Sunday, May 31, 2020

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:

Roloson Commits To Kings:

The Powell River Kings are pleased to announce the commitment of ’03 defensemen, Ross Roloson to the 2020-2021 roster. The 5’11, Woodbury, Minnesota native will join his brother Brett on the ice for the coming season, after playing in 35 game with the Northern Alberta Xtreme Prep of the CSSHL. Ross registered 4 goals and 30 assists while at NAX and he also suited up for 5 games with the Spruce Grove Saints in the AJHL. “Ross is a smooth skating, puck moving defensemen who has all the tools to excel in the BCHL and beyond,” says Kings Head Coach Brock Sawyer.  “He has a great stick and he thinks the game very well. Adding a young defenseman like Ross to our program is a big addition for us. He will complement our returning core and has the potential to be an elite player in the league for years to come.” Please join us in welcoming Ross to the Powell River Kings organization.

Bulldogs Continue To Roll With The Off-Season Punches:

As many have said, there isn’t a manual when it comes to what the Bulldogs and the rest of the BCHL are facing.  COVID-19 and the ensuing shutdown of the sports & entertainment world has made this off-season anything but normal.  Coming off the season the Bulldogs experienced, perhaps this latest set back is par for the course. “We’re doing what we can to make sure the business, and our club are healthy when we come out the other side of this” said club president David Michaud.  “It’s honestly meant some tough choices to keep us as lean as possible while the revenue has really all but dried up.  From a hockey perspective though, Joe Martin & Brandon Shaw have been relentless in their efforts to add to our strong returning core for next season.” The Bulldogs have committed to forwards Chase Klassen, Brandon Buhr, Adam Jeffrey, and Jacob MacDonald so far this spring.  With such a strong contingent returning, the Bulldogs are optimistic that their roster is taking shape to be a competitor for and Island Division crown. “We’re always working the phones” said Bulldogs general manager & head coach Joe Martin.  “We’re all in the same boat, so I think as a club we are doing whatever we can during this off-season to try and get a leg up.  Losing out spring camps has changed some things, but I think the work we have done so far this off-season has us feeling pretty good with where things are at.” Like all clubs in the BCHL, the Bulldogs are in a waiting game to hear from Hockey Canada and the provincial health authorities on what’s next.  The hope of course is that all the heavy lifting that has been done by the people of BC will see the virus settle down and allow things to get back to normal by the fall.  If however the “new” normal looks a little different than we’re used to, the Bulldogs are prepared to do whatever it takes. “We’re really preparing for all scenarios” said Michaud. “Time is on our side to prepare for not only life returning to normal, but building contingencies in case we need to alter our course.  As a league, we’re committed to doing what’s right for our players, our fans, and our businesses so that we’re as strong as ever for the day we can welcome our players back and the puck can drop for next season.”

Fred Harbinson Reflects On A Cancelled Season, Hopes Team Is Back ‘In Full Force’ In The Fall:

In 25 years of coaching hockey Penticton Vees head coach, Fred Harbinson, has never been in a situation like he found himself in on March 12, 2020 — when was he handed the difficult task of telling his team that the BCHL playoffs had been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier in the day, the team had finished what Harbinson called one of their best practices of the year. The coach would later call the team back to the rink to tell them it would also be their last practice of the year. “When I first started talking, I think a lot of them thought I was saying that it (the season) was going to be put on hold and as I continued to go on I think it started to sink in that what I was actually saying was that the season was over,” said Harbinson from his Penticton home. “It’s hard because for a lot of them that’s the way their junior hockey career ends and their time in Penticton ends. “There was a lot of different emotions that went into it. That day was tough.” The Western News recently caught up with Harbinson to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the Vees organization and players, the fate of the BCHL amid financial concerns, and how the Vees plan to build for next season. Harbinson has kept busy recruiting and scouting possible line-up additions for next season, albeit not in person. He’s spent an unprecedented amount of time watching hockey tapes due to the fact that he can no longer view players in person. “We’re still trying to build our roster with the anticipation that we’re going to be playing in the fall,” Harbinson said from his office filled with Vees’ memorabilia. In addition to scouting potential new players, Harbinson has also made a point to keep in touch with returning players. This week, he reached out to each returning player to make sure everyone is on the same page. “There’s some different things that have been thrown out there that could create a little bit of confusion about what’s happening next year and I just want to make sure that our guys have the proper message moving forward,” he said. One area that has presented a unique challenge for Harbinson and his coaching staff has been how to ensure players are keeping in the best shape possible given the time away from the gym and rink. “That’s one big difference from way back in the day when you had to keep your thumb on them (players) to make sure they’re doing their workouts. Nowadays, these guys all have their own trainers and personal skills coaches and all that stuff but obviously that’s all been put on hold,” said Harbinson. To combat the lack of resources, assistant coach Matt Fraser put together a workout program which assumed the players had nothing — no weights and no access to a gym. “Some guys obviously have stuff at their homes but we came up with a workout program that they could all do. So every few weeks we’re monitoring that and trying to switch it up and keep it as interesting as possible but it’s definitely a bigger challenge that what we’ve seen in the past,” said Harbinson. At the time of the cancellation, Harbinson’s club had just made easy work of the West Kelowna Warriors in the first round of the BCHL playoffs, winning the series in five games. Coming off an impressive 44-12-1-1 regular season, the team was poised to take a legitimate run at the franchise’s 13th Fred Page Cup. Harbinson, however, refutes that his team’s strong season made the cancellation any harder of a pill to swallow. “All the teams that were left in the playoffs had a chance to win,” said the Vees coach of 13 years. “That’s what makes our league so great right now is the parody of so many teams that can beat each other and in the playoffs, you never know. “But it did hurt because we had lost early in the playoffs the year before so the whole year we were trying to redeem ourselves and we had a heck of a year.” Harbinson admits that the 2018-19 Penticton Vees roster had holes that were exploited in the playoffs, despite a successful regular season. But this year he was confident his team had all the right pieces to go on a deep playoff run.  “We had the goaltending, we had a solid defensive core, we could score, and we could play physical. We were a lot like we were in 2017 where we could beat you different ways except we had more talent this year.” Most importantly, each player on the team was 100 per cent committed no matter their role, said Harbinson.  “Whenever I’ve had championship teams here you have to have that and this year we had that total buy-in,” said the four-time BCHL Championship winner. With the 2019-20 season officially over, the Penticton Vees organization has shifted gears to preparing for the upcoming season. However, there is a chance that the league may not look the same once it returns. With the bulk of BCHL profits coming from ticket sales, the league is experiencing financial hardships due to lost revenue from the season’s cancellation. The league recently reached out to the provincial government to request financial help and while unlikely at this time there is concern that some teams may fold. Harbinson was quick to extinguish these concerns, citing the fact that people have speculated that certain teams could go under for years yet they “always find a way” to survive. Harbinson thinks the league asking for financial help may have been misconstrued by the public. “Those guys (BCHL commissioner, Steve Hebb and franchise owners) have done a great job of trying to get ahead of things here. It was misinterpreted a bit. They’re trying to get to the government to see if there’s anything we qualify for,” he said. “A lot of these organizations are more than just a hockey team, they do a lot economically for their communities. There’s a lot of other businesses that are in the same shape; we’re not putting one in front of the other. “We’re trying to find ways to keep people employed, ways to keep these programs viable not just for the short-term but for the long-term. The truth of the matter is: maybe when it’s all said and done there could be some teams that might need a year but we’re not even close to that yet. “I think everybody has indicated that they’re going to come back and teams are working along like that’s going to happen.” Looking ahead to the 2020-21 season, Harbinson is confident that his club can once again assemble a strong roster despite losing some key pieces. And the club has begun to put in work to do just that, already bringing in six new players for next season. There will be a handful of returning players but also a number of key departures from the 2019-20 squad. Integral forwards Danny Weight, Jay O’Brien, Lukas Sillinger, Colton Kalezic and captain David Silye will all be moving on to college hockey next season. Finding replacements for the high-scoring forwards will be one of the Vees’ main off-season priorities, said Harbinson. The organization has already begun to do so with five new forwards committing to the team for the 2020-21 season. One recent addition Harbinson hopes can help fill the void is 17-year-old centre Ryan McGuire. McGuire, 6’2” 185 lbs, was ranked 105th among North American skaters eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft by Central Scouting Services. Harbinson said he has already envisioned McGuire filling Colton Kalezic’s spot playing the middle between Tyler Ho and Tristan Amonte. “He’s a passionate player, he plays hard, he plays both ways and he’s a guy that can do a little bit of everything. I think McGuire with those two guys could be a real force,” said the coach. Harbinson also noted that how returning forwards like Ho, Amonte, Liam Malmquist and Jackson Neidermayer progress with one more year of development will be crucial for the 2020-21 squad.  “It will be exciting to see those guys a year older and stronger,” he said. In net, Harbinson said the goaltending tandem of Yaniv Perets and Carl Stankowski may have to be split up because both players will be 20-years-old at the start of the season (The BCHL allows a maximum of six 20-year-old players on a team). Whatever the organization decides to to, Harbinson has no doubt his goaltending will be great next season. As for the back-end, the Vees will have less holes to fill. The look of the team’s defensive core will, however, greatly depend on if Conner Hutchison decides to head off to college or spend another season in Penticton.  “If he comes back he can be one of the best defensemen in the league,” Harbinson said of Hutchison. Despite hockey still consuming a good portion of his life, Harbinson was quick to point out that the pandemic is bigger than hockey.  “There’s bigger issues in the world right now and people with a lot bigger hardships,” he said. Until hockey returns Harbinson asks that fans stay positive in these trying times and do what they can to support each other. “This is uncharted territory… I feel really bad for what some people are going through. We’ll try to find a way to get through this and I think when it’s all over we’re going to need each other. “I really hope we’re there in full force in the fall because I think after we go through something like this you need some enjoyment in your life. I really think people will be tired of sitting at home and watching Netflix… and they’re going to want to be out with their family and watching hockey. “I just want everybody to know that we’re behind them and I’m sure they’ll be behind us when we get back on the ice.”

Busby Commits To Coquitlam:

Commitment: Another exciting commitment for your Express. Minnesota  Defencemen LUKE BUSBY has signed with the Express. He played his past season for the Eden Prairie Eagles. We look forward to having you join the Express next season. Welcome aboard Luke!

Top 10 Langley Rivermen Goals of 2019-20

The Langley Rivermen had one of the highest scoring defencemen in the league in Jake Livingstone and were boosted by the return of sniper Brendan Budy to the lineup.

Waters Commits To Nanaimo:

The Nanaimo Clippers continue their offseason with the commitment of Brody Waters from the Elmira Sugar Kings of the GOJHL. Waters is a 2002 born forward from Heidelberg Ontario. He’s been playing in the GOJHL for the last two seasons after finishing his first year of midget. Waters was a high draft pick for the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League in 2018 but decided instead to pursue the college hockey route. In the GOJHL over the last two years, he had 71 points including 36 goals in 68 games, illustrating his offensive thrust. Darren Naylor, Head Coach and Vice President of the Clippers, added; “Brody is a big bodied forward with the ability to get to greasy areas to put the puck in the net. He plays hockey the Clipper style so I have every belief Brody will be an impactful player in the next few years for us. Brody has a strong work ethic with a great understanding of the offensive game.” Colin Birkas, Associate Coach noted: “Having coached in Ontario for many years, I became familiar with Brody. He is a nice skating aggressive forward with a highly hockey IQ. What I like the most about him is he’s an extremely competitive player and never gives up on the puck. Adding in his large frame and his knack for goalscoring, he’s definitely a marquee pickup for the Clippers.”

Niemo Commits To Cranbrook:

The Cranbrook Bucks (BCHL) are happy to announce that they have committed forward Nicholas Niemo for the 2020-2021 season. Niemo played last season for the Islanders Hockey Club of the NCDC collecting 20 goals and 30 assists for 50 points through 48 games. The 2001 born, Vermont native spent the previous season with the Islanders U18 Program collecting 38 points in 25 games. Nicholas joins his teammate from last season, goaltender Jacob Zacharewicz, in playing for the Bucks this coming season. “Our staff is happy to add a player of Nicks caliber to our hockey team for the 2020-21 season.” Said Head Coach and General Manager Ryan Donald. “Beyond his offensive production, it became clear to our staff that Nick has many of the intangibles that we are looking for in our players.  He is a highly competitive individual, exceptionally self-motivated and driven to win.  We are extremely excited to add yet another piece to our organization for this fall.” The Cranbrook Bucks wish to welcome Nicholas to the organization and the City of Cranbrook.

Grenier Commits To Cowichan Capitals:

The Cowichan Capitals are excited to announce their first commitment for the 2020/2021 season is 2003 born forward Adam Grenier out of Coquitlam, BC. Grenier a 16 year old, played last season with the Burnaby Winter Club’s Under 18 Prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, a team that after the 2019 season had moved seven players onto BCHL rosters. “Growing up in Coquitlam, I’ve always been around the BCHL.  I have a lot of buddies that have chose the BCHL, they say nothing but great things about the league. I chose this route because of the academics, and my style of play, school is really important to me.” Grenier said in a phone interview. In 2019/20 he finished 2nd in team scoring with 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points in 36 games, and said this year was all about gearing up for the next step. “The staff prepared us for junior, coached us like we were in junior. I’ve heard it’s a challenging jump from prep league to junior but I’m excited” said Grenier. In his past three seasons Adam has been a near point per game player at BWC, finishing with 22 points in 25 games on the Elite 15’s team in 2018/19 and adding 25 points in 30 games on the bantam prep team in 2017/18. “I see the ice pretty well, I like to play on both sides of the puck, skate well too, and obviously producing offence and points is fun” Grenier added with a laugh. Capitals Assistant Coach Dan Whiteford likes that hard-nosed style Grenier plays “Adam’s got good hockey sense, he’s a hard working guy with a nose for the net and a high ceiling. He was successful at a very good program in Burnaby Winter Club and we think he can produce at the junior level.” Looking at the success of last season and the previous two postseasons Adam decided Cowichan was the best place to continue his career and development. “They move guys on, which is important to me. I think this is a good spot to go to help me get to the next level and the NCAA.” Last season Grenier got his first taste of junior hockey suiting up for one game with the Chilliwack Chiefs, saying that getting a feel for the league and the game was big for his development “It was really nice to get a game in, it was Teddy Bear Toss so that was a lot of fun, it was nice to get that experience in. I’m really excited to come to Cowichan and play for the Capitals.”

D’Addario Commits To Surrey:

The Surrey Eagles organization is happy to announce the team has committed Tio D’Addario to the team for the 2020-21 season. The ’02’ forward from Montreal, Quebec is the 5th player committed for next season, following Cole Galata, Alec Saretzky, Holden Cardinal, and Matt Connor. Tio D’Addario is another speedy center for Cam Keith’s roster, as the Eagles Head Coach continues to look for speed, skill and hockey IQ to supplement his returning core for the 2020-21 B.C Hockey League campaign. The young forward who stands 5’10 and weighs 165 pounds played in 35 games split between 2 leagues with the Mount Academy Saints, where he scored 21 goals, 22 assists for 43 points. Tio was the 2nd leading scorer on the Saints last season. For Tio, moving to the Eagles will be a big jump in his career. Tio admitted he’s, “super excited. I spoke to Cam a lot and he seems like a great coach. The team moves the puck really well, and I’m super excited to join the team and try to help the team out.” Surrey’s puck movement was one of the biggest reasons why Tio chose Surrey, explaining “A lot of smart players who move the puck fast. They can get from one zone to the other in the blink of an eye.” For Eagles fans, Tio gave a personal scouting assessment of himself. He reports to the fans, “I’m a two-way centerman. I like playing in the offensive zone, and I like being a playmaker. I’ll use my speed to try and make some nice plays.” Cam was elated to have Tio join the fold. “Tio’s a brilliant two-way center. He has excellent hockey sense and can read the play at an elite level. A skilled playmaker who can also shoot the puck well.” Cam gave credit to his scouting staff for the find, revealing “Tio was brought to our attention from Olivier Filion, our Eastern Canada Scout.” Welcome to the Flock Tio!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Episode 8 Vernon Vipers Voices With Riley Brandt:

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


May 29 2020

Episode 8 of Vipers Voices is up now on our YouTube Page.  We chatted with former captain Riley Brandt

Catch the entire episode by following the link #OneGoal

Friday, May 29, 2020

In Conversation With Former Vernon Viper Maser:

Prince George Cougars broadcaster Fraser Rodgers chatted with former Vernon Vipers forward Josh Maser about his time in Prince George and his future in hockey.

Maser was in his fourth season with the Western Hockey League Prince George Cougars before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19. In 62 games this season Maser collected (29-goals-19-assists-48-points).

Maser attended the Vernon Vipers training camp in August 2016 before leaving camp for the Western Hockey League's Prince Albert Raiders training camp. The Raiders traded Maser to Prince George October 18th 2016.

Josh Maser's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Cougars website:

In Conversation with Captain Josh Maser

March 30, 2020

by Prince George Cougars Staff

Broadcaster Fraser Rodgers chatted with graduating forward and captain Josh Maser about his time in Prince George and his future in hockey.

Have you had time to process the season being ended early and your WHL career now officially over?

Josh Maser (JM): No, not really. Everything is coming at me pretty fast, now that I have been out of hockey for just a couple of weeks. I have some big decisions to make about where I am going to go to school or if I want to turn pro. I am just trying to take as much time as I can right now to do my homework and make the right decision going forward. I am reading up a lot on universities and seeing what the right fit for me could be.

As a player, how was it to process the news of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the 2019-2020 season?

(JM): Well, we first heard about it on the bus, as we were making our way down to Victoria to start a road trip. Honestly, I didn’t believe the news at first. I got woken up on the bus by a teammate who told me. It wasn’t until one of our coaches told us what was happening and that we were turning around to go back home that it started to sink in. I myself was definitely frustrated that we couldn’t finish out the season and make that final playoff push. I had full confidence in our group that we were going to do it, but at the same time I completely understand why it happened. This is something bigger than hockey and sports. I have made peace with it. When we look back at this situation, I think we can take comfort in knowing we took the necessary precautions to make sure everyone stayed safe.

 With the way the season ended, the three-game win streak at home and sweeping Vancouver, was it a silver lining?

 (JM): Yeah, I think that was probably the best way we could have gone out. That weekend against Vancouver was memorable. It was two of our best, most energetic crowds and Vancouver was one of the hottest teams in the WHL at that time. To sweep them was impressive and the fashion in which we did it was even more impressive. Both games were so fun to play in, especially the overtime win. I can remember both games like they were yesterday. It was definitely the way I wanted to go out and getting that (hat-trick) was a nice moment for me with my family in the crowd watching. The energy in the CN Centre that weekend was awesome, especially the OT win, and I hope that continues next year and for years to come. Those big nights are the ones you’ll remember.

When you look back at your four-year career in the WHL, what will be your favourite memory?

(JM): I think that is a pretty easy question to answer honestly. It was playing so close to home and being able to look up in the stands and having my mom, my dad, my brothers, or a couple of buddies there watching. It was always great to talk to them after the games and just having them there, cheering us on and supporting me was my favourite part.

What will you miss most about being a Prince George Cougar?

(JM): Going to the rink every day and just being around the guys. As much as I hate to admit it with how cold winters can be in Prince George, I will miss the early mornings getting ready for road trips. Getting to the rink at 6:00 am, in freezing cold and loading the bus. Just those unique things that you share with your teammates that you won’t experience again now that I am moving on.

What is your next step in your hockey career?

(JM): Well, with how our contracts work (WHL Standard Player Agreement), you have 18 months to utilize your scholarship. It’s a great program and I have five years in my back pocket, and for players like myself it’s very important to get an education and something to fall back on if hockey doesn’t pan out. I’ve talked to a few schools throughout the season, but it was a weird ending to the season, so there’s schools out there I still want to talk and see what they offer. At the same time, I still think I can play hockey at a high level, whether it be in the AHL, ECHL, or Europe. So, like I said earlier I’m taking my time and weighing my options before making a decision on my next step.

Josh, you have the last word. What would you like to say?

(JM): I just want to thank you (the fans) for your support over the last four years. You made the game so much fun when you filled the building and made so much noise. Those big crowds, those big nights were games I dreamt about playing in when I was a young kid coming to the rink. It was such an honour to play for a team I grew up watching and being so close to my hometown. Putting on the Cougars’ jersey meant so much to me and to be the Captain in my final year was truly special. I was so fortunate to play with so many good players that I will have lasting friendships with. I can’t thank the organization enough for what they did for me. I just want to say thank you to my coaches, support staff, my billets, and the fans for everything you’ve done for me. Thanks for making Prince George my home.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Inside Vipers Alumni Brownlee’s ‘Money On You’ Videoshoot:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Chad Brownlee invites ET Canada on set of the acoustic videoshoot for “Money On You”

Brownlee a current Country music star took home two awards at the 2016 BCCMA Country Awards, won Album/EP of the Year (Hearts on Fire) & Male Vocalist of the Year.

"The Best That I Can (Superhero)",  his first single, was released in November 2009. Brownlee's self-titled debut album, produced by Mitch Merrett, was released in August 2010. Brownlee won the 2011 CCMA Rising Star award winner, also a recipient of his first JUNO Award nomination for Country Album of the Year on February 19, 2013.

Brownlee played two years in Vernon (2001-03) In 113 regular season games with the Vipers, Brownlee collected (14-goals-28-assists-42-points). Brownlee was drafted in 2003 in the 6th round, by the NHL Vancouver Canucks but retired from hockey after a short stint in the ECHL with the Idaho Steelheads following a series of injuries, before becoming a Country music star.

Chad Brownlee's Player Profile:

Chad Brownlee's Wikipedia page:

This was posted on

Inside Chad Brownlee’s ‘Money On You’ Videoshoot

ET Canada

March 13 2020

Canada’s own Chad Brownlee invites ET Canada on set of the acoustic videoshoot for “Money On You”, featured on his recent EP ‘Back In The Game’.

Chad Brownlee's new Money On You (Lyric Video)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Caller Commits To UBC:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

COMMITMENT ALERT! – Caller Commits to UBC

May 25, 2020

Vernon, BC:  The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce that Jackson Caller has committed to the UBC Thunderbirds next season.

The Kamloops product put a nice bow on his junior career with one season with the Vipers.  He tallied 5 goals and 12 assists in 55 games, plus 3 more assists in 5 games in the playoffs.  Caller played big minutes for the group usually against teams top lines.  He played big minutes while shorthanded and had some time on the powerplay.

“I’m extremely excited to be continuing my hockey career and education at one of the best Universities in Canada,” says Caller.

Caller says there were many factors in choosing UBC.  “It has the business school that I like, but also they’ve got a great hockey program.”

UBC had a phenomenal season last year as they made it to the nationals.

“I’m really looking forward to helping contribute to more success for the program,”  Caller says.

The Vipers would like to congratulate Jackson on the commitment and wish him all the best with UBC.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

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:

Wasik Commits To Smoke Eaters:

The Trail Smoke Eaters are excited to announce the commitment of South Florida Hockey Academy product Dominik Wasik for the upcoming season. Wasik, from Superior, Colorado, has played his last two years with the academy, playing in 79 games. During his first season Wasik played in 40 games putting up a 2.21 GAA and a 0.914 SV%. He followed that up in his second year with a 2.42 GAA and a 0.906 SV% “Dominik comes to Trail with a great pedigree for the BCHL. He has been taught by former NHLer Tomas Vokoun and brings good size and quickness in the net. We’re excited to see Dominik develop into a top NCAA prospect. Dominik and Logan Terness will be a great pair next season and we’re excited to watch them work together. – GM Jeff Tambellini The 17-year-old netminder will make an exciting tandem with reigning rookie of the year Logan Terness as the the Smoke Eaters solidify things for 2020/21 season. The Smoke Eaters would like to welcome Dominik to Trail and we look forward to seeing him in the fall.

Spruce Kings Name Lomicky New Associate Coach:

The Spruce Kings are excited to announce the hiring of new Associate Coach Lukáš Lomicky. Lomicky spent last season as the Head Coach for the Revelstoke Grizzlies of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. Lomicky was also the Video Coach for Team Czech Republic at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge. “It is an honour to join a premier Junior A Franchise, the Prince George Spruce Kings. They have always run one of the best franchises in the BCHL and when I heard the opportunity, I knew I wanted the chance to join the organization” says Lomicky. “They have been able to move players and coaches to the next level time and time again, while also keeping a winning tradition. I want to thank Mike and Alex for the opportunity, and I am excited to get the season going and to be able to call Prince George my home.” Lomicky is from the Czech Republic and coached there for four years before coming to British Columbia. “We are excited to add Lukáš to our coaching staff. We had heard a lot of good things about Lukas from many people throughout the hockey world and after we had some discussions with him, we know he will be  a great fit for the organization” says GM Mike Hawes. “He will fit well within our values and expectations as an organization and will compliment Alex well. I am very happy with the looks of our on-ice hockey staff moving forward and can’t wait to see where Alex, Lukas, Jason, and Nick can take our group.” Some coaching accolades for Lomicky include a KIJHL Championship in 2018-19 with the Grizzlies and a World U -17 Hockey Challenge Bronze Medal as the Video Coach for the Czech Republic in 2017-18. “Lukáš will undoubtedly be a strong contributor to our team. His work ethic and core values align well with our organization,” says Head Coach Alex Evin. “I am looking forward to working with all of our staff members next season.” The Spruce Kings would like to welcome Lukas to the organization and to the BC Northern Capital!

Campbell Commits To Coquitlam Express:

The Coquitlam Express received a commitment from 17-year-old defenceman Matthew Campbell for next season. Campbell, from North Vancouver, played 39 games last season with the Vancouver NW Hawks of the BC Major Midget League and put up seven goals and 32 assists. He also got into four games with the Express as an affiliate player.

Bucks Unveil Away/Road Jerseys:

The Cranbrook Bucks officially unveiled their away/road  jerseys on Thursday. The Bucks have a colour scheme that is green, silver, and white.

