Thursday, June 7, 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:

Fawcett Commits To Powell River:

The Powell River Kings are proud to announce the commitment of 1999-born forward Matt Fawcett for the 2018/2019 BC Hockey League season. Fawcett, from Lincoln, Rhode Island has spent the last three seasons at Winchendon Prep School in Massachusetts where he put up 71 goals and 164 points in 82 games. For two of those seasons, Fawcett skated with current Kings forward Ben Thomas. Fawcett also has 12 games of Junior experience in the USHL, affiliating with Sioux City. “I think Powell River gives me a great chance to develop and get ready for college,” said Fawcett. “Ben Thomas told me how good it was out in Powell River and his experience with the Kings, so I’m just looking to go develop, have fun and play a high level of Junior hockey.” At 5’6, 140lb, Fawcett relies on quick feet and a high skill set to contribute at both ends of the ice. “I’m a two-way forward, bring some offence as well through goals and setting up other guys,” adds Fawcett. “I really try and work and make other players around me better.” The addition of Fawcett provides another element of skill and scoring for Kings Head Coach Tyler Kuntz, who is looking to round out a Kings forward group that lost some key figures at the end of last season. “He’s probably more of a pure scorer than anything,” said Kuntz. “He’s quick, he’s a smaller guy but he’s an intelligent player who is very dynamic offensively and you can never have enough to those guys.” Fawcett joins the Kings with his NCAA future secured, having earned a commitment from Quinnipiac University, where he plans to study entrepreneurship. “Quinnipiac is a good fit for me with the way they play. Their camp was great, and overall it was just a great fit for me both on the ice and with studies as well,” said Fawcett. “Between now and then, I just want to grow, get bigger, faster, stronger and become a better overall hockey player.” Fawcett will train out east during the off-season, before making the trip out to Powell River ahead of Main Camp in August.

Floris Commits To Cowichan Capitals:

The Cowichan Capitals are very pleased to announce that Hunter Floris has committed to play for the team for the upcoming season. The 6’0” 200lb forward joins the Capitals from the Cariboo Cougars of the BC Major Midget League. The Vanderhoof, BC native tallied 36 goals and 22 assists for 58 points in 38 games played for the Cougars this past season. Hunter’s 36 goals were a single season franchise record and he also ended his Major Midget career as the BCMML’s all time goal scoring leader with 75 goals scored in 118 career games. The Capitals would like to welcome Hunter to the Capitals Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice soon.

Maloney Already Working On Chiefs' Next Chapter After Improbable RBC Cup Win:

Brian Maloney was keen on talking about the 2018-19 Chilliwack Chiefs on Monday. You could easily excuse him if he just wanted to keep focusing on this season, since it just ended Sunday night with the Chiefs rallying on home ice in the third period to defeat the Wellington Dukes 4-2 and capture their first Royal Bank Cup. Monday marked Maloney’s 18th official day as head coach and general manager of the club, with the team announcing on its website on May 4 that Maloney, a former Chiefs star player, was being promoted from assistant coach to replace Jason Tatarnic in the two key positions. Chilliwack had finished fourth in the BCHL’s Mainland Division in the regular season, with a 26-26-3-3 record, and they had been eliminated from the league playoffs in the first round, losing the seventh and deciding game of their set with the Prince George Spruce Kings on March 11. That meant they had to sit idle for nine weeks until they opened up the five-team RBC tournament at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre. They dropped their opener, falling 2-1 in overtime to the BCHL champion Wenatchee Wild a week ago Saturday, but they then ripped off five straight wins. They hadn’t won more than three in a row at any point in the regular season. Tantalizing stuff. Far from the norm. Maloney will be forever linked to it. He’s undoubtedly proud of what this group has accomplished. To his credit, he’s also already doing some looking forward. “We have to switch right into recruiting mode,” said Maloney, 39, who was the Chiefs leading scorer back in 1998-99 under longtime coach Harvey Smyl. “This is Junior A. You’re not talking about big staffs. A lot of the recruiting is done by the head coach. “Playing this late, we’re a little bit behind. We’ve asked some people for their patience. “We’re hoping that the message gets out about what we’re trying to do in Chilliwack. I believe we can create even more of an identity here.” The Chiefs, who came to Chilliwack from Richmond for the 1990-91, have been perennial contenders in the BCHL. They’re one of the more recognizable Junior A teams in the country. They advanced to the RBC in 2000 and 2002 with Smyl at the helm, losing in the semifinals both times. The team moved to Langley for the 2006-07 season, giving way to the WHL and the Chilliwack Bruins to the chagrin of the diehard Junior A fans in the area. The Bruins never really got much traction and when they moved to Victoria for the 2011-12 campaign, the Chiefs were resurrected in Chilliwack, with the former ownership group, led by Moray Keith, purchasing the rights to the Quesnel Millionaires and moving them to Prospera. “I believe in this city. I’m so proud of this city. A lot of the volunteers that were here when I was a player are still here,” said Maloney. “I don’t know if all the players realize what this means to the people here.” Maloney says that he felt the Chiefs unite as a unit over the past couple of weeks. He worried that they were getting back to some old bad habits on Sunday when they were down 2-1 to Ontario Junior A League champion Wellington after two periods, with “guys trying to win the game all by themselves on every single shift,” but he “reminded them politely to stay the course.” They did. Chilliwack scored three times in just shy of an eight-minute stretch in the third period to secure the victory. Corey Andonovski bagged the eventual winner at 8:32 of the frame. The Chiefs were the second straight host team and third in four years to win the RBC. Their story is similar to last season’s Windsor Spitfires, who won the Memorial Cup major junior championship as hosts after losing in the first round of the OHL playoffs. Maloney admits that he called Rocky Thompson, who was the coach of those Spitfires, to get some advice on how to handle the extended break. Maloney and Thompson got to know each other playing against one another in the AHL. Thompson was back coaching in that circuit this season with the Chicago Wolves, the team that Maloney started his pro career as a player with. “He gave me some ideas right away,” said Maloney. “We tweaked a few things for our team.”

Schnapp Commits To Clippers:

Jacob Schnapp has committed to play for the 2018-2019 season.The right-handed, 210-lb. forward from Port Richey, Florida, played the previous two season with the Tampa Scorpions U18 and U16 AAA teams. In the 2017/2018 U18 season he played in 55 games, scoring 17 goals with 32 assists. In the 2016/2017 U16 season he played in 44 games, scoring 16 goals with 28 assists. Jacob started to play roller hockey at age 7 and picked up ice hockey at the age of 9.  Roller hockey is still a passion. He went to Nationals the past 4 years winning a National Championship along the way, along with a Silver Stick Championship. Jacob is committed to working hard and being a standout player for the Clippers.

Miller & Saether Commit To Powell River Kings:

The Powell River Kings are pleased to announce the commitments of forward Rowan Miller and defenceman Brenden Saether to the team for the 2018/2019 BC Hockey League season. Saether, a 6’4, 205lb blue liner from Abbotsford suited up with the Mission City Outlaws in the PJHL last season, contributing 4 goals and 5 assists in 42 games. In addition, Saether also played in 14 regular season, and all 13 playoff games with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles. For Saether, the decision to commit to Powell River was made easier after a meeting with Head Coach Tyler Kuntz. “We went over my game film and he highlighted a few things that he felt he could help me improve on,” said Saether. “He showed me the program that he’s implementing in Powell River and I was really impressed with how organized and detailed it was. I’ve also heard great things about Powell River, the fans, the community and the support of the team.” Saether, a 2000-born player, describes himself as a stay at home defensive defenceman, however Kuntz believes there is more to Saether’s game. “What I see is a big player with a long reach, a big stick, he’s mobile and can turn to get pucks,” said Kuntz. “He played in two game sevens last year (with Surrey), and playing here on the smaller ice is going to be beneficial for him. He’s extremely fit and a real worker, and off the ice he’s a great kid who is really hungry to get better.” Kuntz added that Saether’s mobility with his size was very impressive and feels that he has a solid foundation to succeed at the Junior A level. Also joining the Kings ahead of the team’s 30th anniversary season is 2001-born forward Rowan Miller. Born in Arizona, but a long-time resident of Vernon, Miller played last year with the South Island Royals in the BC Major Midget League, scoring 14 goals and 14 assists in 39 games. Miller also affiliated in 8 games with the VIJHL’s Victoria Cougars, collecting 2 goals and 2 assists in 8 games. The connection to Powell River came through Miller’s coach while affiliating with the Cougars, Kings assistant coach Suneil Karod. “I really wanted to play Junior A hockey this year, and use that experience to improve as a player by playing against bigger, stronger, faster guys,” said Miller. “Suneil encouraged me to go to Powell River’s camp in Kamloops and by the end of it I knew I wanted to be a King. I learned so much in those few days from the coaches, and I knew I could improve as a player if I was in that situation full time.” Miller’s addition to the team provides more options up front, and a player who has showcased the ability to fit into the Kings system. “We had him at camp and tried to do some different things,” said Kuntz. “We gave Rowan an information overload as to what our team wants to look like and how it wants to play, and he grasped things really quickly and showcased a lot of the things we’d discussed in the camp games.” Kuntz added that he’s keen to offer Miller the support to develop, noting that patience is needed when it comes to younger players at the Junior level. “We see him as a player that will just continue to get better,” added Kuntz. “He can skate, he’s got skill and he’s intelligent. He wants to do those things to get better, he wants to improve and our goal is to guide him along that path.” Both Miller and Saether will train at home ahead of their arrival in Powell River in mid-August for Kings Main Camp, and the 30th anniversary season for the Powell River Kings beginning in September.

