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:
Penticton Group Confident In Bid To Host 2021 Junior A Hockey Championships:
The 10-day event would bring thousands to the city, garner national TV coverage April 30 is the application deadline to host the 2021 Junior A Hockey Championships and organizers behind the City of Penticton’s bid are confident that the city has put in a strong bid. According to Penticton resident Stewart Ladyman, the chair of the organizing committee behind the bid, multiple private corporations have offered to sponsor and support the event if it comes to the city in May 2021. The 10-day tournament would bring thousands of visitors to the city, with teams utilizing the South Okanagan Events Centre for the games. “This is a community event, it’s a Penticton issue — not just hockey — since it involves the SOEC, the Penticton Vees and the citizens. So that’s the approach we took to putting our application together,” said Ladyman. City council pledged $100,000 from the 2021 municipal budget to help satisfy the required bid obligations. The city could stand to see a return of $60,000 to $70,000 generated by rent and food and beverage sales, while the rest of the profit would go into a legacy for the city and the organizing committee to disperse into the community as they see fit. Ladyman said despite the fact that the committee had learned that Hockey Canada received nine applications from potential host cities for the championship, they believe Penticton has a strong chance of being selected due to its prior experience of hosting events and the strong community support. The Western News learned that the Trail Smoke Eaters, Nanaimo Clippers and Salmon Arm Silverbacks are some of the other cities putting in bids. “This would coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Vees, so junior hockey in Penticton, and we believe it would be an excellent way to celebrate this junior team in our community,” said Ladyman. “We think that we have excellent records in this town of hosting events, not only hockey but all of the other things that go on. “This community realizes that the economic spin-off from hosting a 10-day event, which will get national TV recognition, is one of our life bloods to keeping Penticton going. We’re fortunate that we live in a beautiful land and this would be a May event, so just the start of our season but still off-season, so it will help the restaurants and hotels and all the other businesses.” Ladyman said the committee is not sure when they will hear the decision of Hockey Canada, but did note that it will first get narrowed down to three cities. From there, the organization will tour each, likely in June 2019, and then decide which city will host the championship event.
Bulldogs Name Martin New Head Coach/GM:
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are proud to announce the hiring of Joe Martin on a multi-year agreement to become the Bulldogs’ new Head Coach and General Manager. Martin joins the Bulldogs as the current BCHL Coach of the year after guiding the Merritt Centennials to an overall record of 36-15-4-3 during the 2018/19 season, good for second place overall in the Interior Division. In four seasons as the Centennials’ Head Coach and General Manager, Martin compiled an overall record of 106-97-21-3. In total, Martin spent eight seasons with Merritt, joining them as an Assistant Coach/Assistant GM for the 2011/12 season before taking over the reins as Head Coach in 2015. Martin has also served as the Assistant Coach for the past two Team Canada West clubs at the World Junior A Challenge. “Our family is excited to be moving to the city of Port Alberni and to join the Alberni Valley Bulldogs,” says Martin. “Every time I’ve coached in the Weyerhaeuser Arena, I’ve always been impressed with the hometown presence. It’s a loud building with fantastic ice — arguably the best in the BCHL. I look forward to bringing an entertaining brand of hockey to the Alberni Valley and continuing to help young athletes improve.” “Having Joe Martin join us in Port Alberni is a major win for our program,” says David Michaud. “I’ve seen first-hand during my time in Penticton the type of teams Joe Martin can deploy. Joe has also demonstrated an ability to move his athletes on to the next level. Our club is very lucky to have Joe and his family join us in our pursuit of becoming an elite program in the BCHL.” The Bulldogs are proud to welcome Joe and his family to Port Alberni.