Babic Commits To Grizzlies:

The Victoria Grizzlies have brought defenceman Aleksa Babic on board for the 2020-21 season. The 17-year-old had three goals and 21 assists in 49 junior B games for the Chatham Maroons of the GOJHL last season. He was drafted in the 14th round, 266th overall by the Windsor Spitfires in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection

Express Name Former NHLer Hollweg New Assistant Coach:

The Coquitlam Express are pleased to announce that former NHL player Ryan Hollweg will join the team’s coaching staff as assistant coach for the 2020/21 BCHL season. “We are excited to have Ryan join the Express family and bring his vast hockey experience and passion to guide and mentor our players on and off the ice. I look forward to working along side Ryan in building around the strong returning core of players” said head coach and assistant GM Dan Cioffi. “Ryan brings a great work ethic, energy and drive that will help continue the strong culture already established within the team”, added general manager Dave Mclellan. Ryan played in the BCHL as a 15 year old for the Langley Hornets where he was named the BCHL Rookie of the Year. In 1999, he was selected 1st overall in WHL draft by the Medicine Hat Tigers, where he eventually captained the team, leading them to a WHL title and birth in the Memorial Cup tournament. As a dual-citizen, Ryan was selected to represent both countries at the U17 (USA), U18 (Canada), and U20 World Junior (USA) tournaments. In the 2000 NHL draft, Ryan was selected 238th overall by the New York Rangers and enjoyed a distinguished NHL career playing with New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Arizona Coyotes for a total of 228 games. He also played 275 games with various AHL teams including the Hartford Wolfpack, Toronto Marlies, San Antonio Rampage, and Portland Pirates. Ryan later continued his professional career in Europe  playing six seasons from 2012 to 2018 for the HC Skoda Plzen in the Czech Extraliga where the team captured an Extraliga Championship. After retiring from professional hockey, Ryan served as an associate coach with the BC Hockey North West (U 18) Major Midget Hawks. “I want to thank the Coquitlam Express for this amazing opportunity. I look forward to building on the winning culture that this great club has already established for itself. I look forward to getting to work right away.” Ryan said.

Tait Commits To Spruce Kings:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are thrilled to announce the commitment of forward Connor Tait (’01) for the 2020-21 season. “We are excited to add Connor Tait for the 2020-21 season. He is a big, strong, and intelligent player with a great work ethic that plays hard at both ends of the rink,” says Head Coach Alex Evin. The 19-year-old Tait spent last season with the New Jersey Hitmen in the National Collegiate Development Conference. Tait finished the 2019-20 campaign with 17 goals and 17 assists, good for 34 points in 35 games. The 6’1 198-pound forward is also committed to play NCAA Division 1 Hockey at Quinnipiac University. “Connor has proven to contribute offensively over the past few years and we hope he can add to our offense next season,” says Evin. The Spruce Kings would like to welcome Connor and his family to the organization and to the BC Northern Capital.

Storm Name Vandekamp Head Coach/GM:

The Grande Prairie Storm are pleased to announce that Mike Vandekamp will be returning to the organization as General Manager and Head Coach. The 3 year term takes effect immediately.  Storm President Murray Toews says, "Mike Vandekamp knows how to create winners!  He has a proven track record of bringing the most out of his players.  Mike has won championships and has moved hundreds of players onto NCAA scholarships.  Our fans, stakeholders and players need this change and we are happy to welcome Mike back home to the Grande Prairie Storm." A veteran junior hockey bench boss, Vandekamp enters his 26th season of coaching (WHL, AJHL, BCHL).  He returns to the AJHL after spending the last 9 seasons in the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers and most recently the Cowichan Valley Capitals. In his 4 seasons with the Storm (2007-2011) Vandekamp amassed a regular season record of 154-72-19.  In the playoffs, Vandekamp's Grande Prairie Storm teams posted a 27-18 record and won the AJHL Championship in 2009. "Helping bring an AJHL Championship to the Storm fans and organization is one of the highlights of my coaching career", says Vandekamp.  "We had a talented group that was committed and proud to represent the Storm and the community of Grande Prairie.  We found success in that formula.  I look forward to being a part of revitalizing that culture of confidence.  I'm excited to get back up north and getting to work!" Vandekamp is available for media requests at Chris Millsap is available for media requests at and/or 780.933.8786. The Grande Prairie Storm Hockey Club exists to develop a quality junior hockey team made up of dedicated and talented hockey players who want to work together with the community, volunteers and administration. We constantly look for ways to improve our organization and are proud to be an integral part of the Grande Prairie region. We encourage educational advancement and strive to achieve the highest possible results in pursuit of a National Championship.

Trail Smoke Eaters: Graduating Players And Eligible Returnees:

The Trail Smoke Eaters are one of the teams the cancelation of the 2019-20 season due to COVID-19 hurt the most. After a regular season where they finished second to Penticton in the Interior Division, the Smokies swept Prince George in the first round of the playoffs and was set to face Salmon Arm in the second round. Most of Trail’s core players are moving on to school this fall, including Canadian Junior Hockey League top forward and BCHL most valuable player Kent Johnson, who’s off to the University of Michigan. All told, six of the Smoke Eaters top scorers won’t be back. Trail gets a major boost with the return of Owen Ozar, who’s been named captain for 2020-21. He was third in scoring with 26 goals and 40 assists in 54 games. Max Kryski is the next highest scoring forward eligible to return, he had 26 points in 57 games. The blueline is a source of strength for Trail, with half of the Smokies regular defensemen able to come back in 2020-21. While Kyle Pow, Trevor Isaksson, and Kyle Budvarson won’t entirely make up for the loss of Diarmad DiMurro, Cody Schiavon, and Powell Connor, they represent a very solid foundation. In goal, the Smoke Eaters boast a huge piece returning to the squad next season in Logan Terness. The 17-year-old was named BCHL rookie of the year along with being named to the league’s all-rookie team as well as the second all-star team. He had a stellar record of 27-10-0 to go along with a 2.36 goals-against-average, a .932 save percentage, and one shutout. The depth chart is based on coaches going with a 23-man roster of 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders. All college commitment years are collated from each player’s profile on the Smoke Eaters roster on the BCHL website.

Graduating Players

Kent Johnson (University of Michigan)
Philippe Lapointe (University of Michigan)
Braden Costello (University of North Dakota)
Michael Colella (Colorado College)
Tyler Ghirardosi (Quinnipiac University)
Matt Osadick (University of Maine)
Connor Sweeney (University of New Hampshire)
Diarmad DiMurro (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Powell Connor (Michigan State University)
Cody Schiavon (Yale University)
Carson Briere (Mercyhurst University)
Jameson Murray (aged out)
Matteo Paler-Chow (aged out)

Eligible Returnees

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


Max Kryski (00)
Owen Ozar (00)
Jaden Senkoe (01)
Chase Dafoe (02)
Walker Erickson (02)


Trevor Isaksson (00)
Kyle Budvarson (00)
Kyle Pow (00)
Jackson Murphy-Johnson (02)


Logan Terness (02)

Top 10 Cowichan Valley Capitals Goals of 2019-20

The Cowichan Valley Capitals utilized a balanced lineup to lead the Island Division in goals with 194. With so many offensive weapons, they could make scoring look easy! Check out their top 10 goals of the season, presented by Chevrolet.

Spruce Kings Name Walkey New Trainer:

The Spruce Kings are excited to announce the hiring of new Trainer and Prince George product Joel Walkey. Walkey has completed his 4 years at Camosun College in Victoria, where he got his bachelor’s degree in the Athletic Therapy Program. “I am beyond excited to return to Prince George and to help contribute to a team that means so much to the community” says Walkey. “Mike and Alex have already done a great amount to make me feel like a welcomed addition to this organization. I am thrilled that the stars aligned and allowed me to begin my career in my hometown. I am looking forward to doing my part in helping this team continue with the success of recent years,” added Walkey. The Prince George born Walkey was also the trainer for the Saanich Braves of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League for the past 3 seasons. “Joel is a great fit for the organization. Not only is he from Prince George but he is young, energetic, and understands what the Spruce Kings mean to the community,” says GM Mike Hawes. “He is a great addition to our staff, and we are looking forward to having him start with us later this summer,” added Hawes The Spruce Kings would like to welcome Joel to the organization and back home to Prince George!

Smoke Eaters Name Ozar Captain:

The Trail Smoke Eaters are thrilled to announce Owen Ozar as the team’s captain for the upcoming season. Ozar, who enters his third year as a Smoke Eater, will wear the ‘C’ for his 20-year-old season. If it wasn’t Kent Johnson or Philippe Lapointe leading the charge offensively this season, it was Ozar. In 52 games this year Ozar put up 66 points, good enough for 4th in the BCHL. The University of Denver commit also joined 3 of his teammates at the World Junior A Challenge in December. “We are very proud to announce Owen Ozar as the next Captain of the Trail Smoke Eaters. Owen exemplifies everything that you want in a leader. His work ethic is infectious and his desire to execute and preform every time he steps on the ice is unmatched. Owen has been able to learn from two outstanding Captains in Braeden Tuck and Philippe Lapointe over the past two seasons, and is fully prepared for the responsibilities that come along with being the Captain in Trail, BC. Owen Ozar has worked for everything he has got over the past two seasons and there is no better player to lead the Trail Smoke Eaters in the 2020-21 season.” – GM Jeff Tambellini. While he didn’t have a letter during the past season, Ozar lead by example for all his teammates providing energy and encouragement during every shift. “I’m very honoured and excited to be the Captain next year. We are going to have a very good team again and I can’t wait to be back in Trail in the fall.” – #9 Owen Ozar