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:
Salmon Arm Bids To Host 2021 RBC Cup:
Chilliwack hosted in 2018 and Salmon Arm hopes to be the next BCHL market to get the tournament. Salmon Arm is hoping to play host to one of the most prestigious hockey tournaments in Canada in 2021. The newly formed Shuswap Sports Society presented to Salmon Arm council on March 12, where they officially announced their plans to submit a bid to host the Junior A National Championships in 2021. The diverse group of business representatives and hockey enthusiasts came together to form the society with the primary goal of securing this event for the Shuswap. The Junior A National Championships, previously known as the RBC Cup, is a premier competition for amateur hockey in Canada. At the beginning of each Junior A hockey season, 135 teams across Canada compete for the chance to represent their community. At the end of the season the top four, along with the host team, meet at the championship finals. The spring event attracts national media, live television coverage and a large number of spectators. “Having had the opportunity to live in this incredible community for the last five years, I can say with certainty that Salmon Arm would be the ideal host for the National Championships,” says Ian Gray, chairperson for the Shuswap Sports Society. “Our community is a hockey hub and we have outstanding facilities, from the SASCU Recreation Centre, to our area accommodations, unique downtown and diverse recreation opportunities. If successful in securing the bid, Salmon Arm and the Shuswap will be on every visitor’s radar as a potential place to live, work and play.” Directors Ian Gray, Daron Mayes and Brooks Christensen shared their excitement with council on March 12, where they received unanimous support for the bid submission. Gray noted that if successful in securing the 10-day event, visitor spending and extensive media coverage is projected to generate more than $2 million in economic impact for the Shuswap. Only the top three community bids will be given the opportunity to present their proposal to Hockey Canada in mid-May at the 2019 National Championship in Brooks, Alta., and the Shuswap Sports Society is hoping to be included. Over the coming month, until the bid to host is due to be submitted, the society will be reaching out to community leaders as they seek support for Salmon Arm’s bid. “As a small community, we will need everyone behind this big idea. Recognizing Salmon Arm’s hockey spirit and unmatched community pride, we know we will be successful in securing all the support needed,” said Christensen, society director and Silverbacks’ operations manager.
Bulldogs Name Heisler New Director Of Corporate Partnerships:
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are excited to announce the hiring of John Heisler as the clubs new Director of Corporate Partnerships effective May 1st, 2019. John brings an extensive background in business to the Bulldogs front office with 10 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in both sales and management capacities. John is relocating to Port Alberni from Campbell River. During his time in Campbell River, he was an active member of the community and is excited to become involved with not only the Bulldogs but the community of Port Alberni as well. “Working for a Jr. A Hockey Club like the Bulldogs is really a dream come true for me” said Heisler. “I can’t wait to get settled and get working with the business community. The Bulldogs brand is so strong in Port Alberni and I think businesses will really appreciate the fresh approach I want to bring to my new role.” The Bulldogs David Michaud was excited to secure John’s services. “We were patient in our search and received many exciting resumes. John’s background in management and his excitement to be apart of the changes we’re making with the Bulldogs made him a great choice. We need to do a much stronger job for our corporate partners and I’m very confident in John’s ability to communicate and ultimately execute on the ideas we come up with for our partners.”
Washe Commits To Clippers:
The Nanaimo Clippers announced that skilled forward from Detroit, Michigan has committed to play for the team this upcoming season. Washe, who is a 2001 born forward already has committed to play for Western Michigan University for the 2020-2021 Season is coming off his best year with the Victory Honda U18 , tallying 31 points in 27 games, 10 goals and 21 assist. His team won the MAHA State Championship. “Washe is someone I have been watching for a while and is a really good pickup for us.” said Darren Naylor, Head Coach of the Nanaimo Clippers “Washe is a proven leader and really skilled forward that will put up great numbers in our league.” “I decided on the Clippers as it is a long standing BCHL Team with a significant history of developing players.” mentioned Timmy Washe “I look forward to competing for the opportunity to play a significant role on both sides of the puck, helping bring speed and strong physical presence to the team.” Washe will be on the ice when the Clippers training camp opens in August.
Competitive Centennials Camp Leaves Tough Decisions:
Nearly 100 players descended upon Merritt and the NVMA over the weekend to compete for a spot on the Merritt Centennials. With players from across BC joining the camp from various levels, and various ages Assistant Coach Brandon Shaw says the coaching staff now has some hard decisions to make. “It’s easy to watch and pick out what some players do well and what some need to improve upon, but now it’s on the coaching staff, scouts, and others who help with our camp to go over notes and decide who we like for next season, who we’ll keep on the radar, and who might be an affiliate for next year. These young men came here and showed their best, so it’s up to us to do them justice and give them some solid feedback.” Coach Shaw adds that the next step for those that impressed will be Summer Camp. “In Merritt we treat this as an identification camp, and we’ll invite the players that showed well to our Summer Camp in Abbotsford. There will be players from all over Canada and the US attending that camp, and the main goal from there is to make it to our 30 player main camp ahead of the season.” Time will tell how the 5 locals (Chase Cooke, Atrayu Johnny, Colton MacCauley, Anthony Tulliani, and Justin Vinterlick) along with the 3 younger brothers (Garrett Wicks, Josh Van Unen, and Ross Roloson) figure into the future of the Centennials. The Cents will host their Summer Camp from June 7th -9th in Abbotsford. Registration details to come shortly.
Weight Commits To Vees:
The Penticton Vees are proud to announce they have received a commitment from 2001-born forward Danny Weight for the 2019-20 season. Weight, from Lattingtown, New York, spent the 2018-19 season with the US National Development Program, splitting time with the U17 team, U18 team and the USHL Junior team. With the USHL team, Weight played 23 games scoring eight goals and seven assists. In 2017-18 Weight played 57 games with the U17 USNDTP team and scored 19 goals with 18 assists. He also skated in 31 games with the USHL team, scoring 12 goals with 10 assists. The 6’, 185-pound forward comes to Penticton with an NCAA commitment to Boston College. Weight, who was born in Edmonton, was a member of the US U17 team that won the gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in New Brunswick in 2018. He scored one goal and added two assists in six games. Danny is the son of Doug Weight, who played 1,238 NHL games over his career with the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders. He won the Stanley Cup in 2006 as a member of the Hurricanes and currently works as a senior advisor with the Islanders. Weight will arrive in Penticton for training camp in mid-August.
Chilliwack Chiefs Name Scouting Staff:
The Chilliwack Chiefs are pleased to announce The Chilliwack Chiefs are proud to unveil their scouting department for the 2019/20 BCHL Season. The Chiefs are extremely fortunate to have a group of individuals willing to give up their time to help our organization with regards to recruiting and player selection. With the addition of these 7 individuals the Chiefs are set to continue their tremendous track record in recruiting top talent and character from across North America.
Mike McGinnis- Alberta Scout
Mike is currently the Regional Manager for Edmonton (and surrounding areas) for Hockey Alberta. Mike played Midget AAA and junior hockey from 1993-98 and is a Hockey Canada certified skills instructor. He is the owner of Norcan Hockey Development. “Mike’s knowledge of the game as well as the minor hockey landscape in Alberta is a huge asset to our program.” said Chiefs Associate Coach/Assistant GM Brad Rihela. “We are excited to continue working with Mike and proud that he has chosen to join us for his second season with the Chiefs.”
Erin Thornton- BC Scout
Erin Thornton has been a member of the Chiefs scouting staff since the 2014-15 season. He has been instrumental in helping bring quality recruits to spring/main camps and has had a lot of success identifying top talent across the province. Erin is currently a coach and program director at the Yale Hockey Academy. He is a proud Chiefs alumni having played for the team during the 91-92 and 92-93 BCHL seasons. “We are very lucky to have people like Erin Thornton involved with the Chilliwack Chiefs hockey program. He is a great person with a passion for the game and is a huge help in respect to our recruiting and scouting plans.” said Rihela
Chris Price- BC Scout
Chris Price is one of the newest additions to our scouting department. Chris had a 4-year junior career and has spent the past two seasons coaching at the Yale Hockey Academy. Chris works as a skills instructor and strength and conditioning coach for Impact Hockey Development out of Langley and is very well respected across the lower mainland. In addition to his new role as a BC scout for the Chiefs, Chris was recently named head coach of the U16 Chiefs JSHL program.