Warriors Part Ways With Draper:

The West Kelowna Warriors have parted ways with one of their longest serving front office employees. In a brief statement Tuesday morning, the BC Hockey League club announced director of business operations Alex Draper is no longer with the club. "After restructuring and reassignment of roles and responsibilities, Alex has decided to pursue other opportunities," said team president Kim Dobranski. "Alex has been a tremendous asset to this organization, and was the second longest service marketing director in the BCHL. For many years Alex has been the face and voice of the Warriors, sharing in both the disappointment and success of the organization." Draper was with the club for seven years. He says the shoes will be hard to fill. No word on a replacement.

McDonnell Commits To Nanaimo Clippers:

Brennan McDonnell, out of Auburndale, Florida is proud to join the Nanaimo Clippers for the upcoming 2018/2019 BCHL season. McDonnell is a 17-year-old defencemen with good size and speed. He is a puck moving defensemen with good hands and an accurate shot. Brennan played the last 4 years with the Tampa Scorpions and this past season played in the NAPHL. He recorded 14 goals and 26 assists throughout the season. McDonnell caught the attention of Coach Naylor at the USA Hockey National Tournament and then again at the Clippers Prospect Camp in Nanaimo in April. McDonnell will leave his Florida roots and make the move over 3,000 miles away to Nanaimo.

Conlin Commits To Spruce Kings:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the commitment of forward Michael Conlin (99) from the North Jersey Avalanche U18 Program. Conlin, from Northport, New York, had 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 points in 24 games playing for the Avalanche in 2017/2018. The North Jersey Avalanche program also produced current Spruce Kings forward Patrick Cozzi, although they were never teammates. “We are thrilled to add Mike Conlin for the upcoming 2018/2019 season. In our time watching and meeting with Mike we were impressed by his work ethic, compete level, and overall character. Mike plays the game the right way, he is a 200ft player that plays in the hard areas. We look forward to working with Mike next season and welcome him to the Spruce Kings.” Said Spruce Kings Head Coach Adam Maglio. Conlin will arrive in Prince George in August for Main Camp, as the Spruce Kings look to build off their Fred Page Cup appearance this season.

Elser & Hutchison Commit To Vees:

The Penticton Vees are excited to announce they have received commitments from 2000-born forward Drew Elser and 2000-born defenceman Conner Hutchison for the 2018-19 season. Elser, from Hopewell Junction, New York spent the 2017-18 season with the Central Illinois Flying Aces of the United States Hockey League, scoring eight goals and eight assists in 36 games before having his season cut short by a sports hernia. Elser is the youngest of four brothers and is committed to the University of Connecticut in the future. Hutchison, from Hicksville, New York, played last season at the Selects Hockey Academy U18 program, helping them win the USPHL U18 league championship while scoring nine goals with 42 assists in 49 games. He also dressed for two games with the Chicago Steel of the USHL, registering one assist. Additionally, Hutchison helped his team win the U18 Nationals, which sees the top U18 programs in the United States compete for a championship. The 5’11’’, 181-pound defenceman has a scholarship to the University of Vermont. His brother Nick spent two seasons with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks from 2014-2016 and now plays at Canisius College. His sister Cailey is about to enter her senior year at the University of Maine. Elser and Hutchison spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons as teammates on the Selects Hockey Academy U16 team, and both decided to pursue their junior hockey careers in Penticton rather than the USHL. The two players will join the rest of their teammates in Penticton in August for training camp ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Buono Commits To Kings:

For the third straight season, the Powell River Kings will list a ‘C. Buono’ on their playing roster as the team has committed to 2000-born forward Christian Buono for the 2018/19 season. Buono, a 5’11, 195lb forward from Burnaby skated last year with the Vancouver NW Giants of the BC Major Midget League, and is the younger brother of former Kings defenceman, Carmine. In 35 games with the Giants, Buono led the team in scoring with 16 goals and 28 assists winning the team’s top forward, and playoff MVP awards. In a busy season, Buono also dressed in 4 games as an affiliate with the Kings, collecting two helpers. “The experience will definitely help,” said Buono on his time in the BCHL, which also includes 11 games with Coquitlam in the 2016/17 season. “When I came up, I just wanted to keep it simple and now I’m with the Kings full time I can show what I can do out there and showcase my game a little more.” Buono follows in the footsteps of his older brother Carmine, who played 145 career regular season and playoff games with the Kings between 2014 and 2018. “Carmine talked a lot about his time in Powell River, which really helped me make my mind up on where I wanted to play Junior,” said Buono. “He was a huge help when I AP’d last season, all the guys were great too, welcoming me into the room. They were all dialed in, wanting to win every night and that’s going to be a huge help to me early on.” Kings General Manager and Head Coach Tyler Kuntz describes Buono as an offensively gifted forward with good hands around the net. “He plays with a lot of fire, he’s a competitor,” said Kuntz, who also spoke on his desire to respect the family lineage in hockey. “With Carmine playing here, I think it’s very important that if you’ve got a player like Christian who can play in the league, that’s from the family, I think you’ve got to look at that and you’ve got to honour and respect that. Any Junior hockey family gives something to the organization, and I think it’s important for teams to respect that and that we do right by the families.” Buono has recently begun detailed off-season training in the lower mainland to prepare for the grind of Junior hockey. For Kuntz, Buono’s role has been clearly defined ahead of next season. “He’s going to start as a young player on a team that has lots of returning players, but I’ve told him that his job is to take an older players job,” said Kuntz. “Don’t be happy with just being here, go take someone’s job. That pushes our older guys to produce and makes everybody on the team better.” Buono will join his new team mates in Powell River in mid-August, ahead of Main Camp beginning in Powell River on August 19th.


Anonymous said...

All teams seem to be announcing a signing. Any Viper news for the upcoming season or is it a big secret like previous years? Wish they would tease us with a few news items.

vipersdiehardfan said...

Almost every team has been busy this summer announcing trades or new player commitments for this season. The Vipers are once again one of if not the only team that has been quiet this summer. Troy Mick always kept Vipers fans updated through out the summer, making several player commitments-announcements as did Mike Vandekamp. Since then it seems like Mark Ferner keeps things very quiet all summer. Since Mark Ferner has been with the Snakes he doesn't say much about the following season-roster until just days before training camp. In years past the Morning Star gives a list of new recruits/player commitments and any new players in camp usually the day before or the day of training camp, other then that don't expect much news from Viper land over the summer.

The only news I know of to date is old news that was announced after the Vipers playoffs ended.

It looks like the Snakes have ten players returning from last years team and two new recruits/committed players, that makes 12 players on their current roster.

On Tuesday the Wray family announced they will continue to run/own the team with Duncan Wrays wife Libby being the new owner.

Vernon Vipers Committed Players For Next Season:


Elan Bar-Lev-Wise 01 (Committed to the Vernon Vipers for 2018-19)
Will Dow-Kenny 00 (Committed to the Vernon Vipers for 2018-19)

Vernon Vipers Returning Players For Next Season:


Josh Prokop 00 (Committed to Ohio State University for 2019-20)
Connor Marritt 99
Alex Swetlikoff 01 (Committed to University of Denver for 2020-21)
Niko Karamanis 98
Coleton Bilodeau 00
Keyvan Mokhtari 98 (Committed to Colorado College for 2019-20)
Josh Latta 98


Jack Judson 00 (Committed to Arizona State University for 2020-21)
Mitch Andres 98
Michael Young 98 (De-Committed to University of Connecticut)

*The Vipers/Morning Star newspaper reported in back late March, there are rumblings that Ariona State Sun Devils, who have 19 forwards recruited, may ask centre Jordan Sandhu to play one more year with the Vipers. Same goes for Williamson, a Western Michigan Wildcats’ commit. Keyvan Mokhtari will wait a year before playing for the Colorado College Tigers and trainer Tyrol Deeg will not return to the Vipers after his three-year contract expired.