Thursday, June 14, 2018

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:

McKim Commits To Eagles:

The Surrey Eagles hockey club is proud to announce that forward Matthew McKim has committed to the team for the 2018-19 BCHL season. McKim was the leading scorer for St. Andrew’s College last season, and played alongside fellow Eagles commit Evan McIntyre. McKim, 18, is described as a highly-skilled offensive forward, who is also reliable on the defensive side of the rink. He posted 74 points in 50 games this past season, which was the third-highest total in his league. “We are very excited to add Matthew to our team for next season,” head coach Brandon West told “He brings an elite skillset that will add to our scoring next season. Matthew had a tremendous season at St. Andrews, and we look forward to seeing him continue his success in Eagles green and blue.” For McKim, the appeal of Surrey was a combination of the program that coach West has in place, but also the location and surrounding area of the South Surrey Arena facility. “It’s a spot where I think I can really use my skills as a player,” McKim commented. “I feel like I can reach my full potential there. It’s also just outside Vancouver, it’s exciting, it’s right in the middle of everything.” As a player that enjoys creating offensive opportunities, the Olympic-sized ice surface was also an added bonus to committing to play for the Eagles. “I’m known for my offensive abilities, so it’s a spot where I can do my own thing to a degree. I’ll have space to be my own player.” “They’re expecting me to be a force up front. Someone that can put up some goals and points for the team, but also be a guy that they can rely on in the defensive zone. A guy that they can put out in any situation. ” One major impact on McKim’s hockey career has been his father, Andrew. The elder McKim played 38 NHL games in the 90s for Boston and Detroit, and also hundreds more in the AHL, IHL, NLA, and DEL. Having that kind of guidance has been key to getting Matthew where he is today. “He’s a huge influence on me, especially being a small player like myself. He never got drafted into the NHL, but he made it as a free agent and ended up playing a couple years. He’s someone I really look up to, and somebody who has helped me get to where I am today.” You can catch Matthew and the other new Eagles for the first time when main camp kicks off this August.

Wood Commits To Alberni Valley Bulldogs:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are pleased to announce that 2001-born goaltender Blake Wood has committed to join the team for the 2018/19 British Columbia Hockey League season. Wood hails from Nanaimo and spent last season with his hometown Buccaneers in the VIJHL, where his 18 wins were good for second most in the league. He finished with an 18-3 record along with a 2.93 goals-against average and a .909 save-percentage and was named a co-recipient of the Buccaneers’ Rookie of the Year award. He also practiced with the Bulldogs regularly as an affiliate player. “Blake is a talented young goaltender whose size and athleticism make him a great BCHL prospect,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “We had an opportunity to see Blake’s ability level up close throughout the season and we feel he’s got a very bright future in our league. We feel that he and John Hawthorne will form a strong partnership next season and we’re  excited for his continued development as a Bulldog.” Before joining the Buccaneers, Wood spent two seasons at the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford, playing on the Bantam Prep team in 2015/16 and the Elite-15s squad in 2016/17. In May 2016 he was selected by the Kamloops Blazers in the 8th round of the WHL Bantam Draft. “I’m very honoured and excited to play for the Bulldogs next season,” says Wood, who describes himself as an aggressive goaltender who never gives up on pucks and loves to win. “The city, the fan base and the organization are all outstanding. Having the chance to practice and affiliate with the Bulldogs last season was great; everyone treats you with respect, and getting a little taste of the BCHL was awesome. Overall it was a first class experience and I’m very excited for what the future holds with the Bulldogs!” Wood will join the Bulldogs when training camp opens in August.