Upson Commits To Warriors:
The West Kelowna Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the commitment of forward Ryan Upson(‘01) for the 2019-2020 season. Upson, 18, spent the past three seasons with West Vancouver Academy of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League(CSSHL). The West Vancouver native was able to rack up 18 goals and 42 assists in only 32 games played in his 17 year old season with the West Van Academy Prep squad. “Ryan is going to have a bright future with us here in West Kelowna”, said Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Brandon West. “He’s had three great seasons of development at the West Van Academy under Steve Marr and we look forward to continuing that here. Ryan is a 200 foot player that competes hard and plays the game the right way. He has produced every season through midget and has a skill set that will compliment his linemates well.” The 5’11 170 pound forward played nine games as an affiliate of Vernon Vipers in the 2018-19 season registering an assist, but still decided to commit to the Warriors. “Coach West coming to West Kelowna this year was the reason why I committed here”, stated Upson. “I’ve heard great things about Brandon West through others guys in the league and I think next years to come will be super exciting hockey in West Kelowna.” Like most 18 year old’s coming into the BCHL, Upson focused on tweaking his game and developing into a two way forward, “I always try to shape my game to be the best well rounded player I can be.” Upson didn’t shy away from thanking the people that helped him grow over the years, “My parents are the first ones I want to thank, they helped me so much in my life. I also want to thank my Coach Steve Marr who has helped mold me into the player I am today.” The Warriors would like to welcome Ryan and his family to the City of West Kelowna and the Warriors organization.
McPhalen Returns To Clippers As Assistant Coach / Director of Spring Hockey Development:
The Nanaimo Clippers announced today that Ken McPhalen has agreed to return to the Nanaimo Clippers Hockey Club as Assistant Coach / Director of Spring Hockey Development. McPhalen joined the Clippers in early 2018 to help on the bench with Head Coach Darren Naylor and has been instrumental in getting the Nanaimo Clippers Spring Development Programs up and gong with the Little Rascals. “Ken and I have worked together for a number of years and his strengths help my weakness and vice versa” mentioned Darren Naylor, Head Coach of the Clippers “He will continue to help with developing our goaltenders and has been huge asset in our first year of Spring Development.” The Clippers would like to thank and welcome back Ken.
Grizzlies Prospect Lights Up Midget Prep Hockey League:
At 98 pounds Sean Ramsay was just too small for bantam rep ice hockey. Cut from the Racquet Club squad he wanted to be on, the Saanich resident didn’t give up. The next year he grew a little and switched to Juan de Fuca where he played bantam AAA. Initially there was disappointment, but in hindsight Ramsay said he can’t blame anyone. And all indications are he’ll be a BCHL regular with the Victoria Grizzlies who committed to him for the 2019-20 season. “I did end up scoring lots of points on JdF, but at Racquet Club it might have been hard for them to make the decision. I was pretty light, and [bantam] is the first year of physical contact,” Ramsay said. Ramsay recently broke the single season scoring record for the midget prep Pacific Coast Hockey Academy in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League. The previous record was held by Holden Kodak, currently with the WHL Kootenay Ice, who had 92 points in 35 games. Ramsay broke the record on Jan. 6 in Delta and now has 45 goals, and 94 points in 33 games. It’s enough to get him on the radar of a number of NCAA Div. 1 schools. “I’ve talked to a few, they’ll be watching to see how I develop and perform in Junior A,” Ramsay said. He’s also sprouted to 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, big enough for Junior A, and still growing. Nonetheless, the late growth was a factor. Ramsay elected to play an extra year in the midget prep Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) and just turned 18. He’s in Grade 12 at Belmont, and is on the ice five times a week with his academy at West Hills arena. He’s also played three games as an affiliate with the Grizzlies this year and though he didn’t put up any points, Grizzlies coach and general manager Craig Didmon isn’t worried. “He’ll be a good player for us, we’re committed to having him in a uniform for next year and hopefully to get him in some games down the stretch here,” Didmon said. “He is a late bloomer in the top age group for [CSSHL] so he’s expected to score but he has a good skill set. It’s another jump to Junior A but he should be able to make it.” In the meantime, the Grizzlies are talent-laden with four NHL ranked players – including BCHL’s top scorer Alex Newhook – making it a hard roster for a local to crack. Only five of the Grizz regulars are listed from Victoria this year. “I’ve been following the Grizzlies this year, I know they have a chance to make a run in the playoffs,” Ramsay said, adding “I’ve been looking forward to playing for them next year.” In the CSSHL Ramsay centres a line with local wingers Kyle Brown (80 points) and Gabe Schovanek (73 points). Respectively the trio are first, third and fourth in CSSHL scoring. All three are 2001-born players in their final year of midget prep and like Ramsay, Brown and Schovanek have also been offered spots into the BCHL next year. Ultimately, Ramsay seeks a spot playing hockey in college, something his dad Ian, once a Nanaimo Clipper, did with the University of Denver Pioneers in the early 1980s. “For success, I just need to put in the effort and work out more, I’m at five workouts a week right now,” Ramsay said. “Coaches Mark Kosic and Mike Stutzel [with PCHA] have been excellent.”
Good Commits To Chilliwack Chiefs For 2020-21 Season:
The Chilliwack Chiefs are proud to announce the commitment of 2002-born Abbotsford native, Dawson Good for the 2020-21 BCHL season. Dawson is a 5’11” 175 lb Forward that will suit up for his second stint with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the BCMML during the 2019-20 season. As an affiliate player with the Chiefs last year, Dawson racked up 17 goals, 34 assists for 51 points in just 39 games as a key offensive contributor for Peter Hay’s MML Thunderbirds. He also saw game action with the Chiefs and recorded 1 assist in two games while playing regular minutes including some time on the Powerplay. During the upcoming season Dawson will be heavily involved with the Chiefs, practicing and training regularly on-top of his regular schedule with the T-Birds. Chiefs fans can also look forward to seeing Dawson play again as an affiliate player this upcoming season before joining the Chiefs full-time as an 18 year old during the 2020-21 BCHL season. “As a staff we are very excited to be a part of the development plan for Dawson Good. There is no doubt in my mind that Dawson could be a regular contributor at the BCHL level this season, but Dawson has made the mature and educated decision to take one more season to focus on his studies as well as gaining strength as he prepares for his BCHL career.” said Chiefs Associate Coach/Assistant GM Brad Rihela “Dawson is a character kid that comes from a great family, and this development plan will suit him well as he progresses as a player and person. We are lucky to be able to welcome Dawson and his family to the Chilliwack Chiefs.”
Centennials Name Wolfe New Head Coach-GM:
Neil Menard President of the Merritt Centennials is pleased to announce the next head coach and general manager in franchise history: Barry Wolff. Wolff assumes the role left vacant by departing Head Coach/GM Joe Martin, and will begin immediately. Wolff spent last season with the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders and led the team to a second place finish in the regular season with a record of 42-13-3. He followed that up by taking the Stampeders all the way to the MJHL finals losing in overtime in game 7 to the Portage Terriers. Originally from Kelowna, Wolff comes to the Centennials with 24 years of junior hockey coaching experience, primarily in the BCHL. His last posting in the BCHL was with the Coquitlam Express from 2013 to 2017 where he served as Head Coach and General Manager. He won the BCHL Championship with the Express in the 2013-2014 season, and was a part of the coaching staff of Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge on four separate occasions, winning gold in 2015. Director of Hockey Operations Brian Barrett says that out of the 50+ applications the team received, Wolff’s stood above the rest. “He has a wealth of experience, he’s won wherever he’s gone, he’s a good recruiter, and I know he has a hard work ethic, and he’ll give his all for this club.” New Head Coach and GM Wolff says he’s excited to be a part of the Centennials organization. “It’s the oldest franchise in the BCHL, there’s a lot of tradition there and I’m just excited to be a part of it.” Wolff adds that he looks forward to getting down to business right away. “I think the first job is to go over the personnel the team has. What the needs are, and start looking for the players that will give us the best chance to win.” Wolff will get a chance to survey new players at the team’s Summer Camp in Abbotsford from June 7th – 9th.
Webber Commits To Penticton Vees:
The Penticton Vees are excited to announce 2001-born defenceman Cade Webber has committed to the team for the 2019-20 season. Webber, from Meadville, Pennsylvania, comes to Penticton with imposing size, listed at 6’6’’ and 194 pounds. Webber spent the majority of the 2018-19 season playing for The Rivers School prep team in Weston, Massachusetts, scoring 12 goals and adding 14 assists in 29 games. He was a member of Team USA at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup which was held in Red Deer and Edmonton. He recorded two assists in five games. Webber was recently ranked 87th by NHL Central Scouting amongst North American skaters heading into the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver. He will join his teammates for training camp at the South Okanagan Events Centre in mid-August.