Redmond Brow- North East USA Scout
Redmond Brow is another one of the latest additions to the Chiefs scouting staff. Redmond brings a unique perspective to the group as he has an extensive background in goaltending. Last season, he was the Director of Goaltending for the Philadelphia Hockey Club. This upcoming season he will be working for the Salve Regina University as their goalie coach. Redmond has experience working under renowned NHL goalie coaches like Piero Greco and Mitch Korn of the NY Islanders which will be a big advantage when it comes to evaluating goaltending prospects.
Mike Porter- Michigan Scout
Mike Porter is a coach at the Detroit Catholic Central High School program. Mike had a solid junior career which he used to join the Michigan State Spartans (Mike is an ex-teammate of Coach Maloney). He turned his education into his new role as a successful lawyer. During the 2006 season Porter was an amateur scout for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and he currently assists NHL and AHL coaches in the negotiations of their contracts. His knowledge of the Michigan area will be a massive asset for the Chiefs going forward.
Sean Coffman- Midwest USA Scout
Sean is back for his second season as a member of the Chilliwack Chiefs scouting department. Sean has been coaching for the past 5 seasons at the prestigious Compuware Major Midget program. Based out of Metro Detroit, Sean has experience scouting in the NAHL, USHL and OHL prior to joining the Chiefs ahead of last season. “Sean has been instrumental in us being able to expand our footprint in the US. He represents the Chiefs with class and professionalism and has been a massive help to our hockey department.” said Brad Rihela
Matt Kuystermans- Alberta/Saskatchewan Scout
Matt Kuystermans is a young man with a lot of goals of moving up in the management/player assessment side of the game. The sports management industry is a huge passion for him. Last season he joined the Chilliwack Chiefs and did a great job of supplying the coaching staff with lists of talented prospects from across Western Canada. Matt spent two seasons scouting as an intern at ISS where he was awarded Western Intern of the year.
“The Chiefs are thrilled to have the advantage of having such a deep scouting department. All of these individuals are completely invested, and selfless with their time and energy that they sink into helping make our program a success on and off the ice.” said Chiefs Head Coach and GM Brian Maloney.
Lapointe Commits To Trail Smoke Eaters:
The Trail Smoke Eaters Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce forward Philippe Lapointe (’00) has committed to the team for the 2019/20 season and has also been named as the team’s Captain for the upcoming campaign. Lapointe, 19, makes his way to the West Kootenays after playing two seasons in the United State Hockey League (USHL), splitting his time between playing for the Lincoln Stars and Central Illinois Flying Aces. The 5’11”, 194-pound forward registered 8 goals and 28 assists for 36 points, along with 77 penalty minutes, in 78 career games with Lincoln before spending the majority of 2018/19 season in Central Illinois, earning 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points in 41 games played as well as 50 penalty minutes. Lapointe is no stranger to a big stage, taking part in the USHL/NHL Prospects Game in 2018 and also making an appearance at the Pittsburgh Penguins Development Camp in 2018 as well. The Hinsdale, Illinois native played alongside of Smoke Eaters committed forward Braden Costello in the 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo, New York as well as participating in the 2017 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia where the top under-18 players in the world come together for Team USA. Lapointe was an assistant captain to begin the season with the Stars in 2018/19 and will serve as the Captain of the Smoke Eaters for the 2019/20 season. Lapointe will join current Smoke Eaters forward Kent Johnson at the University of Michigan as the two are committed to the play with the Wolverines after the completion of their Junior hockey career. Hockey runs deep in the Lapointe family with two brothers that hit the ice and a father who is well decorated at all levels of the game. Martin Lapointe had a very successful playing career, earning two Stanley Cup championships in back-to-back years in 1997 and 1998 with the Detroit Red Wings. Lapointe amassed 181 goals and 200 assists for 381 points in 991 career NHL games while also winning gold medals in the World Junior Hockey Championship with Canada in 1991 and 1993. “Today is a great day for the Trail Smoke Eaters organization with the