Nanaimo-Cowichan Trade:

The Nanaimo Clippers have made a six player trade with the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Coming to the Harbour City are Nicholas Wilson, Ethan Scardina, and Jonathan Stein. In exchange the Clippers have sent David Melaragni, Lucas Vanroboys, and Preston Brodziak to Duncan. Wilson has the most experience of any player in the deal with 112 junior A games under his belt.  He has 30 points in two seasons and posted career highs with ten goals and eight assists in 2017-18. Ethan Scardina is the youngest player in the trade with a 2000 birthday. Not only was the White Rock product the Capitals top rookie during the 17-18 season he also finished second in team goal scoring. The 17-year-old scored 14 goals and added 12 assists in 48 games in Cowichan last year. Speedy forward Jonathan Stein appeared in 42 games for the Caps last season and he joins the Clippers after posting seven goals and eight assists as a rookie. Clippers coach Darren Naylor is excited about the new additions. “I’m very familiar with all of the players who will be joining us. Nic, Ethan, and Jonathan will all fit in well with the uptempo, offensive style we are going to implement this season. We believe this trade brings us players with a tremendous amount of offensive upside,” said Naylor. “These guys we’ve brought in are 100 per cent committed to the program we’re building they’re all excited about representing Nanaimo and the Clippers.” Aside from the talent being brought in, the Clippers get younger after this transaction. Both Wilson and Stein have two years of junior eligibility left while Scardina has three. The Clippers organization would like to thank David Melaragni, Lucas Vanroboys, and Preston Brodziak for their contributions to the team and welcome Nic, Ethan, and Jonathan to the Clipper family.

Myth Of Junior Hockey And National Champions:

It is time for hockey fans and the media alike to come to the realization, if they haven’t already, that events like the Memorial Cup and Royal Bank Cup don’t decide national championships. They are entertainment vehicles and social gatherings and nothing more, and should be enjoyed as such. They also are showcases for the players who are fortunate enough to get to participate in the tournaments. Fans also are guaranteed to see some of the best teams in major junior and junior A hockey, so the games mostly are competitive and, as such, entertaining. But so long as the formats include host teams and round-robin play, these events don’t culminate with the crowning of national champions. The 2018 Memorial Cup, the 100th anniversary of the trophy, was played in Regina over the past few days. It concluded Sunday with the QMJHL-champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan beat the host Pats, 3-0. To reach the final, the Pats, who had lost out in the first round of the WHL playoffs, eliminated two league champions — the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos and the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. The Pats didn’t have it on Sunday and were beaten by a superior team in the Titan. After losing to the Pats in the final game of the round-robin and falling to 0-3, the Broncos talked of injuries and fatigue, their 26-game run to the Ed Chynoweth Cup apparently having taking a toll. But are the Pats the better team because they won one particular game in a round-robin tournament? Regina and Swift Current met six times in the regular season — the Broncos were 5-0-1, the Pats were 1-4-1. The Broncos wound up at 48-17-7, while the Pats finished 40-25-7. In the playoffs, the Broncos took out the Pats in a first-round series that went seven games. In 14 meetings between the teams this season, then, the Broncos were 9-4-1. But on one night in May, the Pats won, 6-5. Does that mean Regina was the better team? No. It means that on any given day . . .  Meanwhile, in the world of junior A hockey, the host Chilliwack Chiefs won the Royal Bank Cup, which is a five-team tournament. Does that mean the Chiefs won the national championship and are junior A’s best team? Consider that they finished the BCHL’s regular season at 26-26-3, with three ties. That left them fourth in the Mainland Division, 16 points out of first place. They then lost a seven-game first-round series to the Prince George Spruce Kings. Meanwhile, the Wenatchee Wild was 37-16-4, with one tie, and third in the Interior Division, seven points out of first place. The Wild then went 16-4 to win the BCHL playoff championship. Wenatchee followed that with a five game Doyle Cup victory over the AJHL-champion Spruce Grove Saints. At the RBC, Wenatchee won its four round-robin games, two in OT, including a 2-1 victory over Chilliwack. The Chiefs won three times, once in OT, and had the one OT loss. During the round-robin, the Wild beat the Wellington Dukes, 7-1. But in a semifinal game, the Dukes posted a 2-1 victory, despite having been outshot 51-14. The Chiefs, meanwhile, beat the Ottawa Jr. Senators, 3-2, in the other semifinal, then doubled the Dukes, 4-2, in the final. Does all of this mean that Chilliwack is a better team than Wenatchee. No. It means that during one week in May things went the Chiefs’ way, just like things didn’t go Swift Current’s way the following week. So, as long as there are host teams and round-robin formats, let’s stop concerning ourselves with national championships and just enjoy the proceedings. OK?

Powell River Kings Off-Season Update:

Catch up with a busy month in Kings hockey as Kings broadcaster Alex Rawnsley recaps everything that took place in May, including the hiring of a new coach, five new Kings for the 2018/19 season, Spring Camp and much more.

Richey, Wyatt & Philpott Commit To Warriors:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the commitments of forwards Mason Richey (’00) and Cole Wyatt (’00) along with defenseman James Philpott (’00) for the 2018/19 season. Richey, 18, brings layers of offense, grittiness and leadership to the Warriors for the 18/19 season as the 5’10”, 180-pound forward spent three seasons playing for the Cariboo Cougars of the BC Major Midget League (BCMML). Richey played in each and every game of the regular season through all three years with the Cougars, compiling a total of 120 regular season games played and, in his final season, led the Cougars in scoring with 26 goals, 38 assists and 64 points in 40 games while also accumulating 38 penalty minutes. The Terrace, BC native captained the Cougars squad that made it to the BCMML Championship for the second straight season. Richey is also no stranger to the BC Hockey League, playing in 3 games with the Warriors as an affiliate player throughout the 2017/18 season and picked up his first BCHL point on an assist in a victory in Wenatchee against the Wild on January 12th. “Adding Mason to our program gives us a player who exudes the qualities of what it means to be a Warrior,” commented Warriors head coach and general manager Rylan Ferster, “Having had him spend some time with our team last season, we know he will be able to come in and feel comfortable right away.” Wyatt, 18, impressed the West Kelowna coaching staff with his strong play at the Warriors Spring Camp in late April. The Sherwood Park, Alberta native played the last two seasons with the Northern Alberta Xtreme Midget Prep team in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL), amassing 14 goals along with 24 assists for 38 points in 34 games during the 2017/18 season including 24 penalty minutes. The 5’11”, 175-pound forward helped his team with a goal and 7 assists for 8 points in the Xtreme’s 5 playoff games en route to the Midget Prep Championship. Wyatt also has some Junior ‘A’ experience having played a game with the Spruce Grove Saints in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) as an AP. “Cole came into our Spring Camp and played some very good hockey over the course of the weekend,” stated Ferster, “He’s a skilled forward who is not afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice and win battles for loose pucks.” Philpott, 18, played alongside Warriors commit Sam Anderson with the Calgary Buffaloes Midget AAA squad of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL). The 6’1”, 170-pound rearguard adds a bit of size to the Warriors backend and played in 34 games last season with the Buffaloes, scoring 3 goals and adding 10 assists for 13 points as well as 24 penalty minutes. The Calgary, Alberta native is another player having spent some time in the AJHL last season with 5 games played in the regular season with the Canmore Eagles and Philpott also saw some playoff action getting into Game #2 of the Eagles best of seven opening round series in the AJHL playoffs against the Brooks Bandits. “James is a smooth skater who defends very well in his own end of the ice,” said Ferster, “He’s strong on playing below the goal line and taking players off the puck but can chip in offensively as well.” The Warriors would like to welcome Mason, Cole and James and their families to the City of West Kelowna and the Warriors organization. More announcements are expected to come throughout the summer so Warriors fans can stay tuned to the website and all social media outlets for more information.