Riddett Commits To Surrey Eagles:
The Surrey Eagles are excited to announce the commitment of 2001-born forward Kenny Riddett to the team for the upcoming 2019-20 BCHL season. Riddett joins the Eagles from the North Jersey Avalanche AAA hockey program. Riddett, who hails from Fishkill, New York, finished the year among the top scorers on his team, totalling 18 goals and 42 points in 47 games this past season. He is described by Eagles head coach and associate general manager Cam Keith as a speedy forward with game-breaking offensive ability. Speaking in an interview with SurreyEagles.ca, Riddett noted the emphasis that the Avalanche coaches place on the defensive side of the game – which helped him develop into a responsible two-way player. “I’m defensively minded first. The Avalanche program is known for having very good offence, but we focus on defence first – it’s a really strong point. The BCHL is very fast-paced and skilled, and I think a lot of Avalanche players are used to playing that way.” Current Eagles Corey Clifton and Cole Edgerton both played for the Avalanche as well, and have given Riddett information about the BCHL. This close connection to the league and many of its current players made his decision to come to Surrey an easy one. “I talked to Cole. I asked him about Surrey and he said he loves it there. He said the area is beautiful and the team was very welcoming when he came in. I’m very excited to see it for myself. Personally I can’t wait to play on the Olympic ice surface. It will give me more room to use my speed and use my vision so I can make plays for my teammates. I’m very excited about that.” Although his specific role on the team wasn’t discussed, he is very confident that he will be able to find his way into coach Keith’s offensive structure. Despite his smaller stature, he made it clear that he doesn’t let it affect his aggressive playing style. “I won’t back down from anybody,” Riddett said with confidence. “Martin St.Louis has always been a big influence for me. I’ve always looked up to him.” If he can bring some of that Marty St. Louis style of play to the Eagles, it’s easy to see him becoming a fan favourite at South Surrey Arena. More importantly for Riddett, like most other BCHLers, coming to Surrey is about taking the next step towards achieving his goal of reaching the NCAA. “Playing college hockey is the ultimate goal for a lot of guys, including myself. My dream is to get an education while playing hockey. I think there’s nothing better than that.”
Costello Commits To Smoke Eaters:
The Trail Smoke Eaters Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce forward Braden Costello (’00) has committed to the team for the 2019/20 season. Costello, 19, joins the Smoke Eaters after spending parts of the last three seasons in the United States Hockey League (USHL) playing with the Des Moines Buccaneers and Green Bay Gamblers. The 6’2”, 201-pound forward suited up for 72 games with the Buccaneers after being the team’s 2nd overall pick in the 2016 USHL Futures Draft, scoring 11 goals and 7 assists for 18 points to go along with 32 penalty minutes. Wrapping up the 2018/19 campaign in Green Bay, Costello tallied 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points in 43 games with the Gamblers to go along with 31 penalty minutes. The Grand Forks, North Dakota played his high school hockey with Grand Forks Red River where he amassed 53 goals and 51 assists for 104 points in just 54 games played. His play landed him a commitment to his hometown school as Costello is slated to join the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks after his junior hockey career has concluded. Costello also took part in the highly-regarded CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo, New York, playing alongside current National Hockey Leaguer’s in Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to bring a player like Braden into our lineup for this season,” commented Smoke Eaters General Manager and Head Coach Jeff Tambellini, “Braden brings everything we are looking to add for the identity of our team this season, he’s a big power forward that adds plenty of size and skill to our team and is going to a great school in the University of North Dakota.” The Smoke Eaters would like to welcome Braden and his family to the organization as well as the City of Trail.
Hutchison Returns To Vees:
The Penticton Vees are excited to announce 2000-born defenceman Conner Hutchison will return to the Vees for the 2019-20 season. Hutchison, from Hicksville, New York, was a rookie last season with the Vees scoring two goals and adding eight assists in 22 games. His season was cut short due to an injury suffered November 10 against the Trail Smoke Eaters. The injury came at a frustrating time for Hutchison as he was just starting to round into form in his first BCHL season. He recorded nine points in the 13 games leading up to the injury. The puck-moving defenceman is committed to the University of Vermont upon the completion of his junior career.
Mangiacasale Leaves Nanaimo Clippers: