Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sleeth Named Most Sportsmanlike:

This is on the Vernon Vipers twitter account & facebook page:


Mar 26, 2020

On Day 3 of our Awards we give out our Most Sportsmanlike Award.

With just 18 minutes in penalties all year long in 57GP… The winner of the most sportsmanlike award…is Connor Sleeth (@ConnorSleeth16) #OneGoal

Monday, March 30, 2020

Mercer Commits To Vernon Vipers:

This is on CrossIce Developments twitter account:

CrossIce Developments

Mar 15, 2020

Some positive news on this sad day!
Congratulations to CrossIce client ETHAN MERCER on signing with the @VernonVipers of the BCHL! The Vipers are adding a high quality person and athlete to their program. Always the first one on the ice & last one off! Now for the real work! #D1

Ethan Mercer's Player Profile:

Sunday, March 29, 2020

NHL 20 Playoff Simulation: Vipers vs. Vees

This is posted on the BCHL website:

Players, teams launch NHL 20 simulation of Shaw BCHL Playoffs

March 26, 2020 

Due to the disappointment felt across the league after the Shaw BCHL Playoffs were cancelled, the BCHL has partnered with its players and its teams to create a simulation of the remainder of the postseason using EA Sports NHL 20.

After the eight remaining BCHL playoff teams were created in the game, each team selected a player rep to go head-to-head in an online contest which decided the winner of their would-be second round series.

The Round 2 matchups and their player reps are:

  • Coquitlam Express (Joe Howe) vs. Surrey Eagles (Hassan Akl)

  • Nanaimo Clippers (Josh Kagan) vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals (Nolan Barrett)

  • Penticton Vees (Conner Hutchison) vs. Vernon Vipers (Trey Taylor)

  • Trail Smoke Eaters (Kent Johnson) vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks (Ethan Langenegger)

Rather than live-streaming a full series, the league has compiled highlights of the games using calls from the BCHL broadcasters as well as videos submitted by the player reps.

“We were looking for a way to keep our fans engaged during this unfortunate downtime and we think this initiative accomplishes just that,” said BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb. “By involving our players and our broadcasters in the project and creating our teams in the NHL 20 video game, we’ve tried to make it a fun and unique BCHL experience for everyone to enjoy.”

NHL 20 Playoff Simulation: Vipers vs. Vees

March 29, 2020 

One of the fiercest rivalries in the BCHL is renewed as Trey Taylor and the Vernon Vipers faceoff against Conner Hutchison and the Penticton Vees in Round 2 of the NHL 20 BCHL Playoffs Simulation, powered by Shaw.

Tanaka-Campbell Awarded Bill Brown Award:

This is posted on the Vernon Vipers twitter account & facebook page:

Vernon Vipers

Mar 25 

Its Day 2 of the Vipers Awards!  Today we award the Bill Brown Award for Academic Excellence

This player not only exemplifies hard work and excellence on the ice, but off the ice as well.

Your winner...JoJo Tanaka-Campbell #OneGoal

Saturday, March 28, 2020

On This Day In Vernon Vipers History:

Eleven years ago today (March 28th 2009) In Game 6 of the Interior
division Finals best of seven series vs the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Vernon Vipers forward Connor Jones scores three goals in a 3-1 win over the hometown Silverbacks. Andrew Hammond made 30 saves in the win, while Bryan Gillis made 36 saves in the loss in front of 2,108 fans at the Shaw Centre. With the win, Vernon wins the best of seven series 4-2 and advance to the BCHL League Finals vs the Powell River Kings.

Boxscore-Game Summary,


Connor Jones Player Profile:


COVID-19 Update:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

COVID-19 update: Mar. 27

March 27, 2020 

To our valued fans:

As we navigate the many problems that are presented by the COVID-19 crisis, the BCHL would like to assure our fans that we are working diligently to not just survive, but to thrive, when hockey returns. With this in mind, we have presented an action plan to our Board of Governors that was unanimously endorsed and, as a result, our League will be doing everything in its power to continue the amazing 59-year legacy of the best Junior A hockey league in the country – the BCHL.

We have a lot to look forward to next year. For the 2019-20 season alone, we already have a record 163 players committed to NCAA Division I programs and our total of 166 players committed to Canadian and American programs combined are just three short of our league record, with many more to come.

We are truly one of the greatest pipelines to a hockey career, or any other kind of career for that matter, that our young men can aspire to. While we help players get an education, our teams occupy positions of pride, service and financial impact in their communities. Looking ahead to next season, the current 17 communities will be joined by another, as the Cranbrook Bucks will join the league as our 18th team, opening up the East Kootenays as another market.

We also have every intention of taking the League on the road next year, as we did with the BCHL Road Show in Kitimat just over a month ago on Family Day long weekend. On top of that, we expect that we will have yet another great Showcase Festival in Salmon Arm next season, just as we did last October.

Sadly, we were not able to finish our playoff run this spring, but that just means it is going to make next season’s playoffs doubly exciting as we intend to have 16 teams competing for the Fred Page Cup, as well as a berth in the Centennial Cup National Championship which will be hosted by Penticton.

With all that said, it’s clear we will be very busy in the months ahead and we hope you can join us for what may be the greatest season our League has ever seen, when hockey comes back. And it will come back.

As a fan of the BCHL and of the game of hockey, we would like to thank you for your continued support during these challenging times. Without our fans, the BCHL wouldn’t exist and we are driven to continue to provide you with content and entertainment during this downtime and we’d like to assure you that we will back stronger than ever when this crisis passes. We are also committed to keeping our fans up to date on COVID-19 and how it affects our league during this extended offseason with regular updates on our website, social media and newsletter.

One of those initiatives we have recently launched is our EA Sports NHL 20 simulation of the BCHL Playoffs. We’ve put a player from each team from the eight playoff teams that remained when the season was cancelled and had them faceoff in NHL 20 to decide a simulated winner of the Fred Page Cup. We’ve packaged these series into highlight reels and included BCHL broadcaster calls and videos of the participating players.

You can learn more about the initiative here.

You can also view the highlights from the simulated Coquitlam vs. Surrey series here as well as the simulated Nanaimo vs, Cowichan series here.

The Round 2 Interior Division matchups will go live over the weekend, Round 3 will take place the following week and the simulated Fred Page Cup will take place on Thursday, Apr. 9.

The virus has pressed pause on our League, and on most of the world, for the time being, but when the game returns, we will be there for you and your players with a vengeance.

We can’t wait until the next puck-drop and we hope to have you alongside us when it happens!

Friday, March 27, 2020

On This Day In Vernon Vipers History:

Eleven years ago today (March 27th 2009) In Game 5 of the Interior division Finals in the best of seven series vs the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Vernon Vipers forward Rob Short scored two third period goals, while Andrew Hammond stopped all 43 Salmon Arm shots for the shutout in a 3-0 Vipers win in front of 3,306 fans at the Wesbild Centre. With the win Vernon took a 3-2 series lead, would eventually win the series the following night with a 3-1 win in Game 6 in Salmon Arm. The Vipers would advance to the BCHL League Finals vs the Powell River Kings.

Boxscore-Game Summary,


Andrew Hammond's Player Profile:


Kowalski Awarded Top Scorer Award:

This is on the Vernon Vipers twitter account & facebook page:

Vernon Vipers

Mar 24 2020

Its Vipers Awards time!!  We will be announcing one award winner per day for the next two weeks celebrating these great accomplishments!

First up the top scorer award.  This player brought you to your feet many times...

This year's top scorer...Matt Kowalski #OneGoal

Thursday, March 26, 2020

On This Day In Vernon Vipers History:

Ten years ago today (March 26th 2010) In Game 5 of the Interior division
Finals in the best of seven series vs the Penticton Vees, The hometown Vipers were looking to advance to the BCHL League Finals with a win. Vernon took a 2-0 lead into the 3rd period on goals from Dylan Walchuk & Cole Ikkala. Beau Bennett & Joey Holka tied the game for Penticton in the 3rd period forcing overtime. Vees forward/captain Denver Manderson scored at 7:14 of the third overtime, keeping the visiting Penticton Vees season alive with a 3-2 triple overtime win in front of 2,815 fans at Wesbild Centre. Sean Bonar made 61 saves in the win, while Graeme Gordon made 60 saves in the loss. With the win the Vees force a Game 6 in Penticton with Vernon leading the series 3-2. The Vipers would win Game 6 in Penticton 4-1 winning the series 4-2 and advance to the BCHL League Finals vs the Powell River Kings.

Boxscore-Game Summary,


Denver Manderson's Player Profile:


Denver Manderson's triple overtime winning goal,


Vernon Vipers Yearly Attendance Graph:

This is posted on Hockeydb.com

Vernon Vipers Yearly Attendance Graph

Leagues -> BCHL -> Vernon Vipers -> Attendance

This is a graph of the home attendance of the Vernon Vipers, a hockey team playing in the British Columbia Hockey League from 1995 to 2020. Attendance is based on numbers from a team or league, either released as an official yearly per-game average figure, or compiled into an average from individual boxscore attendance. In some cases when boxscore attendance is unavailable for a small number of games, the attendance is computed omitting the missing games and annotated as approximate.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

On This Day In Vernon Vipers History:

Nine years ago today (March 25th 2011) In Game 6 of the Interior division Finals in the best of seven series vs the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Vernon Vipers forward Dylan Walchuk scores four goals in a 5-4 Vipers win in Salmon Arm. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 28-21 Kirby Halcrow made 17 saves in the win, while Kris Moore made 23 saves in the loss in front of 1,590 fans at the Shaw Centre. With the win Vernon wins the series 4-2 and advances to the BCHL League Finals vs the Powell River Kings. Former Vernon Lakers/Vipers forward/captain Jeff Cheeseman holds the Vernon franchise record for most playoff goals in one game, with six back in 1996 in a 6-4 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Boxscore-Game Summary,


Dylan Walchuk's Player Profile:


Vipers Alumni Gedig Leaves Huskies:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Curtis Gedig has left the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Kassel Huskies for health reasons.

The Huskies are a professional ice hockey team based in Kassel, Hesse, Germany that play in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga Hockey League.

Gedig was in his first season with the Huskies after signing a contract December 23rd 2019. Gedig went pointless in two games.

Gedig played last season with the Fischtown Pinguins. The Pinguins are also known as REV Bremerhaven are a professional ice hockey team based in Bremerhaven, Germany. They currently play in DEL2,[2] the second level of ice hockey in Germany.

Gedig signed with the Pinguins in May 2018 only played one season in Fischtown, had two assists in fourteen games last year. Gedig played the previous season with the Stavanger Oilers. The Oilers are a Norwegian ice hockey team based in Stavanger, Norway. In 45 games with the Oilers Gedig collected (14-goals-18-assists-32-points).

After four years at Ohio State University (2010-2014) Gedig signed an amateur tryout agreement with the American Hockey League (AHL) Albany Devils on April 4th 2014. Gedig never played a game with the Devils would sign his first professional contract with the American Hockey League (AHL) Adirondack Flames in October 2014. Gedig attended the Calgary Flames 2014 training camp before being released-assigned to the Adirondack Flames. The past four seasons Gedig has played in three different leagues (ECHL, Norway & NLB) with four different teams (Colorado Eagles, Stjernen hockey, EHC Olten & the Stavanger Oilers).

Gedig played parts of one season in Vernon (2009-10) after being acquired from the Cowichan Valley Capitals on November 25th 2009 for Nick Amies, Drew George & future considerations. In 30 games with the Vipers Gedig collected (5-goals-7-assists-12-points). Gedig was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in round 7 #204 overall in the 2009 NHL draft.

Curtis Gedig's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Huskies website:

Curtis Gedig leaves the Huskies


The defender returns in his native country for health reasons.

He goes with a smile: Curtis Gedig has left Kassel Huskies after only one month again. For the defender who carried for a short time the number 29 in Kassel it goes on Wednesday back to North America. There he can be looked extensively medically – and after complete recovery think about his sporty future.

„ Today I fly from Frankfurt to Seattle “, says Gedig on Wednesday before his departure. „ From there it further goes in my native country to Kelowna, Canada. “ There he will recover and the hockey season 2019/2020 allow to end, as well as allow to carry out thorough investigations and treatments in his aching knees.

Already before his obligation Gedig had been examined extensively and been treated in Kassel, however, after only two plays as a husky turned out: Thus it does not go. Thus he was examined intensely medically and was advanced about specific training to the cadre. However, nothing helped, indeed, the discomfort became less, however, a rest remained, for other applications it could not come. „ I am to the location Kassel awfully thankfully for the patience which they had with me. It is a great organization. “ And he looks back at his short blue-white time excited: „ The team is a great troop. They and the Staff behind the team have received me very openly. Here rules absolute champion-hip-mentality. “

Also Huskies coach Tim Kehler is fully of the praise for Gedig: “ The experience with Curtis here in Kassel was very positive. ” In his short time as a husky he has shown great character and full application for a return at the ice. “ Unfortunately he will not be able to help us in this season. However, thanks to our intensive relation I think that Kassel is his first choice, if are healthy enough he in future Kehler becomes for a return on the ice, ” thus further. And: „ We wish him in any case a good recovery at home in Kelowna “.

How it goes on sportily for Curtis Gedig, the future will point. He will hold the contact with Kassel and says: „ If I feel really good and try it with hockey again, then with pleasure here “.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

On This Day In Vernon Vipers History:

Nine years ago today (March 24th 2011) In Game 5 of the Interior division Finals in the best of seven series vs the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Vernon Vipers forward Aaron Hadley scores at 5:43 of overtime, giving the hometown Vipers a 3-2 overtime victory over the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Vernon outshot Salmon Arm 35-26 Kirby Halcrow made 24 saves in the win, while Kris Moore made 32 saves in the loss in front of 2,315 fans at Wesbild Centre. With the win Vernon takes a 3-2 series lead, would eventually win the series 4-2 and advance to the BCHL league finals vs the Powell River Kings.

Boxscore-Game Summary,


Aaron Hadley's Player Profile:


Vipers-Silverbacks Game 5 Highlight's,


A Stick Tap:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

A Stick Tap

March 23, 2020 

All of Junior Hockey was unexpectedly stopped recently.  In a heartbreaking, but logical decision Hockey Canada cancelled the remainder of the BCHL playoffs.  In doing so, the junior careers of 20 year old hockey players unceremoniously came to an end.  So here is a stick tap to the six 20 year old Vernon Vipers and their accomplishments.

Connor Marritt – #12 (Captain) – Kelowna, BC

What can you say about Connor Marritt?  A captain, a leader, a Viper.  There are a handful of players through the years that embody what it means to be a Viper.  Over 3 years (and 1 game as an AP) Connor suited up in 201 regular season and playoff games.  His 201st and final was a 3 point effort as his team eliminated the Wenatchee Wild in 5 games.

“It was an honour to be a part of such a prestigious franchise.” says Marritt.  “I grew up watching the Vipers play and to wear the ‘C’ was a childhood dream.”

He finished his career with 43 goals and 75 assists for 118 points.  The hard work his showed every night was a key reason Northern Michigan University had interest and committed to him for next season.

When asked about what it all means to him as he reflects on the conclusion of the Junior part of his career, “I was lucky enough to be placed in the perfect billet house and felt like a part of their family from day one.  Most of my cherished moments come from the bonds and friendships I have made.”

Connor finishes by saying, “I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who made my dream of being a Viper possible.”

Landon Fuller – #2 (Assistant Captain) – Williams Lake, BC

An intimidating opponent and fierce competitor on the ice, an absolute fan favourite and respectful young man off the ice.  Landon Fuller was the epitome of a hard nose player who was a loyal teammate who would drop the gloves, throw a big body check and as his final season would show, could score some timely goals.

He came to the Vipers for his final two seasons of Junior hockey and immediately fit in.  Last season he was a big component on the teams run to the Fred Page Cup Final and this season was the straw that stirred the drink.

“The past two years in Vernon was the most fun I’ve had in Junior hockey,” says the Williams Lake product.  “The memories I’ve gained with my time there is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

Fuller bounced a round during his career starting with Tri-City of the WHL before splitting a season with Salmon Arm and Surrey.  He would spend a season in Coquitlam before being acquired early in the 2018-19 season by the Vipers.  He is a veteran of 237 games split between the dub and the BCHL.  He finished his career with 15 goals and 29 assists.  10 of those goals came in his final season.

He thanks his teammates, coaches, billet families and all the Vernon fans for making his experience a great one.

When asked what he’ll miss most…”I will miss coming to the rink everyday with my teammates and play the game we love.  But I am happy I was able to finish my junior career in Vernon.”

Dawson Holt – #16 (Assistant Captain) – Regina, SK

You never know what you’re going to get when a 20 year old WHL player come into the fold.  In Dawson Holt’s case, the Vipers couldn’t have been happier with what they received.  An absolute force in the face off circle, while shorthanded, on the powerplay and every all around category.

“Coming into the Vipers organization, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but from top to bottom it was a class organization and I am so grateful for my time as a Viper,” says Holt.  “I can’t thank my teammates, coaches, billets, owners and all the fans for making my last year of junior the best one yet.”

He finished the season with 23 goals and 24 assists in the regular season before adding another 9 points in the playoffs.  Between his time in the WHL and BCHL he accumulated 283 games played.

When asked about the final stretch and the unexpected end of the season, “It’s extremely sad it had to end the way it did, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to play in Vernon.

Jackson Caller – #5 – Kamloops, BC

A team doesn’t have success without a solid, dependable and physical presence on your blueline.  Jackson Caller checked all those boxes and a bit more when he joined the group from the WHL.  His passion and preparation did wonders for the younger Vipers who realized quickly what it took to be junior hockey players.

“I’ve learned so much and it’s been an experience of a lifetime,” says the Kamloops native.  “I’m just very grateful to have had the opportunity to play junior hockey at a high level.  They’ve been the best years of my life.”

Caller was also able to contribute offensively as well scoring a career high 5 goals and contributing with 12 assists.  Two of those goals came on the power play.  He was essentially an iron man for the team getting into all 55 regular season games and 5 playoff games.  He finishes his junior career with 277 career games played.

“I give thanks to all of the people involved during my career from coaches, billets, teammates and family, but most of all my parents.  I couldn’t have done it without them.”

A quote that Jackson keeps close to him comes from a movie you may be familiar with.  “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

Connor Sleeth – #15 – Markham, ONT

Every junior hockey player is looking for an opportunity at the next step, that was most definitely the case for Connor Sleeth who joined the Vipers after playing for the Kanata Lasers in the CCHL.  Sleeth rang up 74 points with the Lasers and hoped to build that into a scholarship.

The Markham Ontario product took those skills and applied them to be a solid force in the faceoff circle and a great ability of shutting down the opposition.  Most importantly was the chance to play in front of a fan 
base as great as Vernons.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys or organization to spend my final year of Junior hockey,”  says Sleeth.  “It wasn’t the ending we all imagined but the memories and friends that were made this year will last a life time.

Sleeth was as close to an iron man as it comes playing in all but one regular season game and all 5 post season games.  The one he missed was due to an unfortunate suspension for the 2nd goalie interference penalty back in September.  He was durable, hard working at and the end of the year able to find the scoring touch with 2 goals in the playoffs.  A nice cap to a nice junior career.

In closing he says, “Thank you to the staff, fans, billets and my teammates for the best year of my life.”

Matt Kowalski – #7 – Vernon, BC

One of the more gifted players we’ve seen in a long time, Matt Kowalski had the opportunity few ever get and thats to finish their junior career playing for the team he grew up watching.  Learning from former captain Jagger Williamson and embracing each and every moment.

Kowalski led the Vipers in offense including an extraordinary 17 game point streak, which flew past his previous career high.

“It felt pretty amazing to look around and see friends and family in the crowd cheering us all on,” says Matt.

When asked about big moments, “The teddy bear toss games were phenomenal.  Setting up Jaggy for his first teddy bear toss goal in his last year.  He wanted it so bad it felt good to be a part of that moment for him, then to put it home in my last year was really special.”

But the moments didn’t stop there.  It was obvious from the start of the season a bond with JoJo Tanaka-Campbell and younger brother Seiya.  “It was a pretty cool thing to set up JoJo and Seiya’s first goals for their career.”

Who could forget the “Michigan” or “lacrosse-style” goal that brought the fans to their feet.

Kowalski’s final year saw him finish 6th in the BCHL in scoring with 26 goals and 36 assists for 62 points.  He was also the only Viper to have played in all 58 regular season games.

This year was to be a year of 2nd chances as he shared with us, “It was a pretty wild time getting to the finals after being traded here and it was unfortunate to see what I thought could’ve been another fun run come to the way it did.”

To all the 20 year olds, a stick tap, and all the best in the future.  Once a Viper, always a Viper.

Monday, March 23, 2020

On This Day In Vernon Vipers History:

Fifteen years ago today (March 23rd 2005) In Game 4 of the 1st round of
the BCHL playoffs in the best of seven series vs the Penticton Vees, Vernon Vipers forward/captain Mark Nelson scores his second goal of the game at 5:57 of the fourth overtime, giving the visiting Vipers a 3-2 overtime victory over the hometown Penticton Vees. Penticton outshot Vernon 64-63 Jon Olthuis made 62 saves in the win, while Corey Milan made 60 saves in the loss in front of 1,933 fans at the Memorial Arena. With the win Vernon wins the best of seven series 4-0 advanced to the Interior division Finals vs the Prince George Spruce Kings.