Hunt Commits To Capitals:

The Cowichan Capitals are very pleased to announce that Andrew Hunt has committed to play for the team for the upcoming season. The 6’3″ 205lb defenceman joins the Capitals from the Burnaby Winter Club Midget Prep Team in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League. The 18 year old Gibsons, British Columbia native tallied 3 goals and 19 assists for 22 points in 35 games played for BWC this past season. Andrew recently received the first ever Canadian Sport School Hockey League Humanitarian of the Year Award  The Capitals would like to welcome Andrew to the Capitals Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice at camp in late August.

Schleppe Commits To Prince George Spruce Kings:

Canadian Sport School Hockey League student athlete Tyler Schleppe will play for the Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League next season. Schleppe, 16, has attended the BWC Academy the past two seasons, most recently netting 57 points (22-35-57) in 33 games with their Midget Prep team, along with scoring twice in three post-season games. During the 2016-17 season, the Vancouver, B.C. product recorded 30 points (13-17-30) in 30 games with the CSSHL champion BWC Academy Elite 15 team. The 6-foot-3 forward made his BCHL debut this past season, appearing in three games with the Spruce Kings, registering one assist. Prior to playing in the CSSHL, Schleppe played with the Vancouver Thunderbirds Minor Hockey Association and Burnaby Winter Club.

Williams Commits To Nanaimo Clippers:

After spending the past four seasons with the Detroit Belle Tire AAA youth hockey program, Tyler Williams is proud to become part of the Clipper family. Tyler is a 2000 birth year, left-handed forward from South Lyon, Michigan. Tyler commented that having the opportunity to make the trip out to the Island camp was great. Talks with coach Naylor, getting the chance to meet the owner Mr. Mussio and the staff and realizing that my style of play was a perfect fit for the program. I can’t wait for the season to start.

Lewis Commits To Cowichan:

The Cowichan Capitals are very pleased to announce that Timber Lewis has committed to play for the team for the upcoming season. The 6’0″ 175lb defenceman joins the Capitals from the Thompson Blazers of the BC Major Midget Hockey League. The 17 year old Terrace, British Columbia native tallied 6 goals and 18 assists for 24 points in 38 games played for the Blazers this past season. The Capitals would like to welcome Timber to the Capitals Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice at Main Camp in late August.

Naka Leaves Warriors For Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club announced Monday that associate head coach and assistant general manager Shae Naka has accepted a position at the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy and will not be returning to the Warriors for the 2018/19 season. Naka, 27, spent the last six seasons with the Warriors, starting as a video coach with the club through the 2012/13 season and moving to the associate head coach/assistant general manager role ahead of the 2015/16 season while running the defense for the Warriors. Naka was behind the bench for the entirety of the Warriors championship run and hoisted the Fred Page Cup, Western Canada Cup and the RBC Cup in 2016. Prior to his time in coaching, the West Kelowna, BC native played two seasons with the Kamloops Storm in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) where he played in a total of 86 games with the Storm, collecting 9 goals and 26 assists for 35 points along with 72 penalty minutes. Naka also appeared in 9 games with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs where he registered 2 assists in his time as an affiliate player during the 2008/09 season. Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Rylan Ferster knows it will be a big void to fill beside him on the West Kelowna bench for the upcoming season, “Shae has meant so much to this program since he arrived here and is a big part of this team’s successes over the last few seasons,” commented Ferster, “He is one of the smartest hockey minds I have had the chance to be around and he will be missed behind the bench.” “Hockey is a business about new opportunities and new challenges,” continued the Warriors bench boss, “Shae is three simple things: a great person, a great friend and a great coach. He will remain all of those things. We wish him all the best.” “I’d like to thank Mark Cheyne, Rylan Ferster and Brent Gough for welcoming me to the organization six years ago,” said Naka, “It has been an honour to be a part of my hometown organization and is an experience that I will never forget. It has been a difficult decision to move on but I wish Rylan and the Warriors the best of luck moving forward.” The Warriors would like to thank Shae for his time and contributions to the team and wish him and his family the very best in his future hockey endeavours.

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