbacks Pam. Pam will start her new job Aug 1 as she helps out with the Salmon Arm Hockey School this year. Main Camp starts Aug 21 at the Shaw Centre!
Alberni Valley-Chilliwack Trade:
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are pleased to announce the acquisition of 1997-born forward Cole Poliziani from the Chilliwack Chiefs in return for future considerations. Poliziani recently concluded a successful rookie season in Chilliwack, where he helped the Chiefs reach Game 7 of the BCHL Finals as well as the championship game of the Western Canada Cup. The Burlington, ON product appeared in 52 regular season games, scoring 14 goals and totaling 27 points and 37 penalty minutes. He also dressed in all 23 of the Chiefs’ postseason games during their run to the 2017 Fred Page Cup finals, adding two goals and three assists, and suited up six more times during the WCC in Penticton. “Cole is a talented young man who plays hard and has a natural enthusiasm for the game,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He showed during his time in Chilliwack that he can score in bunches, and we anticipate him building on his offensive numbers in Alberni Valley while also being counted on as a positive teammate and leader.” A 2013 draft pick of the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, Poliziani spent the 2014/15 season with the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Hamilton Red Wings before heading south to play the next two years at the Salisbury School in Salisbury, CT. “I’m very excited to be traded to the Bulldogs,” says Poliziani, who describes himself as a smaller, skilled forward who can make plays and be counted on defensively. “I can’t wait to start the season and meet my new teammates and coaches, and most importantly the fans.” Poliziani is looking forward to finishing his junior hockey career in the Alberni Valley and enjoying team and individual success. “For me personally, my goal is to earn a Division I scholarship and to be able to contribute by putting up good numbers. For the team, my goals are to help bring each guy together as a big family and have it so we’re excited to go and play for each other, day in and day out. I also would love to win games and have a successful season, ultimately making playoffs and putting together a nice run.” Poliziani will take the ice with his new teammates when the Bulldogs will begin their main training camp on Monday, August 21st at Weyerhaeuser Arena.
June Camp Productive & Successful For Wild:
The Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) conducted their June Camp in the Community Rink at Town Toyota Center from June 18-20. Approximately 80 players divided into four teams competed both in small area games and full-scale games as coaches and staff watched to evaluate players, as the process of constructing the roster for the 2017-18 season continues. “Our camp is designed to give players the opportunity to showcase their strengths”, explained Wild Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler. “We saw a select group of players battle hard, and it definitely makes for some difficult choices for the coaching staff. That said, we were encouraged by what we saw over the last three days.” In addition to the Wild coaching staff which includes Associate Head Coach Tom Rudrud and Assistant Coaches Chris Clark and Michael Zucker, Wenatchee’s development team coaches Ryan McKelvie, Jake Obermeyer, Kyle Brodie, and David Mead were present throughout the camp as well. Adding an experienced set of eyes was Don Nachbaur, who is the third winningest coach in the history of the Western Hockey League and following camp was named an assistant coach with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Players will report to Wenatchee on August 21 as mandated by the BCHL. The regular season schedule is expected to be released by the league this week, and preseason games will be announced in the near future as well. The Wild have been moved into the Interior Division for the 2017-18 season, and will face each of their six new division rivals six times.
Bulldogs Name Dubois New Assistant Coach/Assistant GM:
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have rounded out their Hockey Operations staff for the 2017/18 season with the additions of Jeff Dubois and Scott Crema. Dubois joins the Bulldogs as the team’s Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager while Crema will serve as the team’s Trainer/Equipment Manager. Dubois comes to the Alberni Valley from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Creston Valley Thunder Cats, where he posted a record of 97 wins, 42 losses and 4 ties over three seasons. Following the 2016/17 campaign, Dubois was named the KIJHL’s Coach of the Year after guiding the Thunder Cats to a record of 36-9-1-1 and a first place finish in the league’s Eddie Mountain division. Previous to his time in Creston, Dubois won two B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League championships as the head coach at Selkirk College. “I’d like to thank Matt Hughes, Ron Paulson and the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society for the opportunity to join the Bulldogs’ team,” says Dubois. “I’m excited by the new direction of the team under Matt’s leadership and I’m honoured to be a part of that. I know the organization well from my time as a Bulldogs scout and I’ve seen firsthand the passion the community has for their team. I can’t wait to get started.” Crema joins the Bulldogs after recently graduating from Camosun College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic and Exercise Therapy. Crema brings years of hands-on experience, having spent the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals and the 2014/15 campaign with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s Victoria Cougars as a Student Athletic Therapist. “I’m thrilled to get my foot in the door in the BC Hockey League and begin the process of working my way up the same as our players do,” says Crema. “I’m excited for the experience of working with the Bulldogs’ players and staff and looking forward to a great season.” Dubois and Crema join new Bulldogs head coach and general manager Matt Hughes, who was hired in April following three successful seasons guiding the Pursuit of Excellence U-18 Prep team. He is also a former head coach of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm. “I’m excited to solidify our Hockey Operations staff by adding Jeff and Scott to the Bulldogs’ team,” says Hughes. “Both Scott and Jeff bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their respective roles, and having our staff finalized allows us to look forward to preparing for a successful 2017/18 season.”
Andonovski Joins Chilliwack Chiefs:
Jason Tatarnic’s recruiting job has been easier this summer thanks to the Royal Bank Cup, and Corey Andonovski is proof. The latest prospect to sign with the Chilliwack Chiefs did so, in large part, for the opportunity to play in next spring’s Canadian national junior A championship at Prospera Centre. “That’s huge because I get to play hockey until the second week of May or whenever the tournament begins, and that’s not something a lot of teams get to do,” the Ontario native said. “It gives me extra time to develop, which is really important.” Andonovski spent last year playing for St. Andrew’s College, a prep-school program in Aurora, ON.. The second-leading scorer on the Saints with 32 goals and 74 points in 57 games, he was good enough to be mentioned as a potential late-round pick leading up to last week’s National Hockey League entry draft. Andonovski was a sought-after commodity with lots of options, and considered every possible angle before committing to the Chiefs. There are dozens of junior A teams between his home (Uxbridge, ON.) and B.C. but somehow he ended up here. “I had interest from top-end teams in Ontario, but the difference is the depth of the BCHL and how good it is,” he said. “In Ontario, maybe the top third or quarter of the league are solid teams, but it starts to fall off as you go further down the rankings. “I find the quality of hockey in B.C. is higher end, if you want to call it that, and that attracts a lot more people. You see a lot more BCHL guys committing to school or being drafted into the NHL, so if I wanted to play at the highest level while staying in Canada, it was going to be out in B.C.” Andonovski comes to Chilliwack with an NCAA deal already in hand. After one season with the Chiefs the six-foot and 192 pound forward will jump to the Ivy League Princeton Tigers in 2018-19. If the RBC Cup and the BCHL were selling points one and two, Tatarnic’s ability to coach up players going to the next level was number three. “He talked a lot about the structure of the program, how often they’re on the ice and how often they work out,” Andonovski said. “It’s structured a lot like St. Andrew’s was where there’s ice time for the guys every day and workouts two or three times a week. “Being able to access those kinds of things is important because it’s pretty easy to get out of shape and you don’t want that to be the case when you’re playing high-level hockey.” One of Coach T’s greatest sales pitches is his approach to offensive hockey. His Chiefs are expected to back check diligently and pay attention to their defensive tasks, but he tells recruits that from the red line in players have the freedom to be creative in search of goals. Andonovski feels that philosophy meshes well with his game. “When you see me play live you’ll see a player who plays with speed, uses his shot off the rush, likes to play with possession and has a good skill set to use in tight,” the teenager said. “Whenever I have the puck on my stick I’m able to make plays, whether it’s a small pass under a stick to set a guy up or taking the right shot at the right time. “Although I’m not one of the bigger guys on the ice, I have a physical aspect to my game too and I’m not afraid to throw my weight around.” Tatarnic watched Andonovski play live a few times last year and sees him making a quick transition to junior A. “Corey comes from a good program and we believe he’ll be an offensive player for us,” the bench boss noted. “He’s a guy that we stayed on all year and we are very excited he has decided to play in Chilliwack.” The first thing any player says when asked what they need to improve on is, ‘get stronger and faster.’ Taking those off the table, Andonovski says his next focus is developing a better 200 foot game. “I’d like to be a more complete player and hopefully Coach Tatarnic can help me with that,” Andonovski said. “I think I’ve taken some big steps over the past couple years, from being a guy who was just an offensive threat to a guy who’s a threat but also plays a 200 foot game. “The style I like to play in the offensive zone, I can’t do that if my team doesn’t have the puck, so I have to work on taking care of the defensive side.”
Wharrie Joins Clippers:
The Nanaimo Clippers are pleased to announce the addition of three year Western Hockey League defenceman Jordan Wharrie for the 2017-18 season. The 20-year-old had 18 points in 162 WHL games between 2014-2017. Wharrie has played in Everett, Victoria, Brandon, and Vancouver during his junior career, after a brief stint with the Port Moody Panthers of the PIJHL. In 2016-17 the Port Moody product had 12 points in 71 games with the Wheat Kings and Giants. Clippers Coach Mike Vandekamp calls Wharrie a big, strong, blueliner who skates well. “His poise and experience will be an added dynamic to our team. His leadership off of the ice will be a real positive addition to our D corps as well,” said Vandekamp. We would like to welcome Jordan to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice with his new teammates at Training Camp in August.
Wellsby Joins Chiefs:
The Chiefs continued to bolster their lineup for the 2017-18 season Friday with the addition of 20 year old forward Austin Wellsby. Wellsby, who calls Chilliwack home, joins the Chiefs after three seasons with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. In 164 games with the Ice, Wellsby scored 15 goals and added 20 assists. Weighing in at 6’3 and just under 200 pounds Wellsby will bring a physical element to the Chiefs as well as leadership abilities. He finished last season as an alternate captain with the Ice. Wellsby is thrilled to be finishing his junior career in his hometown. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Chiefs for my final year of junior hockey and to play in the RBC Cup. I grew up watching the Chiefs and I know they are a great organization. It’s going to be really special to play at home in front of my friends and family.”
Scardina Commits To Capitals:
The Cowichan Valley Capitals junior A hockey club is pleased to officially introduce forward Ethan Scardina to the club for next season. Scardina comes to Cowichan from the Delta Hockey Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. The White Rock, BC native played with Delta’s Bantam Prep team three seasons ago, before jumping to the Elite 15’s two years ago and, last season, to the Midget Prep club. In 2016-17, the 16-year-old Scardina totaled nine goals and 21 points in 28 games, as well as 24 penalty minutes. He also made his BCHL debut with the Vernon Vipers, getting in to one game as an affiliate. “We are pleased to add Ethan to our team and look forward to contributing to his development,” said Capitals head coach and general manager Bob Beatty. Scardina becomes the second current Capitals player recruited from the Delta Hockey Academy Midget Prep team in the past two seasons, joining a good friend of his in Nick Wilson. The club won the CSSHL championship in the Midget Prep division with Wilson on the roster in 2015-16, and this past season Scardina’s team finished third overall in the 15-team league, before falling short of the semi-final in the CSSHL playoffs. “Delta has a great program. Their teams are well coached and play with a lot of discipline and pace,” Beatty added. Scardina fills one 16-year-old player spot on the Capitals roster; on the 23-man roster, each BCHL team is required to carry at least two players who are 17-years old or younger (born in 2000 or 2001, for the coming season).