Boxscore-Game Summary,


Mark Nelson's Player Profile:


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:

Bentham Commits To Cranbrook Bucks:

The Cranbrook Bucks (BCHL) are happy to announce that they have committed to Rhys Bentham for the 2020-2021 season. Bentham has 11 points in 31 games as the captain of the Calgary Royals of the AMHL. The 17-year-old is in his second season with the Royals and has also suited up for 3 games with the Okotoks Oilers this season. “Rhys is a very intelligent and mobile defensemen who brings a lot to the table. His leadership and character fit the mould of our vision for this team.” Said Owner and President Nathan Lieuwen. Bentham joins fellow defensemen Owen Forfellow and forward Noah Leibl as the 3 players currently on the Buck’s roster for their inaugural season.

Draper Commits To Chilliwack Chiefs:

The Chilliwack Chiefs are proud to announce they have received a commitment from 2002 born forward Kienan Draper for the 2020-21 BCHL Season. Draper, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is currently suiting up at St.Andrews College in Aurora, Ontario. The 6’1, 185 pound power forward will come to Chilliwack having already secured his NCAA future, as he will suit up for the Miami Redhawks in the NCHC. Growing up in Detroit, Draper played the majority of his hockey for the prestigious Little Caesars program. “Kienan is a player we have scouted heavily over the past season, and we are extremely fortunate to be able to call him a Chief. He is a character individual that brings a heavy brand of hockey with him, as well as an ability to put the puck in the net.” Said Chiefs Associate Coach and Assistant GM Brad Rihela. “As a staff, we felt strongly right from the get-go that Kienan Draper met all of the criteria for us. He processes the play extremely well, creates space for himself and his linemates, and has a high level of skill for a player with his size.” Said Chiefs Head Coach and General Manager Brian Maloney. “He will be a key part of our future here in Chilliwack, and we are extremely happy to welcome him and his family to the Chilliwack Chiefs organization.” When Kienan was asked about choosing to come to Chilliwack, he spoke to their winning culture as a main component in his decision. “I am happy and proud to be joining the Chilliwack Chiefs. Excited to become a part of the winning culture they have sustained over the past few seasons. I feel this is a great organization for me to continue my development as a hockey player. Go Chiefs!” Welcome to Chilliwack, Kienan and family!

Merritt Centennials: Graduating Players & Eligible Returnees:

With the 2019-20 BCHL season officially done for one of the circuits’s 17 teams, anticipation is building for next season already.

With future considerations from this season’s trades potentially turning into players, plus recruiting and players moving on due to age or college commitments, there’s no shortage of work to be done before the 2020-21 season starts in September.

As each team’s season comes to an end, we’ll break down what all 17 teams are looking at roster-wise heading into the off-season. These numbers will likely change as players move to other leagues like the WHL, USHL, or NAHL, drop down to junior B, are included in trades, retire, or wind up committing to college before September and don’t return to their BCHL clubs.

The depth chart is based on coaches going with a 23-man roster of 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders. First up is the only BCHL team to not make the playoffs – the Merritt Centennials.

The Centennials have two players in goaltender Ryan Winter and forward Rylan Van Unen who have aged out of junior, while forward Payton Matsui is off to play NCAA hockey for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Cents GM and head coach Derek Sweet-Coulter has eight players eligible to return up front, five on the blueline and Tanner Marshall in goal.

Graduating Players

Ryan Winter (aged out)
Rylan Van Unen (aged out)
Payton Matsui (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)

Eligible Returnees

(* indicates an open spot – assuming the team goes with 13 forwards and 8 defencemen)


Thomas Manty (00)
Daniel Tkac (00)
Chase Nameth (00)
Christian Buono (00)
Evan Benwell (00)
Hunor Torzsok (00)
Ben Ward (01)
Jerzy Orchard (01)
Josh Van Unen (01)
Jake McLean (02)


Talon Zakall (02)
Brophy Dunne (02)
Wyatt Marlow (02)
Braydon Clarke (02)
Brody Johnston (03)
Chase Cooke (03)


Tanner Marshall (00)

Feaver, Willoughby & Moger Commit To Trail:

The Trail Smoke Eaters are proud to announce their first set of commitments for the 2020/21 season with forward Zack Feaver and defencemen Ethan Willoughby and Cameron Moger now members of the Trail Smoke Eaters. Zack Feaver joins the Smoke Eaters as three year veteran of the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the BC Major Midget League. The 18-year-old from Chilliwack, BC has captained the Thunderbirds this year to a 23-7-2 record while leading the team in scoring. Feaver sits third league wide with 41 points in 31 games. With 108 games played Feaver was a part of the 2017/18 Thunderbirds that won the BCMML Championship, while falling in the final last year to the Cariboo Cougars. Feaver has featured in two games this year for the Smoke Eaters,  AP’ing in early December in games against the Coquitlam Express and in front of his hometown Chilliwack Chiefs. “Zack is a guy who competes every shift with skill and toughness, he is a well rounded 200ft player who sees the ice really well and has a strong hockey IQ. Being the captain this year, Zack leads by example and quickly stood out as a player we wanted in our organization.” – Assistant General Manager Jeff Urekar Ethan Willoughby is also a member of the Thunderbirds as he joins his teammate Feaver as a Smoke Eaters for next year. Willoughby also from Chilliwack is in his first season with the Thunderbirds, the 17-year-old spent last season with Junior B side the Abbotsford Pilots of the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) before making the move to the Thunderbirds. As a member of the Pilots Willoughby was named to the PJHL Prospects team, where he represented the Harold Brittain Conference. As a Thunderbird he has three goals and nine assists this season as a defenceman, with four points being on the power play as a net front position for Fraser Valley. “One of the first thing that stands out about Ethan is his size and strength along with his character. On the ice Ethan is a smart player, he has a very simple game but he does everything extremely well, he’s got a great first pass and is a top shut down defenceman matching up against other teams top lines. One thing that I noticed is that following a game earlier this season, Zack and Ethan were on the bench grabbing sticks and water bottles, normally a task for rookies, but they stepped up to get the job done. We’re proud to bring that kind of character to our team” – Urekar Defenceman Cameron Moger, a member of the Okanagan Rockets joins the Smoke Eaters as the BCMML’s leading scorer for defenceman. The 17-year-old from Vernon, BC has 6 goals and 30 assists in 32 games this season for the Rockets.  Moger and the Rockets featured at the prestigious Mac’s Tournament in December where he had a goal and an assist as the Rockets went 3-1 in round robin play. Moger did feature once this season for the Smoke Eaters this year playing against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in November. Moger also comes from NHL Lineage, as his father Sandy Moger, played over 200 games in the NHL with the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings between 1994 and 1999. “Moger is physical and is difficult to play against. He sees the ice extremely well and makes high level plays both offensively and defensively. Watching him at the Mac’s tournament it was clear he was one of the best players on the ice. He’s got a strong Hockey IQ shows in his ability to distribute the puck.” – Urekar The Smoke Eaters are thrilled to welcome Zack Feaver, Ethan Willoughby and Cameron Moger to the City of Trail and the Smoke Eaters organization.

Jugnauth Commits To West Kelowna Warriors:

The West Kelowna Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the commitment of blue liner Tyson Jugnauth(‘04) for the 2020-21 season. Jugnauth has tallied 5 goals and 19 assists in only 28 games played with the Okanagan Rockets(BCMML). “Tyson is an elite skater and passer with a high quality IQ,” said Warriors Head Coach Simon Ferguson. “We are excited to have the opportunity to help develop Tyson and help him reach his potential. Tyson is a player who will make our team even better next year and for years to come.” Simon Ferguson coached Tyson Jugnauth with the Okanagan Rockets before taking the vacant Warriors Head Coach position. Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Jugnauth has spent the past 11 years in Kelowna. He was drafted in the first round of the Western Hockey League(WHL) Bantam Draft last spring, but ultimately elected to go play for his local BCHL team instead. “The BCHL excites me because it’s a high skill league which I think fits the way I play ,” said Jugnauth. “West Kelowna is attractive to me because of the new ownership under John Murphy, and Simon Ferguson as the Head Coach. The Warriors seem to be getting better as the year goes on and I want to be a part of the success this team will have in the future.” Jugnauth already has a handful of NCAA schools speaking to him. One of the main reasons Jugnauth selected the Warriors was to reunite with his former Head Coach Simon Ferguson. “I think Simon knows his players weaknesses and strengths. He plays them in the right situations and players work hard for Simon.” The Warriors would like to welcome Tyson and his family to the City of West Kelowna and the Warriors organization.

Cranbrook Bucks: Road to the BCHL (Pt.3)

The Cranbrook Bucks are the newest franchise in the BCHL and are set to begin play in September 2020, and MyEastKootenayNow.com has published a three-part series that is taking a deeper look into the league and the team as they near closer to their inaugural game. Part 3 of “Cranbrook Bucks: Road to the BCHL”, which concludes the series, takes a deep dive into the Cranbrook Bucks’ plans to improve fan experience, while Part 1 provided a look into the BCHL and Part 2 provided an overview of the team’s hockey operations. With the Cranbrook Bucks marking the return of Junior hockey in the community, the franchise is looking to provide the premier experience for fans in the entire BCHL. How the Bucks hope to do that is by installing a new video jumbotron at Western Financial Place, a key facility feature that was required when the Kootenay Ice were playing in the WHL, but now serves as a symbol of significant improvements and renovations to the Bucks’s home building. “Yes you want a good product, yes you want to have a great competitive team and these are all good things, but I think there is a lot of ways you can make that fan experience really exciting beyond that,” Nathan Lieuwen told MyEastKootenayNow.com, Majority Owner and President of the Cranbrook Bucks. The video board will have instant replay functionality, which will be simulcast into the luxury suites at Western Financial Place. Lieuwen said they’ve installed new flatscreen TVs in those suites, greatly adding to the overall experience at home games. “It just creates a whole other side to what people are watching, they can see what happened, on close calls, everyone can be in suspense watching what’s going on and reacting and it’s a whole other way for us to see the game.” With the video jumbotron, Lieuwen is in the process of securing a video team to operate the various cameras around the rink, playback the replays, and operate digital features on the screen such as a “kiss cam” among other jumbotron staples one would expect at a hockey game. The jumbotron will be installed over the summer when the ice is taken out, and will officially be in place before Training Camp. Western Financial Place will also be getting new boards and new glass to update the aesthetic of the facility, while the Cranbrook Bucks continue their significant renovations of the former Kootenay Ice dressing room and training room to make it uniquely their own space. Lieuwen said they have completely overhauled the coach’s room, are installing new cabinets and counters, updating the player stalls, and more, all with the aim of providing an efficient and professional environment. Besides the facility, the Cranbrook Bucks are also looking to improve fan experience when they are on the road. The BCHL utilizes HockeyTV as their place for online webcasts of every game. HockeyTV is also the home of most other Junior A leagues in Canada, the CSSHL (Canadian Sport School Hockey League), and other junior leagues in the United States. “It gives a lot of flexibility for fans to watch a lot of different hockey. I have an account now and I watch a ton of games on it and it’s a very smooth software that gives fans the ability not just to listen but to watch the game with some pretty good feeds in some different arenas.” Some games are available to watch for free, including some BCHL games, although the online service is worth $30 a month or $250 for the year for fans that are interested in having access to all of the Cranbrook Bucks games, among the other leagues featured on the site. Back inside the arena, Lieuwen said the Bucks will have a family-friendly face of the franchise at all of their home games and at community events. “We’re looking to bring in one mascot and just have that kind of be our staple, we want a mascot that really represents what we’re all about,” Lieuwen told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “I know it sounds silly, it’s just a mascot, but on the finer details we really want to make sure that it’s a unified effort as to what we’re trying to do here.” Lieuwen said the team’s mascot and name will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Following the announcement of the team in October 2019, the next biggest month for the Cranbrook Bucks is February 2020. The organization is officially making season tickets available to the general public on Saturday, February 1st and will be hosting a community event at Western Financial Place to commemorate the launch. Previous season ticket holders for the Kootenay Ice had until December 20, 2019, to claim their old season seats before the Bucks release the remaining seats to the public. “For a lot of people, they’ve been in those seats for 20 years, they’ve been loyal hockey fans here in Cranbrook and we want to appreciate that,” said Lieuwen. “That’s why we did that campaign and a lot of people were very grateful that we offered them that opportunity.” “Here come February 1st it opens up to everybody, there is a lot of good seats available. We’re really excited to get the rest of the community involved and really reach out at the people that were hockey fans but lost out on something along the way, whether it was price, or whether it was product, or whatever it was, we’re really excited to bring those fans back into the fold.” Early Bird Prices for Cranbrook Bucks season tickets are in effect from February 1st until March 13th, costing $350 for adults, $330 for seniors, and $160 for a child or student. Although, Lieuwen said all children under the age of 10 will have free admission to Cranbrook Bucks games as they want to build a family-friendly atmosphere. “We really just want to make this an environment where everyone from Cranbrook can feel apart of this big community. I’ve said it before, that we want this team to be a big family, and our fans are a big part of that family, our community is a big part of that family, our corporate sponsors and partners are a big part of this family and all we really want to do is bring our whole family here and have a great time.” While the Bucks continue to check off all the boxes and complete their running checklist ahead of their opening game in September 2020, the team is taking inquiries and building lists of volunteers for different jobs, billets for the players, among other positions and roles. Lieuwen said the team is openly taking phone calls and emails from the public and that any questions can be sent to info@cranbrookbucks.ca or phoned into 250-426-8889.