Thursday, July 16, 2020

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:

Catching up with the Backs Ep. 2 – Kohonick & Matta

Salmon Arm Silverbacks broadcaster Nathan Kanter chats with new players Riley Kohonick and Lucas Matta over Zoom in the video below. Kohonick is a goaltender acquired this off-season, while Matta is a new commit who was a defenceman at Lake Forest Academy the last two seasons. The boys give some background on their playing styles, how their playing career led them to Salmon Arm, what they’re most looking forward to when next season rolls around, what they’ve been up to since COVID-19 hit and much more!

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Vees in the offseason:

As the start of the silly season began, the Vees were in full throttle and with some brotherly love.  On June 2, the Vees traded Jack Barnes and future considerations for Luc Wilson, who played for Cowichan Valley. Wilson led the Capitals with 53 points in 55 games in 2019-20. In his first three seasons in Cowichan, Wilson combined for 75 points in 110 games. The Vees needed to get younger, which played a role for the 20-year-old Barnes. “I believe this is a positive hockey trade for both teams and both players,” said Vees president, general manager, and head coach Fred Harbinson, “Jack has been a great solider that brought an honest effort to the rink day in and day out. Unfortunately, with the number of 20-year old players we have, we are forced to make difficult decisions. However, the Vees will still have the firepower offensive skill upfront with Wilson. Another player the Vees had to offload due to the 20-year-old rule was Darwin Lakoduk to the Prince George Spruce Kings. Lakoduk came over for the final 34 games of the season after being acquired from the Victoria Grizzlies and posted six goals and five assists during his time in Penticton. The second-to-last trade of the month came on June 23 as the Vees and the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League swapped netminders. The Vees acquired Kaeden Lane in exchange for Carl Stankowski. Lane posted a 3.22 goals-against-average along with a .897 save percentage in 74 career games with the Storm while registering 31 victories in that span, including four shutouts. Stankowski came to the Vees in late October and played in 18 games after making his way from the Western Hockey League. The Calgary product had a record of 14-3 with a 2.08 GAA and a .915 SV% during the season. The final trade of June Finally, the last trade of the month saw the Penticton Vees, Powell River Kings, and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Notre Dame Hounds complete a three-team deal. The Vees traded forward Liam Noble and defenseman Carson Hemenway in exchange for defenseman Olivier Lepine and forward Ryan Upson from the Hounds. The Vees then flipped Lepine to the Kings for defenseman Ben Wozney. When all was done and dusted, Wozney and Upson are the two newest members coming to Penticton.  Wozney, who’s from Richmond, BC, has played in 86 career BCHL games while tallying four goals and 29 assists for 33 points. Wozney is also committed to Bowling Green State University for the 2021-22 season. West Vancouver product Upson played for the West Kelowna Warriors last season. In 54 games, Upson had three goals and nine assists for 12 points. Takeover Tuesday (on a Thursday) Last month’s Takeover Tuesday the Vees was run by David Silye and Jay O’Brien, and it was a massive hit among Vees fans. This month the Vees had some brotherly love with Jackson and Josh Niedermayer. Jackson played two seasons in Penticton, tallied 51 points in 88 games, and committed to Arizona State University for the 2021-22 season. Josh will be making his full-time BCHL debut in 2020-21. With another month in the books, the Vees made significant improvements to their roster. The return of the BCHL is still unknown, however, the players are doing their best to be in the best shape as possible when training camp opens.

Cyr Commits To Cowichan Capitals:

The Cowichan Capitals are excited to announce the commitment of 18 year old defenceman Daron Cyr for the 2020/2021 season! Cyr, from Sturgeon County, Alberta comes to the Capitals from the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers program in the Alberta Elite Hockey League. Cyr finished the 2019/2020 season with 5 goals and 10 assists in 29 games, second among Rangers D-men and 7th on the team in scoring. In the prestigious MACs Major Midget tournament in Calgary, Cyr scored a goal and two assists in 4 games. “I’m very excited to play for the Capitals this upcoming season. I’ve always been interested to play in the BCHL. I would like to thank Geoff (Grimwood) for the opportunity and I look forward to contributing to the overall success of the team this season” said Cyr. Over two seasons in Fort Saskatchewan, Cyr totalled 29 points in 62 games, and also suited up for his first junior hockey games in the AJHL. In the 2018/2019 season Cyr played 4 games with the Spruce Grove Saints recording 2 assists, and last season he played 3 games with the Sherwood Park Crusaders. “We are really excited to add a player of Daron’s character and ability. He is a strong, two way, puck moving defensemen with a lot of potential to grow into a quality BCHL defensemen. His character, leadership, and work ethic are off the charts and Daron is exactly the type of player we want coming into the Capitals dressing room” said Capitals Head Coach Geoff Grimwood. Welcome to the Cowichan Valley Daron!

Trail-Salmon Arm Trade:

The Trail Smoke Eaters announced today that they have acquired 20-year-old forward Noah Wakeford and 19-year-old forward Coalson Wolford from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for Matt Osadick and Future Considerations. Wakeford, from Okotoks, Alberta, comes to Trail with three years of BCHL hockey under his belt. Wakeford took on a bigger role this past season with the Silverbacks scoring 18 times and adding 32 helpers for a 50 point season. He has 108 points in his three seasons in Salmon Arm and will look to cap off his 20-year-old season with another strong season. Wolford, from San Jose, California, also had a strong season in Salmon Arm. In his first season of junior hockey Wolford was all over the Silverbacks special teams, killing penalties and playing in front of the net on the powerplay. He had 21 points in 41 games this season, but before that was a prominent player in the Saskatchewan Midget League (SMAAAHL) scoring 90 points in 126 games, the same league that Owen Ozar developed in prior to coming to Trail. “We are adding two players with junior experience and two players who can step in and play significant roles in our team this year.” – Head Coach and General Manager Tim Fragle The Smoke Eaters would like to thank Matt Osadick for his contributions this past season to the team and the City of Trail and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. Welcome to Trail to both Noah and Coalson, we look forward to seeing you suit up in the fall.

Milford Commits To Cowichan:

The Cowichan Capitals are excited to announce the commitment of 2001 born forward Shawn Milord for the 2020/2021 season. Milord is 19 years old and hails from St-Cesaire, Quebec. He’s spent the past two seasons with the Sorel-Tracy Rebelles of the QCHL, the same team as another incoming Capital Vincent Bernier. Last season Milord finished 3rd on the team in scoring with 8 goals and 36 points in 32 games played. “I am very happy to join such a good organization like the Capitals along with my best friend (Bernier). I can’t wait to come out to Cowichan and get to know the coaching staff and my teammates” said Milord. In 68 games over two seasons in Sorel-Tracy, Milord finished with 67 points after finishing second on the team with 31 points in 2018/2019. In 2017, Milord was selected in the 11th round of the 2017 QMJHL by the St Johns Sea Dogs after posting 74 points in 51 games while playing high school hockey at Ecole Verbe-Divin. In 2016/2017 he finished with 44 points, 16 more than any other player on the team, a team which included former Capital Zach Brooks. “‘Shawn is a gifted offensive player who we expect to play a role in our top six forwards and on the power play. He sees the ice incredibly well and will compliment our other offensive players. He will bring a lot to our lineup and give us a lot of strength down the middle” said Capitals Head Coach Geoff Grimwood. Welcome to the Cowichan Valley Shawn!

All-Time Chilliwack Chiefs Lineup:

One of my fellow BCHLNetwork writers Jason Jhutti put out his all-time team for the Penticton Vees. In his conclusion, Jason mentioned that Penticton has no doubt the deepest lineup of any great BCHL team, so I said, “Challenge accepted!” The Chilliwack Chiefs all-time lineup follows the same criteria as the Vees, with each player having to play a minimum of 45 games for the team to be considered. The Chiefs lineup might not have the NHL pedigree of the Penticton team, but if it was junior team vs. junior team, I think it would be very close in a seven-game series.

The forwards

The forwards are a range of speed, toughness, and scoring prowess. Joey Potskin not only put the Chiefs on the map in their first season, but the team’s top scorer award is also named after him. 60 goals and 84 assists to go along with 156 penalty minutes make him a lock for this team. Not only did Potskin have the skill and work ethic to play hockey, but he was part of the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball organization for a bit before coming home to Prince George to play senior hockey for ex-BCHLer Win Winofsky. The only Chiefs alumnus to have a long NHL career, Shawn Horcoff played 58 games in Chilliwack after coming over from Trail in an offseason trade. He had 49 goals and 96 assists for 149 points during the 1995-96 BCHL season. Jeff Tambellini is arguably the most prolific Chiefs player of all time. He played 88 games in Chilliwack, getting 67 goals and 101 assists for 168 points. He also was named the Royal Bank Cup top scorer, MVP, and CJHL player of the year as well as winner of the Coastal Conference Vern Dye Memorial Trophy winner in 2002. Of all of the players who have played in the last ten years for the Chiefs, Jordon Kawaguchi is probably the most accomplished. Playing 213 games with the Chiefs, Kawaguchi had 120 goals to set a team record. He added 122 assists for 242 points for a share of the Chiefs all-time points lead. He also captained the Chiefs for two seasons. Last season playing for the University of North Dakota, he named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey. David Van Der Gulik played 116 games with the Chiefs and posted 80 goals and 100 assists. Not only was he a great goal scorer, but Van Der Gulik was also clutch in overtime situations. He notched the winning goal to give the Chiefs the Doyle Cup over Drayton Valley in 2002. The other half of the shared all-time points lead, Doug Ast played 161 games with the Chiefs. Over his three seasons with Chilliwack, Ast had 101 goals and 141 assists for 242 points. Ast also captained the Chiefs for two seasons. Gabe Gauthier chose the Chiefs over the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL back in 1999. It was the best choice he could have made. He played 141 games with the Chiefs and put up 234 points. Gauthier also helped lead the Chiefs to two Royal Bank Cup berths, including a bronze medal in 2000. Matt Gibbons part of one of the best second-line units to wear a Chiefs jersey. Gibbons played 176 games with the Chiefs gaining 58 goals and 128 assists for 186 points. Micah Sanford played 116 games with the Chiefs, but really made an impact in his second season of 2001-02.  In his first season, he had 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points. In his second season playing alongside Gibbons and Kaleb Betts, Sanford exploded for 105 points. He also added 21 goals in the BCHL playoffs in 2002, which is a league record. Sanford was clutch in the playoffs. Kevin Estrada came to the Chiefs as a 15-year-old and ended up playing 197 games. Over his four seasons, Estrada had 195 points, which is good enough for sixth all-time in team history. He also captained the team in 2000-01. Brian Maloney came to the Chiefs from the Olds Grizzlys in 1997-98. He only played 87 games for the Chiefs but wound up with 44 goals and 87 assists and served as captain in 1998-99. He is now the head coach and general manager of the Chiefs. Travis Banga was acquired by the Chiefs after a recommendation by fellow Albertan and former Olds teammate Maloney. Banga is third on the Chiefs all-time points list with 239 points. He captained the team in 1999-00.

The defense

The defense is a combo of toughness with an offensive side. Bobby Henderson holds the Chiefs record for most games played with 222. He also holds the Chiefs record for penalty minutes with 772. He captained the Chiefs in 2002-03 and is now the head coach and general manager of the Langley Rivermen. Brad McFaul was a sturdy, noble, stay at home defensemen who could crush you and take the puck away. McFaul played 131 games for the Chiefs. He had nine goals and 42 assists over his three seasons. Dennis Cholowski was an offensive-minded defenseman who manned the power play and penalty kill. Cholowski played 101 games for the Chiefs with 67 points. He was drafted 20th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, the highest selection ever for a Chiefs player. Cory DeMoissac played 212 games for the Chiefs. He was a tough customer who put up 67 points and 521 penalty minutes. DeMoissac captained the Chiefs in 1997-98. Trevor Hunt, along with his brother Garet, formed one of the best brother combos in Chiefs history. Hunt skated in 146 games for the Chiefs, scoring 84 points and posting 357 penalty minutes. Nolan Julseth-White played a total of 120 games for his hometown Chiefs before skating in another 98 games when the franchise moved to Langley. He finished his BCHL career with 110 points in four seasons. The stay at home defensemen captained the Chiefs in 2005-06.

The goaltenders

These two are arguably the two best goalies in Chiefs history. Mitch Gillam came to the Chiefs as a rookie in 2011. He played a total of 87 games in Chilliwack and finished with a 50-34-2 record and four shutouts. In 2012-13, Gillam won the Coastal Conference Vern Dye Memorial Trophy as MVP. He also was credited with a goal vs. Surrey during the 2013 Fred Page Cup playoffs. Derek Janzen finished his Chiefs career with a 56-46-8 record and six shutouts. He played 114 games for the Chiefs in both Langley and Chilliwack from 2003-07. He also added nine assists during his BCHL career.

The coach

The only coach who should be considered for this spot is Harvey Smyl as he is the greatest bench boss in Chiefs history. Since taking over the Chiefs in 1993-94, Smyl only missed the playoffs once and won the Joe Tennant trophy as coach of the year three times. He also holds the BCHL record with four coach of the year awards. He has an all-time record of 710-452-15-77 during his 21-season career with the Chiefs franchise from 1993 to 2014.

The verdict

Penticton might have the most recognizable names on their roster in guys like Brett Hull, Ray Ferraro, Brendan Morrison, Tyson Jost, and Troy Stecher, but in this writer’s opinion, Chilliwack probably has the best all-around team.  If you were to put these two teams in a best-of-seven series, my bet is it would go the distance and the winner is a toss-up.

Silverbacks Make Roster Moves:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are thrilled to announce the acquisition of 17-year-old forward Carter Loney following a pair of trades: first, sending forwards Noah Wakeford and Coalson Wolford to the Trail Smoke Eaters in exchange for forward Matt Osadick and future considerations, and then subsequently moving Osadick and future considerations to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Steinbach Pistons in exchange for Carter Loney. Loney was the MJHL Rookie of the Year this past season for the first-place Pistons and a Second-Team All-Star, after producing 16 goals and 34 assists for 50 points in 52 games. The year prior, he attended the RINK Hockey Academy along with recently acquired forward Braden Fischer, where Loney recorded 30 points in 26 games in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. The 5-foot-9 forward has secured an NCAA scholarship to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, who are the two-time defending NCAA champions. “We’re extremely excited to have Carter joining our organization,” Silverbacks general manager Brooks Christensen said. “He’s a player who will have a major impact on the ice and we believe he’ll be a fan favourite. We think Carter will be one of the most dynamic players in the BCHL this season and will add a much-needed offensive threat to our lineup. With the moves made recently and the new recruits coming in, we feel we have the complimentary pieces for some good line chemistry this season.” Wakeford, who was entering his final year of junior eligibility, played for the Backs for three seasons, totalling 33 goals and 75 assists for 108 points in 150 career games. Wolford, 19, scored 11 goals and added 10 assists for 21 points in his rookie year for the Backs last season. “We’d like to thank Noah and Coalson for their contributions to the team and to the community,” Christensen said. “Both players made an impact and we wish them all the best in Trail.” Loney was ranked 167th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting on their final 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Rankings, up 31 spots from his mid-term ranking. He suited up for Team Canada West at the 2019 World Jr. A Challenge in Dawson Creek, B.C. and took part in the CJHL Top Prospects Game, alongside former Silverback Luke Mylymok. Loney is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, as he grew up in Winnipeg, MB but was born in Columbus, OH during his dad Brian’s pro career. Brian Loney was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 1992 after a standout year at Ohio State University and went on to have an 11-year playing career between the AHL, ECHL and Europe. The Silverbacks would like to welcome Carter to Salmon Arm and thank both Noah and Coalson for all their hard work and dedication to the organization.

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