signing of Philippe Lapointe,” commented Smoke Eaters General Manager and Head Coach Jeff Tambellini, “Philippe was one of the most highly sought after players in the BCHL and USHL this offseason and we are excited to add him to our team and make him our Captain for the upcoming season.” “Philippe is a dynamic power forward who possesses elite skill and an outstanding Hockey IQ,” continued the Smoke Eaters bench boss, “His competitiveness, professionalism and leadership history makes me extremely confident that he will be one of the best captains Trail has ever had.” Everything about the organization and community caught the eye of the newest Smoke Eater on a recent visit to the West Kootenays, “The opportunity to play under a head coach like Jeff Tambellini was a big draw for me,” stated Lapointe, “He understands what players need and communicates very well with his players.” “When I visited Trail, I loved it,” continued the Smoke Eaters forward, “A perfect small hockey town that has a tradition of winning and that is something I want to bring back to Trail. I feel that this organization has all the pieces to win a championship and I’m excited to be a part of that process.” Being named as the next Captain of the franchise is a big responsibility but one that Lapointe is looking forward to, “It’s a huge honour. Coming into Trail, Coach has a lot of belief and trust in me so to be put in that leadership role is a huge responsibility and something that I don’t take lightly,” mentioned Lapointe, “Coming into a new team being Captain, there will be an adjustment period but there will be a lot of guys coming back from last year’s team and bringing a lot of leadership with them. I’m excited to learn from my teammates and build strong relationships, working hard on and off the ice every day.” The Smoke Eaters would like to welcome Philippe and his family to the organization as well as the City of Trail.
Grizzlies Sign Howe:
The No. 1 item on Victoria Grizzlies general manager and head coach Craig Didmon’s to-do list this off-season is to find a No. 1 goaltender. He might already be able to check that one off. The Grizzlies announced Tuesday they have signed sought-after netminder Joe Howe out of Upper Canada College in Ontario. Howe, who turns 18 in June, is coming off a couple of strong seasons at Upper Canada College and turned down the Barrie Colts, who selected him in the 2017 Ontario Hockey League draft, to come west into the Grizzlies’ den. “I’ve had my mind set on playing NCAA Div. 1 hockey for a while now so when the Grizzlies came calling I didn’t hesitate,” said Howe, who stands 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds and was named Upper Canada College team MVP this season. “I already know [Grizzlies forwards] Eddie [Yan] and Alex [Newhook] and they raved about the organization and the city, so I went for a visit last fall and loved the rink and the city so it was really a no-brainer.” The Grizzlies lost both of this year’s goaltenders as 20-year-old Kurtis Chapman graduated and 19-year-old Zack Rose moves on to NCAA hockey at Bowling Green University. So Didmon has been manning the phones in search of two netminders as the team looks to retool after making the B.C. Hockey League’s final four this season. “Joe has good size, is very athletic and protects his net and crease area well,” said Didmon, whose club was eliminated in the third round of the BCHL playoffs by the eventual-champion Prince George Spruce Kings. “He has also won in the past so we like that he brings that experience to our club, so he’s more than ready to step in and be a dominant goalie in our league.” Howe was born in Leicester, England, before his family moved to Ontario when he was three years old. After a strong Midget season for the Toronto Junior Canadiens, he moved on to Upper Canada College where he played against the likes of Newhook (St. Andrew’s College) and Alex Campbell (Stanstead College), who are expected to be selected early in June’s NHL draft in Vancouver. This season, Howe led his team to the semifinals at the national championship before bowing out to St. Andrew’s. “I feel I had a strong season and I’m ready for the next level,” said Howe. “I’ve heard the BCHL is a fast, offensive league but I think I bring speed post-to-post and I can handle the puck well, so I’m looking forward to having a good season in Victoria.” Howe had several Junior A opportunities in his home province but chose to head west to help chase down that NCAA dream. “I asked around and everyone kept telling me, if you want to play in Junior A, the BCHL is the place to be, and you can’t ask for a better city to play in than Victoria.”
Lapointe Commits To Coquitlam Express: