Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mavericks Add Ex Vernon Viper Nowick To Teams Season Ending Roster:

The East Coast Hockey League announced their Season-Ending
Rosters as submitted by each of its member teams. The Missouri Mavericks have seventeen players listed on their Season-Ending Rosters list, one is former Vernon Vipers forward Darren Nowick.

Nowick split last season between the East Coast Hockey League Missouri Mavericks & the American Hockey League Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Nowick started his second season with the Mavericks before signing a professional tryout (PTO) with the American Hockey League Bridgeport Sound Tigers March 7 2017. In 57 games last year with Missouri Nowick collected (21-goals-24-assists-45-points) while picking up (3-goals-1-assist-4-points) in 13 games with Bridgeport.

After playing four years at Northern Michigan University Nowick signed his first professional contract with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Missouri Mavericks March 16 2016.

Nowick played two years in Vernon (2010-2012) played in 109 games with the Vipers collected (36-goals-50-assists-86-points).

Darren Nowick's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=93823

This was posted on the Mavericks website:

Mavericks Announce Season-Ending Roster

06/16/2017

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - The Kansas City Mavericks released the team's Season-Ending Roster for the 2016-17 season.

Season-Ending Rosters may include up to 20 players but cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2016-17.

Each team may reserve the rights to a maximum of eight players from the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2017-18 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until August 1, at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until Aug. 1. After Aug. 1, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran or goaltender shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

The Mavericks' Season-Ending Roster follows:

G Zach Nagelvoort
G Josh Robinson
D Alex Brooks
D Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel
D Stephen Silas
D Zach Tolkinen
F Justin Breton
F Rocco Carzo
F Dan Correale
F Andrew Courtney
F Dane Fox
F Radoslav Illo
F Darren Nowick
F Shawn Pauly
F Matt Robertson
F T.J. Syner
F Jared Van Wormer

Kansas City is set to open its season on Oct. 13 at Tulsa, the first of four road games prior to the team's home opener on Saturday, Oct. 28 against Wichita at 7:05 p.m. Season tickets are currently on sale.

For all the latest on the Kansas City Mavericks, follow the team on Twitter (@kc_mavericks), Instagram (kcmavericks), Facebook (Kansas City Mavericks) and Snapchat (KCMavericks), download the team's free mobile app (Mavericks) and keep checking in to kcmavericks.com.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ex Vipers Defenceman Cook Steps Down As Braves Head Coach/GM-Named Vice President of Hockey Operations:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Brad Cook has stepped down as Head Coach-GM of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Saanich Braves, has been named the Braves new Vice President of Hockey Operations.

Cook spent eleven seasons playing professional hockey from 1996-2007 with sixteen different teams (Dayton, San Angelo, Tulsa, Kalamazoo, New Mexico, Richmond, Adirondack, Elmira, Berliner SC, ESC, Columbia, Victoria, Augusta & Bakersfield) in eight different leagues (CoHL, WPHL, CHL, UHL, Germany 3, Germany 4 & ECHL) before retiring from hockey as a player. Cook has spent four seasons with the Braves (2008-2010 & 2011-12 & 2016-17). 

Cook played one season in Vernon (1995-96) winning the 1996 Royal Bank Cup with the Vernon Vipers. In 50 games that season Cook picked up (12-goals-37-assists-49-points).

Brad Cook's Player-Coaching Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=160091

This was posted on the Braves website:

Saanich Braves Announce New Head Coach

Published on May 8th, 2017 | by Admin-LYF

Brad Cook steps off the bench into his new role of Vice President of Hockey Operations.

The Braves are proud to announce that former Brave defenceman Sam Waterfield will be the new head coach. Sam returns to Saanich from Edmonton where he won 2 championships and earned his degree at NAIT. Sam is a Saanich Minor Hockey product and graduate of Spectrum High School.
Former Brave Mackenzie Valentine will be staying with the team as an assistant coach. We will be finalizing the rest of our staff in the coming weeks.

“I am thrilled to have Sam return to the Braves. He will certainly inject some youth and a new perspective into a thriving Braves program. I am looking forward to working with and mentoring Sam which will allow me the opportunity to pursue a new career in the hockey world. I am sure it will be a seamless transition as Sam was with me at Spectrum Hockey Academy and a former player that we moved on to the next level.” said former coach Brad Cook.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Blog Hits 1.3 Million Viewers:

On Saturday between 11-11:30 am this blog hit 1,300,000 (1.3 million) viewer's-page views.

I wanted to take this time to thank all of you, the viewers who check out my blog.  Without you the fans/viewers, this blog would not be possible.  It's you the fans-viewers who keep this site going. 

I first created my Vipersdiehardfan blog in December of 2008 and since then have had over 1.3 million viewer's visit this site. To follow the viewer count, check out the counter on the left hand side of this blog.

I have a website that tell's me how many viewer's I get per month, per day, as well as per week. During the Vipers/hockey season, I average between 450-800 viewers a day but have also had up to 1000-1100 viewers per day depending on the day and time of year. It obviously slows down during the off season, this summer I have averaged between 200-350 viewers per day. I had 11,885 viewers visit my blog for the month of June.

The site also tell's me where the viewer's are from and how they contacted this blog. I get people from all across the world visiting this blog daily. 

Thank you again and thanks for the support. If you would like to leave a comment, there's a comment box at the bottom of this post.

Thanks, Vipersdiehardfan

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vernon Vipers Exhibition Schedule:

The league released it's 2017 Exhibition schedule on Thursday. Here is a look at the Vipers pre-season schedule.

August:

August 25th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7pm
August 26th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7pm
August 31st Prince George @ Vernon 7pm

September:

September 2nd Trail @ Vernon 6pm

Friday, July 21, 2017

Vipers Season One Month Away:

With no Vipers hockey for the past 100 days, the Vernon Vipers are just thirty one days away from opening day of training camp. The Vipers will open main camp August 21st. The Vipers last played April 10th after a very disappointing 3-1 loss at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Game 7 vs the Penticton Vees in the Interior Division Finals.

The Vipers will open the pre-season schedule with a home & home series vs the Salmon Arm Silverbacks starting with the first game August 25th in Vernon at Kal Tire Place. The Snakes will play four exhibition games before opening the 2017-18 regular season with a home & home series vs the Salmon Arm Silverbacks with the first game September 8th in Salmon Arm at the Shaw Centre.

No official report from the Vipers on who will be returning from last years club, but the Morning Star Newspaper has reported two separate stories regarding players returning for the upcoming season.

This was reported in the Morning Star Newspaper back in May before the Vipers Spring Camp:

The core group, including Brett Stapley, Jagger Williamson, Steven and Chris Jandric, Michael Ufberg, Shane Kelly, Jesse Lansdell and Niko Karamanis, is returning to the Viper den.

This was in Sunday's Morning Star Newspaper:

The Vipers camp opens Aug. 21 at Kal Tire Place with three teams scrimmaging. Vernon’s returnintg core is led by forwards Jagger Williamson, Brett Stapley and Niko Karamanis and defencemen Michael Ufberg and Chris Jandric. Taylor is back in net.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

107.5 KISS FM Announces Vipers Broadcast Schedule:

This is posted on the 107.5 Kiss FM website:

KISS FM Announces Schedule

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM

Kiss FM

July 19, 2017

1075 KISS FM announced today a continuation of their partnership with the Vernon Vipers to continue to deliver comprehensive live radio coverage of the Viper’s 2017-18 BCHL season.

Live Vernon Vipers broadcasts on KISS FM are led by play-by-play announcer Graham Turnbull, who returns for his fifth season calling Vipers games for the team.

Turnbull who provides in-depth coverage, will also be bringing new features and interviews to this year’s regular season and playoff broadcasts.

“We are thrilled to continue our successful partnership with the Vernon Vipers on 1075 KISS FM, the official voice of the Vernon Vipers,” said Shawn McCleary, station Program Director. “We’re proud supporters of team owner Duncan Wray’s Junior A hockey program and the great work that his staff have been doing over the past few years.”

This year’s broadcasts will feature 45 games on radio and live streamed and 13 broadcasts online at 1075 KISS FM. BDM Motorsports have signed on for another year to be the parent sponsor of the broadcasts.

SEE THE SCHEDULE HERE.

KISS FM will also play a big part in the Vernon Vipers promotional nights as well we will also have our KISS FM Events Crew powered by Capri Insurance at all home games.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Norfolk Admirals Add Vipers Alumni Hetnik To Teams Season Ending Roster:

The East Coast Hockey League announced their Season-Ending Rosters as submitted by each of its member teams. The Norfolk Admirals have twenty players listed on their Season-Ending Rosters list, one is former Vernon Vipers defenceman Marc Hetnik.

Hetnik finished his fourth and final season with the UMass Minutemen last season before signing his first professional contract as a College free agent with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Norfolk Admirals March 9th 2017.

Hetnik picked up one assist in five games with the Admirals last year, played two seasons in Vernon (2011-2013). In 112 regular season games with the Vipers Hetnik collected (6-goals-22-assists-28-points).

Marc Hetnik's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=128531

This was posted on the Admirals website:

Admirals Share Season-Ending Roster

June 21, 2017/in Press Releases /by Norfolk Admirals

NORFOLK, VA. – The ECHL has announced the Season-Ending Rosters as submitted by each of its Member Teams on Monday.

The Admirals roster contains 20 players:

Goaltenders:

Brett Kilar

Defensemen:

Jordan Abt
Paul Cianfrini
Alex Pompeo
Marc Hetnik
Tim Daly
Kyle Pereira

Forwards:

Domenic Alberga
Paul Rodrigues
John Dunbar
Scott Jacklin
Ben Murphy
Trevor Gerling
Brady Vail
John Kurtz
Trevor Mingoia
Cason Hohmann
Angelo Miceli
Erik Bradford
Steven Whitney

Season-Ending Rosters may include up to 20 players. Season-Ending Rosters cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2016-17.

Each team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than June 30. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2017-18 Season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to June 30.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until Aug. 1 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until Aug. 1. After Aug. 1, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran or goaltender shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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:


Chilliwack-Caledonia Trade:

For the second consecutive off season the Chiefs have addressed their goaltending needs by making a deal with the Caledonia Corvairs of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. Last summer the Chiefs acquired starting netminder Mark Sinclair from the Corvairs. Sinclair went on to set a Chiefs single season record for wins with 33. Today the Chiefs announced that they have acquired 18 year old goaltender Daniel Chenard from the Corvairs in exchange for future considerations. In a starting role for the Corvairs last season, Chenard appeared in 27 games, putting up a goals against average of 1.77 and a save percentage of 92.2.

Doucet Commits To Bulldogs:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are pleased to announce that Shawnigan Lake Midget Prep forward Jackson Doucet has committed to join the team for the 2017/18 BCHL season. Doucet is a skilled centre who scored 25 goals and added 24 assists in 30 regular season games for Shawnigan Lake during the 2016/17 Canadian Sport School Hockey League campaign, tying for eighth in scoring in the Midget Prep division. He also tied for top spot amongst 1999-born scorers with OHA forward and Penticton Vees commit Cassidy Bowes. The 18-year old wrapped up his season with five goals and two assists in four games at the CSSHL championships. “Jackson is a dynamic forward whose skating and skill level make him an outstanding BCHL prospect,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He has consistently produced offence in a very competitive league, and I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand the impact he can have on a game when the puck is on his stick. We’re thrilled that he has chosen to take the next steps in his hockey career as a Bulldog.” Over three seasons at Shawnigan Lake, Doucet totaled 62 goals and 128 points in 89 CSSHL games. “I’m very excited to meet my new teammates and the community,” says Doucet, who describes himself as an offensive player who also takes pride in playing a complete 200-foot game. “The Bulldogs are well known for having a very supportive fan base and I’m looking to be a part of the team regaining it’s winning tradition.” “I’m going to be focused on helping to bring more offensive depth to the team and on using my speed to create opportunities. In the end I want to be a part of instilling a winning mindset in our group and always be playing to win.” Doucet will take the ice with his new teammates when the Bulldogs begin their main training camp on Monday, August 21st at Weyerhaeuser Arena.

Rizzo Picks Vees Over Kamloops Blazers:

Massimo Rizzo is coming back. Rizzo has chosen to play for the Penticton Vees in the B.C. Hockey League over the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers. The Vees made the announcement on Tuesday. The Burnaby product tallied 84 points in just 48 games for the Burnaby Winter Club Midget Prep team. Rizzo played in three regular season games with the Vees as an underage forward and affiliate player. In the Fred Page Cup playoffs, Rizzo scored his first BCHL goal, and really showed flashes of brilliance during the Western Canada Cup where he scored a goal and added four assists for five points in five games as the Vees advanced to the Royal Bank Cup in Cobourg Ontario. Vees president, general manager, and head coach Fred Harbinson was pleased with the family’s decision. “Although we gave Massimo and his family the appropriate time to make a decision as to which route they felt was best for his development; we’re excited he has chosen to continue his hockey career as a member of the Penticton Vees,” said Harbinson in a press release. “I look forward to coaching Massimo, and I’m certain Vees Nation is thrilled to be able to watch another elite prospect grow here in Penticton.” Rizzo was originally drafted 14th overall in WHL Bantam Draft by the Kamloops Blazers. After meeting with Blazers brass last week, the family made the decision to return to the Vees and continue his development in the South Okanagan following the likes of Tyson Jost, Dante Fabbro, and most recently Johnny Tychonick. “Talking to a variety of different people that have been involved in both leagues and the experiences they’ve gone through and looking at where he’s at, it keeps his development options open,” Rizzo’s father, Remi, told Kamloops This Week on Tuesday. “It really is no different than what we stated before the bantam draft, that Massimo is going to take it year by year and look at what the best options are the following season, developmentally for him and his growth.” KTW reported that the Blazers had owner Tom Gaglardi, part-owner Shane Doan, general manager Stu MacGregor and head coach Don Hay meet with Rizzo and his father in Vancouver last week. “I don’t think any doors have ever been closed,” Remi said. “If that was the case, it would have been a very short meeting with the boys last week. “This is the right choice for this year and next year he re-evaluates what the best opportunity for development is then,” he continued. Rizzo is one of 111 players, along with Vees teammate Luke Reid to be invited to attend the Hockey Canada U17 Development Camp in Calgary starting on July 22. Rizzo and the Vees will be back on the ice at the SOEC in late August to open training camp. Rizzo will wear No. 13 once the puck drops on the season.

Brooks Bandits To Host 2019 RBC Cup:

The RBC Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship, is headed to Brooks, Alta., where the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League will play host to the 49th edition of the tournament from May 11-19, 2019 at the Centennial Regional Arena. Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League and Hockey Alberta made the announcement Thursday in Brooks. “We are immensely grateful to Hockey Canada for the opportunity to showcase our community's passion for Junior A hockey on the national stage, and to the local businesses, government, and organizations that helped to support our bid and make this event possible,” said Tyler King, chair of the bid committee and Bandits communications manager. “We are already looking forward to the next two years of preparation to ensure an unforgettable national championship." The RBC Cup will return to Alberta for the seventh time. The event was previously hosted in Lloydminster (2016), Camrose (2011); Grande Prairie (2004); Fort McMurray (2000); Olds (1994); and Edmonton (1975). “Hockey Alberta is excited to have this prestigious event return to Alberta. We are always proud of how our Alberta host communities raise the bar when it comes to hosting a major event and welcoming teams from across the country,” said Rob Litwinski, CEO, Hockey Alberta. “We look forward to working with Hockey Canada and the Alberta Junior Hockey League to provide support for the Brooks Bandits and their host committee to make the 2019 RBC Cup a successful event.” The 2019 RBC Cup will bring together the top Junior A teams from across the country, along with the host Bandits, to face off for the national championship. Historically, the event has generated more than $2 million in local economic impact, with event proceeds being directed to supporting hockey development in the community. "We are thrilled to host the 2019 RBC Cup and welcome the athletes, their families and coaches to Alberta and show them all the warmth and hospitality our community has to offer,” said Barry Morishita, mayor of the City of Brooks. “These tournaments not only provide athletes with an important chance to compete at a national level, they also help strengthen the local economy, boost local pride and increase volunteerism. We look forward to supporting the RBC Cup, and are excited at the challenge of making this the best championship ever.” Having previously captured Canada’s National Junior A Championship in 2013 in Summerside, P.E.I., the Bandits also appeared at the RBC Cup in 2016 and 2017 and will look to carry momentum from their runner-up finish at this year’s championship in Cobourg, Ont. "The experience of the Bandits having appeared in two successive championships, the strength of their hockey program, and the tremendous fan support evident across their community were key factors in the support Brooks received from the CJHL to host the 2019 RBC Cup,” said Canadian Junior Hockey League president, Brent Ladds. Tournament ticket packages are tentatively scheduled to go on sale in May 2018 and season ticket holders will be given the first opportunity to reserve seats for the tournament. Schedule information for the 2019 RBC Cup will be announced at a later date. The RBC Cup is made possible thanks to the partnership between Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League, and the support of RBC. For more information on the 2019 RBC Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca/RBCCup, or follow along via social media on Facebook or Twitter.

Blaisdell Commits To Chilliwack:

Chilliwack was never able to take a bite out of the Vancouver Giants in the five years the teams clashed in the Western Hockey League. All the Giants did was win, win, win no matter what. But now, six years after that rivalry expired, Chilliwack gets some ice cold revenge with the signing of Harrison Blaisdell. The 16 year old is the second summer signing of the junior A Chiefs, stolen away from the Giants, who picked the Saskatchewan kid 31st overall in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. Blaisdell was still in elementary school when Milan Lucic was delivering high elbows to Oscar Moller and doesn’t feel any animosity towards the G-men. But he’ll be happy if that helps endear him to Chilliwack hockey fans. “Obviously the WHL is a good way to go, but there are two ways and I think the time and development you get going the college route is good,” Blaisdell said. “You get as much junior hockey as you need and four years in college. It’s a lot more time if you’re not quite ready for the next level.” Blaisdell comes to town with an NCAA scholarship already secured. The kid is so good that the University of North Dakota got his signature on a commitment when he was just 15 years old. Eventually he may play alongside former Chiefs captain Jordan Kawaguchi, who will play his first season with the Fighting Hawks this fall. Blaisdell made his way to UND for a campus visit during his bantam season and the teenager had already put pen to paper by the time the Giants made him their bantam draft pick. Maybe they thought they could talk him out of it, but Blaisdell never doubted his decision. “It was a big decision to make, but at the same time it wasn’t a real big deal because my dad did the same thing, going the NCAA route and playing for Wisconsin,” said Blaisdell, who also had strong interest from Denver and Minnesota-Duluth. “I am young and it seems so far away, but I felt like it was the right decision to make at the time and I still feel that way.” His dad is Mike Blaisdell. After leaving Wisconsin Mike went on to a 343 game National Hockey League career with Detroit, Toronto and Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers. Very late in his career he crossed paths with a young Jason Tatarnic. Coach T was winding up his playing career in 1999-00 with the British National League’s Hull Thunder. Mike was the head coach of the British Ice Hockey Super League’s Sheffield Steelers. In the ‘who you know’ recruiting game, sometimes all you need is a conversation starter. “Harrison is a kid we’ve been on for a long time because I think he fits the mold of how we like to play,” Tatarnic said. “He’s a typical Sask player where he’s got that grit, but he’s also got skill. “He can play real hard but he’s got the skill-set to score goals and make plays and there’s a reason he’s going to North Dakota.” The Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers were both pursuing Blaisdell before the Chiefs reeled him in. Blaisdell was already leaning towards Chilliwack after spending the 2016 season with Abbotsford’s Yale Hockey Academy. Seeing Prospera Centre and the Chiefs’ cutting edge training facility made a big impression, and something Tatarnic said helped seal the deal. “When I asked him about how they play he said, ‘When you cross the red line into the other team’s half of the ice, it’s basically a free for all and have fun down there,’” the teenager said. “They have the mentality to not give up the puck and try to make plays and I thought that was really cool.” Oh, and also, that Royal Bank Cup thing played a role. “That’s a no-brainer and definitely a cool thing that I’m excited to be a part of,” Blaisdell said. Blaisdell spent last season with the Regina Pat Canadians in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. He had 20 goals, 41 points and 60 penalty minutes in 40 regular season games, leading his team to a league championship and an appearance in the Telus Cup national tourney. “I had a few injuries that set me back at the start of the year, including having my appendix out just before the season started,” Blaisdell said. “That erased a lot of work I’d done over the summer, but around Christmas time I was back to regular form and it was a good season for me. Online resources (eliteprospects.com) list Blaisdell at five-foot-nine and 163 pounds, which he says is innacurate. Blaisell pegs himself at five-foot-eleven and 175 and isn’t worried about being overwhelmed by big BCHL blueliners. “I think if I have a good summer, work on my skills and come in the best shape that I can — if I play the way I think I can I think I can be an impact player next season,” Blaisdell said.

Kings Sign Kawamura:

The Kings are thrilled to announce the signing of 1999-born forward Kyle Kawamura for the upcoming 2017/2018 season. Kawamura, from Franklin, TN is a 5’6, 155lb forward with a high end skill set. “I’m fast, I like to use my speed, shoot and shoot from a lot of different angles” said Kawamura. “I like to make plays with the puck and try to score. That’s what I’m focused on out there.” Kawamura has an extensive hockey resume including a 105 point season during his final year of Bantam hockey in Georgia, along with a taste of Junior hockey in the USHL and NAHL with Lincolm and Shreveport respectively. “Guys are bigger, faster and stronger here at this level, more experienced too and so it’s a huge step coming up from midget to Junior” said Kawamura. “I feel I’ve done a good job making that transition so far and I’m hoping to carry that on in Powell River.” “Kyle is a highly skilled player that we’re excited to add to our organization” said Kings Head Coach Kent Lewis. “He is creative, offensively gifted and sees the game well. Having an offensive threat like him to compliment the returning guys gives us more options to be effective in the offensive zone.” In addition to helping the Kings this season, Kawamura will use his time in Powell River to ready himself for the NCAA. Kawamura is slated to join the University of Maine for the 2018/2019 season. “Confidence is a big thing I want to work on ahead of college hockey” said Kawamura on what he needed to develop ahead of a four year stint in the NCAA. “Working on my touch with the puck, getting ice time and developing that way by finding a way to play the game against guys who are older, bigger and stronger.” Kawamura will arrive in Powell River in mid-August, ahead of Main Camp at the Hap Parker Arena August 21-24. The Kings would like to welcome Kyle and his family to Powell River.

Rizzo's Father Comments On Decision For Picking BCHL/Vees Over WHL/Blazers:

Massimo Rizzo has committed to play next season with the Penticton Vees. Rizzo was the Kamloops Blazers’ first-round pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, but has not signed with the major-junior squad and will spend his 16-year-old campaign playing in the junior A B.C. Hockey League. “Talking to a variety of different people that have been involved in both leagues and the experiences they’ve gone through and looking at where he’s at, it keeps his development options open,” Rizzo’s father, Remi, told KTW on Tuesday. “It really is no different than what we stated before the bantam draft, that Massimo is going to take it year by year and look at what the best options are the following season, developmentally for him and his growth.” By not signing a WHL contract, Massimo maintains his NCAA eligibility. The Blazers brought a few of their heavyweights — owner Tom Gaglardi, part-owner Shane Doan, general manager Stu MacGregor and head coach Don Hay — to a meeting with Massimo and his father in Vancouver last Wednesday. “I don’t think any doors have ever been closed,” Remi said. “If that was the case, it would have been a very short meeting with the boys last week. “This is the right choice for this year and next year he re-evaluates what the best opportunity for development is then.” MacGregor spoke to KTW after the meeting. “The philosophy that we have is that a player should come when he’s ready to be here because he’s going to perform to the best of his ability, for himself and for the team,” MacGregor said. Remi was asked if there is anything in particular he will be paying attention to in Kamloops in 2017-2018, on the ice or off, that may influence the family’s decision ahead of Massimo’s 17-year-old season. “No, I don’t think there is anything about Kamloops in particular,” he said. “It’s more of a Massimo thing and really what’s going to give him the best opportunity for his growth.” The highly skilled forward could opt to go the same route taken by Kamloops product Ryan Gropp, who joined the Vees and kept his NCAA options open before eventually signing with the WHL team that drafted him, the Seattle Thunderbirds. Some WHL-drafted players who join junior A squads never return — see Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost. “I look at Mark Recchi,” Remi said. “His path was no different than what Massimo is doing now. Mark played a year junior A and went on to play for the Blazers and now he’s in the Hall of Fame. I don’t see it as a bad thing. I see it as an opportunity to grow and develop.” Rizzo could play two seasons in Penticton and be selected at the NHL Draft by a team that prefers he develop further in the WHL. “Would you like to know everything about what’s happening with someone? Maybe,” MacGregor said. “But as long as they come when they’re ready to play and they’re comfortable to play, there’s no real timeline for anybody.” Rizzo was recently invited to Hockey Canada’s under-17 selection camp in advance of the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August. He notched 22 goals and 84 points in 48 games with Burnaby Winter Club’s midget prep team last season and won the Canadian Sport School Hockey League’s 2016-2017 Freshman of the Year Award. He racked up 60 goals and 137 points in 61 games in his second-year bantam campaign with BWC in 2015-2016. “It’s probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make so far,” Massimo told KTW last August at Blazers’ training camp. “There are lots of options and lots of things to think about, either playing college or Dub (WHL).”

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rockets Re-Sign Former Vipers Associate Coach Mallette:

The Western Hockey League Kelowna Rockets have signed former Vernon Vipers Associate Coach Kris Mallette to a two-year contract extension.

Mallette a Rocket Alumni & current Rockets Assistant Coach was an Associate Coach with the Vernon Vipers for one season (2013-14) before leaving the Vipers for the Rockets on July 4th 2014. Mallette was selected 62nd overall in Round 3 at the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers played ten years in the Minor Pros with Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Asheville, Elmira, Colorado, Youngstown, Laredo and Flint before starting his coaching career.

Kris Mallette's Players-Coaches Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=19340

This was posted on the Rockets website:

Rockets extend Crickard & Mallette

May 8, 2017

by Kevin Bain

The Kelowna Rockets have signed Assistant Coaches Travis Crickard and Kris Mallette each to a two-year contract extension.

Last Sunday Mallette and Crickard both ended their third season as assistants with the Rockets. The tandem has been coaching with the club since the start of the 2014-2015 season. They won the WHL Championship that year and fell one goal short of a Memorial Cup.

The two have coached in a total of 216 regular season games with Kelowna boasting a regular season record of 146-55-14-1. They’ve also added 54 WHL playoff games with a record of 34-20.

The pair now has veteran coaching experience which Rockets management feels can only benefit the club. General Manager Bruce Hamilton says the two young coaches deserve the extension.

“With Jason (Smith) being signed for two more seasons I wanted to get these two signed as soon as I could as well,” Bruce said. “These two have definitely earned it and we look forward to the next couple of seasons with these guys behind the bench.”

The coaches have been re-signed to a two year contract extension, extending through the 2018-2019 season.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Vipers Trade For Two:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers trade for two

Kevin Mitchell Sun Jul 16th, 2017

The Vernon Vipers have amped up their B.C. Hockey League offence with two speedy forwards.

The Vipers traded F Luke Gingras and future considerations to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for the the rights for F Jordan Sandhu and then acquired F Keyvan Mokhtari from the Victoria Grizzlies.

“We feel we’re putting a pretty good group together,” said Vernon head coach and director of player personnel Mark Ferner. “We’ll have to see what kind of chemistry evolves in camp.”

Sandhu, an 18-year-old from Richmond, has already earned a scholarship from Arizona State University Sun Devils. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound roadrunner racked up 70 points, including 55 assists, in two seasons with the Alberni Valley. He was captain last year.

“He can play anywhere, up the middle or on the wing, and I know he played the point on the powerplay in Alberni Valley,” said Ferner. “He’s a good, little player, very competitive. He’s really tight with (Viper goalie) Ty Taylor and I coached his older brother, Tyler, in Everett (WHL Silvertips). Great family, great work ethic.”

Sandhu, who turns 19 next May, rang up five goals and 40 points in his rookie year with the Dawgs.

Mokhtari compiled 19 goals and 36 points in just 47 games with the Grizzlies last year. He will also be playing NCAA hockey in 2018-19 after earning a scholarship to Colorado College Tigers.

“He can absolutely fly,” said Ferner. “He has a great shot and I think he might have led the league in shorthanded goals (four).”

A 5-foot-8, 160-pounder out of Burnaby, Mokhtari supplied 11 goals and 30 points in his rookie season with Victoria. He also celebrates his 19th birthday next May,

Viper forwards Jimmy Lambert and Steven Jandric (both going to Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks) and d-man Cameron Trott (Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves) have decided to play NCAA hockey this fall.

The Vipers camp opens Aug. 21 at Kal Tire Place with three teams scrimmaging. Vernon’s returnintg core is led by forwards Jagger Williamson, Brett Stapley and Niko Karamanis and defencemen Michael Ufberg and Chris Jandric. Taylor is back in net.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Stingrays Add Former Vipers Defenceman Weinstein To Teams Season Ending Roster:

The East Coast Hockey League announced their Season-Ending
Rosters as submitted by each of its member teams. The South Carolina Stingrays have eighteen players listed on their Season-Ending Rosters list, one is former Vernon Vipers defenceman Steve Weinstein.

Weinstein played his first season with South Carolina last year, started the season with the Stingrays before being signed to a professional tryout agreement with the American Hockey League (AHL) Hershey Bears January 19 2017. Weinstein collected two assists in five games with Hershey before returning to South Carolina. In 43 games last season with the Stingrays Weinstein has (4-goals-21-assists-25-points).

After four seasons at Bentley University (2011-2015) Weinstein has spent the past two seasons playing in the American Hockey League & East Coast Hockey League with four different teams. Weinstein spent the 2015-16 season with the East Coast Hockey League Cincinnati Cyclones and the American Hockey League Lake Erie Monsters. Last season Weinstein has played with the East Coast Hockey League South Carolina Stingrays.

Weinstein played three seasons in Vernon (2008-2011) in 153 regular season games with the Vipers collected (10-goals-49-assists-59-points).

Steve Weinstein's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=38003

This was posted on the Stingrays website:

Stingrays Announce 2016-17 Season-Ending Roster

Jun 19, 2017

The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have announced the team’s 2016-17 Season-Ending Roster. The list includes 17 players who skated with the club during the season. Only players signed to ECHL contracts in 2016-17 were eligible to be placed on the Season-Ending Roster.

Forwards (11): Olivier Archambault, Derek Arnold, Andrew Cherniwchan, Derek DeBlois, Joe Devin, Rob Flick, Patrick Gaul, Trevor Gillies, Johnny McInnis, Steven McParland, Scott Tanski

Defensemen (7): Steven Delisle, Wade Epp, Danny Federico, Max Nicastro, Mitch Nylen, Marcus Perrier, Steve Weinstein
                                                     
Each team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the list by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2017-18 Season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until Aug. 1 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until Aug. 1. After Aug. 1, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran or goaltender shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

South Carolina opens the season in front of their home fans at the North Charleston Coliseum on Oct. 20 against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:05 p.m.

2017-18 season packages are on sale now through the Stingrays office featuring discounted pricing and great benefits!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Mark Ferner On New Acquisitions

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Acquire Two Veteran Players

July 13, 2017

by Vernon Vipers

Recent News

Vernon, B.C.  July 13th, 2017 – The Vernon Vipers are excited to announced the acquisition of two veteran BCHL players for the 2017-18 season. The Vipers traded Luke Gingras and future considerations to Alberni Valley for the the rights to forward Jordan Sandhu and then aquired forward Keyvan Mokhtari from the Victoria Grizzlies. Both players are skilled players that will bring some offence to the Viper line-up.

Jordan Sandhu, an 18-year-old from Richmond, has already earned a scholaship from Arizona State University. The quick footed forward racked up 70 points including 55 assists in two seasons with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Keyvan Mokhtari scored 19 goals and had 17 assists in just 47 games with the Victoria Grizzlies. He will also be playing NCAA hockey in 2018-19 after earning a scholarship to Colorado College.

The Vernon Vipers would like to wish Luke Gingras all the best in his future hockey endeavors and the team is looking forward to an exciting 2017-18 season.




Thursday, July 13, 2017

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:

Newhook Commits To Grizzlies:

The Victoria Grizzlies are pleased to announce the much anticipated signing of 16 year old Alex Newhook, who originally hails from St. John’s Newfoundland. The signing of Newhook should garner a lot of attention as he has already secured an NCAA Division 1 Scholarship with Boston College where he will attend beginning in September 2019. It doesn’t stop there, Newhook is also currently ranked to be a First Round draft pick into the NHL in 2019. “The BCHL is a great place for Canadian players to go before playing NCAA and I’m looking forward to getting better everyday leading up to university” said Newhook. “It will be a good challenge to play against older guys and it will be an adjustment I’m looking forward to.” Last season the 5’11”, 185 pound left-handed centreman captained the York Simcoe Express Midget AAA team in Ontario. In 32 games with the Express he tallied 43 goals 31 assists and 74 points.  “Alex, although young in age, will come into the league and make an immediate impact and be an elite player right away,” commented Grizzlies Head Coach and GM Craig Didmon.  Newhook, along with Grizzlies’ teammate Jacson Alexander, have also been invited to attend Hockey Canada’s  U-17 development camp beginning July 22 in Calgary.  Newhook and Alexander will be the only two 16 yr. Olds on the hockey club. The two should be fan favorites this season and should bring a flock of NHL scouts to the Q Centre on a regular basis. “No question, both Alex Newhook and Jacson Alexander possess some very special abilities and will be not only be a lot of fun to coach but I am also sure they will be real exciting to watch for our fans,” Didmon added. With 12 returning players and the addition of world class prospects like Newhook and Alexander the Grizzlies will look to protect their regular season and playoff Island Division Championship and are once again shaping into solid contenders to go after the a BCHL title.

Langley-Salmon Arm Trade:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks general manager Troy Mick today announced the team has traded D-Man Carter Stephenson (98), West Vancouver BC to the Langley Rivermen for Goaltender Bo Didur (97), West Vancouver, BC Bo comes to the Silverbacks after playing the last 3 years with the Langley Rivermen and started his career in the BCHL with the Surrey Eagles. His career totals are a 3.39 GAA & a .897 save percentage in 136 games. Bo also played for the WJAC for Team Canada West in 2015. “Bo is a tremendous goalie in the BCHL and his stats reflect this”, says GM Troy Mick. Having Bo Didur & Nic Tallarico as our 1-2 punch for this coming season it is a great way to start the BCHL campaign. Bo is a quality young man and will fit into the Silverbacks culture really well. He recently had a scholarship to Penn State NCAA but he is now looking for another program and we can’t wait to help him achieve his NCAA goals. The silverbacks would also like to thank Carter for his time with the Backs and wish him the best of luck with the Rivermen.

Prince George-Carleton Place Trade:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the acquisition of 18 year old forward Shawn Kennedy from the Carleton Place Canadians of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) in exchange for the Canadian Junior A rights to goaltender Tavin Grant and future considerations. The 6’0” 200 pound Kennedy is from Cornwall Ontario and just completed his second season with the Canadians.. Last season in 58 games he tallied 14 goals and 20 assists for 34 points plus 58 minutes in penalties. He also contributed 11 points in 16 playoff games. “Shawn is a gifted player who we are excited to add to our team. He thinks the game very well and competes hard in all areas of the ice. He’s also a young player but already has 2 years of Junior A experience with an excellent program in Carleton Place. We jumped at the opportunity to add a young, experienced and talented player to our lineup” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes.

Salmon Arm Silverbacks Name Solmonson New Athletic Trainer/Equipment Manager:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks Hockey Club are excited to announce Pam Solmonson has agreed to be the new Athletic Trainer/Equipment Manager for the Backs this year. “Pam has a tremendous amount of experience that she will be bringing us this season”, stated GM Troy Mick. I have worked with Pam at the BC Hockey high performance program and she is an absolute professional in her field. Pam recently was with the Prince George Cougars BCMML this past season where they won the BC Championships and hosted the Telus Cup. She has also worked for the Prince George Spruce Kings in the BCHL and numerous other teams in multiple sports. Pam also has a degree in Kinesiology and will be a huge asset for our team moving forward. Welcome to the Silverbacks Pam. Pam will start her new job Aug 1 as she helps out with the Salmon Arm Hockey School this year. Main Camp starts Aug 21 at the Shaw Centre!

Alberni Valley-Chilliwack Trade:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are pleased to announce the acquisition of 1997-born forward Cole Poliziani from the Chilliwack Chiefs in return for future considerations. Poliziani recently concluded a successful rookie season in Chilliwack, where he helped the Chiefs reach Game 7 of the BCHL Finals as well as the championship game of the Western Canada Cup. The Burlington, ON product appeared in 52 regular season games, scoring 14 goals and totaling 27 points and 37 penalty minutes. He also dressed in all 23 of the Chiefs’ postseason games during their run to the 2017 Fred Page Cup finals, adding two goals and three assists, and suited up six more times during the WCC in Penticton. “Cole is a talented young man who plays hard and has a natural enthusiasm for the game,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He showed during his time in Chilliwack that he can score in bunches, and we anticipate him building on his offensive numbers in Alberni Valley while also being counted on as a positive teammate and leader.” A 2013 draft pick of the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, Poliziani spent the 2014/15 season with the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Hamilton Red Wings before heading south to play the next two years at the Salisbury School in Salisbury, CT. “I’m very excited to be traded to the Bulldogs,” says Poliziani, who describes himself as a smaller, skilled forward who can make plays and be counted on defensively. “I can’t wait to start the season and meet my new teammates and coaches, and most importantly the fans.” Poliziani is looking forward to finishing his junior hockey career in the Alberni Valley and enjoying team and individual success. “For me personally, my goal is to earn a Division I scholarship and to be able to contribute by putting up good numbers. For the team, my goals are to help bring each guy together as a big family and have it so we’re excited  to go and play for each other, day in and day out. I also would love to win games and have a successful season, ultimately making playoffs and putting together a nice run.” Poliziani will take the ice with his new teammates when the Bulldogs will begin their main training camp on Monday, August 21st at Weyerhaeuser Arena.

June Camp Productive & Successful For Wild:

The Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) conducted their June Camp in the Community Rink at Town Toyota Center from June 18-20. Approximately 80 players divided into four teams competed both in small area games and full-scale games as coaches and staff watched to evaluate players, as the process of constructing the roster for the 2017-18 season continues. “Our camp is designed to give players the opportunity to showcase their strengths”, explained Wild Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler. “We saw a select group of players battle hard, and it definitely makes for some difficult choices for the coaching staff. That said, we were encouraged by what we saw over the last three days.” In addition to the Wild coaching staff which includes Associate Head Coach Tom Rudrud and Assistant Coaches Chris Clark and Michael Zucker, Wenatchee’s development team coaches Ryan McKelvie, Jake Obermeyer, Kyle Brodie, and David Mead were present throughout the camp as well. Adding an experienced set of eyes was Don Nachbaur, who is the third winningest coach in the history of the Western Hockey League and following camp was named an assistant coach with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Players will report to Wenatchee on August 21 as mandated by the BCHL. The regular season schedule is expected to be released by the league this week, and preseason games will be announced in the near future as well. The Wild have been moved into the Interior Division for the 2017-18 season, and will face each of their six new division rivals six times.

Bulldogs Name Dubois New Assistant Coach/Assistant GM:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have rounded out their Hockey Operations staff for the 2017/18 season with the additions of Jeff Dubois and Scott Crema. Dubois joins the Bulldogs as the team’s Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager while Crema will serve as the team’s Trainer/Equipment Manager. Dubois comes to the Alberni Valley from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Creston Valley Thunder Cats, where he posted a record of 97 wins, 42 losses and 4 ties over three seasons. Following the 2016/17 campaign, Dubois was named the KIJHL’s Coach of the Year after guiding the Thunder Cats to a record of 36-9-1-1 and a first place finish in the league’s Eddie Mountain division. Previous to his time in Creston, Dubois won two B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League championships as the head coach at Selkirk College. “I’d like to thank Matt Hughes, Ron Paulson and the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society for the opportunity to join the Bulldogs’ team,” says Dubois. “I’m excited by the new direction of the team under Matt’s leadership and I’m honoured to be a part of that. I know the organization well from my time as a Bulldogs scout and I’ve seen firsthand the passion the community has for their team. I can’t wait to get started.” Crema joins the Bulldogs after recently graduating from Camosun College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic and Exercise Therapy. Crema brings years of hands-on experience, having spent the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals and the 2014/15 campaign with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s Victoria Cougars as a Student Athletic Therapist. “I’m thrilled to get my foot in the door in the BC Hockey League and begin the process of working my way up the same as our players do,” says Crema. “I’m excited for the experience of working with the Bulldogs’ players and staff and looking forward to a great season.” Dubois and Crema join new Bulldogs head coach and general manager Matt Hughes, who was hired in April following three successful seasons guiding the Pursuit of Excellence U-18 Prep team. He is also a former head coach of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm. “I’m excited to solidify our Hockey Operations staff by adding Jeff and Scott to the Bulldogs’ team,” says Hughes. “Both Scott and Jeff bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their respective roles, and having our staff finalized allows us to look forward to preparing for a successful 2017/18 season.”

Andonovski Joins Chilliwack Chiefs:

Jason Tatarnic’s recruiting job has been easier this summer thanks to the Royal Bank Cup, and Corey Andonovski is proof. The latest prospect to sign with the Chilliwack Chiefs did so, in large part, for the opportunity to play in next spring’s Canadian national junior A championship at Prospera Centre. “That’s huge because I get to play hockey until the second week of May or whenever the tournament begins, and that’s not something a lot of teams get to do,” the Ontario native said. “It gives me extra time to develop, which is really important.” Andonovski spent last year playing for St. Andrew’s College, a prep-school program in Aurora, ON.. The second-leading scorer on the Saints with 32 goals and 74 points in 57 games, he was good enough to be mentioned as a potential late-round pick leading up to last week’s National Hockey League entry draft. Andonovski was a sought-after commodity with lots of options, and considered every possible angle before committing to the Chiefs. There are dozens of junior A teams between his home (Uxbridge, ON.) and B.C. but somehow he ended up here. “I had interest from top-end teams in Ontario, but the difference is the depth of the BCHL and how good it is,” he said. “In Ontario, maybe the top third or quarter of the league are solid teams, but it starts to fall off as you go further down the rankings. “I find the quality of hockey in B.C. is higher end, if you want to call it that, and that attracts a lot more people. You see a lot more BCHL guys committing to school or being drafted into the NHL, so if I wanted to play at the highest level while staying in Canada, it was going to be out in B.C.” Andonovski comes to Chilliwack with an NCAA deal already in hand. After one season with the Chiefs the six-foot and 192 pound forward will jump to the Ivy League Princeton Tigers in 2018-19. If the RBC Cup and the BCHL were selling points one and two, Tatarnic’s ability to coach up players going to the next level was number three. “He talked a lot about the structure of the program, how often they’re on the ice and how often they work out,” Andonovski said. “It’s structured a lot like St. Andrew’s was where there’s ice time for the guys every day and workouts two or three times a week. “Being able to access those kinds of things is important because it’s pretty easy to get out of shape and you don’t want that to be the case when you’re playing high-level hockey.” One of Coach T’s greatest sales pitches is his approach to offensive hockey. His Chiefs are expected to back check diligently and pay attention to their defensive tasks, but he tells recruits that from the red line in players have the freedom to be creative in search of goals. Andonovski feels that philosophy meshes well with his game. “When you see me play live you’ll see a player who plays with speed, uses his shot off the rush, likes to play with possession and has a good skill set to use in tight,” the teenager said. “Whenever I have the puck on my stick I’m able to make plays, whether it’s a small pass under a stick to set a guy up or taking the right shot at the right time. “Although I’m not one of the bigger guys on the ice, I have a physical aspect to my game too and I’m not afraid to throw my weight around.” Tatarnic watched Andonovski play live a few times last year and sees him making a quick transition to junior A. “Corey comes from a good program and we believe he’ll be an offensive player for us,” the bench boss noted. “He’s a guy that we stayed on all year and we are very excited he has decided to play in Chilliwack.” The first thing any player says when asked what they need to improve on is, ‘get stronger and faster.’ Taking those off the table, Andonovski says his next focus is developing a better 200 foot game. “I’d like to be a more complete player and hopefully Coach Tatarnic can help me with that,” Andonovski said. “I think I’ve taken some big steps over the past couple years, from being a guy who was just an offensive threat to a guy who’s a threat but also plays a 200 foot game. “The style I like to play in the offensive zone, I can’t do that if my team doesn’t have the puck, so I have to work on taking care of the defensive side.”

Wharrie Joins Clippers:

The Nanaimo Clippers are pleased to announce the addition of three year Western Hockey League defenceman Jordan Wharrie for the 2017-18 season. The 20-year-old had 18 points in 162 WHL games between 2014-2017. Wharrie has played in Everett, Victoria, Brandon, and Vancouver during his junior career, after a brief stint with the Port Moody Panthers of the PIJHL. In 2016-17 the Port Moody product had 12 points in 71 games with the Wheat Kings and Giants. Clippers Coach Mike Vandekamp calls Wharrie a big, strong, blueliner who skates well. “His poise and experience will be an added dynamic to our team. His leadership off of the ice will be a real positive addition to our D corps as well,” said Vandekamp. We would like to welcome Jordan to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice with his new teammates at Training Camp in August.

Wellsby Joins Chiefs:

The Chiefs continued to bolster their lineup for the 2017-18 season Friday with the addition of 20 year old forward Austin Wellsby. Wellsby, who calls Chilliwack home, joins the Chiefs after three seasons with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. In 164 games with the Ice, Wellsby scored 15 goals and added 20 assists. Weighing in at 6’3 and just under 200 pounds Wellsby will bring a physical element to the Chiefs as well as leadership abilities. He finished last season as an alternate captain with the Ice. Wellsby is thrilled to be finishing his junior career in his hometown. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Chiefs for my final year of junior hockey and to play in the RBC Cup. I grew up watching the Chiefs and I know they are a great organization. It’s going to be really special to play at home in front of my friends and family.”

Scardina Commits To Capitals:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals junior A hockey club is pleased to officially introduce forward Ethan Scardina to the club for next season. Scardina comes to Cowichan from the Delta Hockey Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. The White Rock, BC native played with Delta’s Bantam Prep team three seasons ago, before jumping to the Elite 15’s two years ago and, last season, to the Midget Prep club. In 2016-17, the 16-year-old Scardina totaled nine goals and 21 points in 28 games, as well as 24 penalty minutes. He also made his BCHL debut with the Vernon Vipers, getting in to one game as an affiliate. “We are pleased to add Ethan to our team and look forward to contributing to his development,” said Capitals head coach and general manager Bob Beatty. Scardina becomes the second current Capitals player recruited from the Delta Hockey Academy Midget Prep team in the past two seasons, joining a good friend of his in Nick Wilson. The club won the CSSHL championship in the Midget Prep division with Wilson on the roster in 2015-16, and this past season Scardina’s team finished third overall in the 15-team league, before falling short of the semi-final in the CSSHL playoffs. “Delta has a great program. Their teams are well coached and play with a lot of discipline and pace,” Beatty added. Scardina fills one 16-year-old player spot on the Capitals roster; on the 23-man roster, each BCHL team is required to carry at least two players who are 17-years old or younger (born in 2000 or 2001, for the coming season).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Huskies Re-Sign Ex Viper Forward Pimm:

The the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Kassel Huskies have re-signed former Vernon Vipers forward Braden Pimm. 

The Huskies are a professional ice hockey team based in Kassel, Hesse, Germany that play in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga Hockey League. In 48 games last season with the Huskies Pimm has (14-goals-31-assists-45-points).

After four years at Northeastern University Pimm signed his first amateur-tryout contract (ATO) with the American Hockey League (AHL) Milwaukee Admirals on March 27th 2014. Pimm was not rewarded with a new contract after going pointless in 9 games with Milwaukee. Pimm attended the Washington Capitals Training camp in July 2014 before signing with the Capitals farm club the American Hockey League Hershey Bears on August 15th 2014. Pimm never played a single game with Hershey before joining-signing with the East Coast Hockey League South Carolina Stingrays in mid October 2014.  After playing In 45 games with South Carolina Pimm would get recalled to the Hershey Bears on February 23rd 2015, was reassigned to the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Evansville IceMen on the same day before signing with the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Kassel Huskies July 7 2015.
  
Pimm played three years in Vernon (2007-2010) In 179 regular season games with the Vipers Pimm collected (64-goals-97-assists-161-points). Pimm scored the game winner at the 2009 Royal Bank Cup as the Vipers won their fifth National Championship shutting out the SJHL Humboldt Broncos 2-0.

Braden Pimm's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=38012

This was posted on the Huskies website:

Braden Pimm remains near Kassel Huskies

April 28 2017

Kassel Huskies have awarded the first contingent place for the season 2017/18. The contract with forward Braden Pimm was extended by another year, so that the Canadian goes now to his third season with the sledge dogs. In the tramped main round came Pimm on 45 Scorerpunkte, in the Playoffs added in nine plays on other twelve points and risen there together with captain Manuel Klinge to the best Huskies-Scorer. In the attack the left shooter is adaptably useable and can operate as a center forward as well as on the wing.

Coach Rico Rossi appears very contently with this Personalie: „ Of course we are glad about this contract lengthening. We know what we have in Braden and Braden also knows what he has to us. “

And Huskies manager Joe Gibbs complements: „ Braden wears itself during his two years with us bit by bit increased and itself in this time to a real leadership figure and beyond the ice developed. “

Steffen king
Huskies-media team

Contribution divide:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Canucks Issue Qualifying Offers; Will Viper Alumni Zalewski Return?

Former Vernon Vipers forward Mike Zalewski is one of three Vancouver players to become an unrestricted free agent after the Canucks did not extend a qualifying offer.

Zalewski has spent the past three seasons with the American Hockey League (AHL) Utica Comets. Last season in 54 games with Utica Zalewski picked up (5-goals-13-assists-18-points). Zalewski left his third year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) signing with the Vancouver Canucks March 17th 2014. Zalewski skated in his first NHL practice with the Canucks March 21, 2014 before making his NHL debut on Saturday April 12 2014 in a 5-2 loss in Edmonton. Zalewski picked up his first career NHL point (assist) in a 5-1 win over the visiting Calgary Flames the following night. Zalewski has played just six games in the NHL with the Canucks.

Zalewski played two season's in Vernon (2010-2012) In 106 regular season games with the Vipers Zalewski collected (50-goals-54-assists-104-points).

Mike Zalewski's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=60363

This was in the Utica Observer Newspaper:

Canucks issue qualifying offers; Will Mike Zalewski return?

By Ben Birnell

Posted Jun 26, 2017

Mike Zalewski could be on the move.

The New Hartford native was not among the seven restricted free agents to be issued a qualifying offer from the Vancouver Canucks at Monday afternoon’s deadline.

The 24-year-old Zalewski is one of three Vancouver players to become an unrestricted free agent after the Canucks did not extend a qualifying offer.

Rookie goaltender Michael Garteig, who was winless in eight appearances with the Comets last season, and Joseph Cramarossa, who didn’t play for the Comets, also didn’t receive a qualifying offer. It is possible the trio could return to the organization during free agency, which begins Saturday.

The Canucks made qualifying offers to: Forwards Reid Boucher, Michael Chaput, Brendan Gaunce, Bo Hovat, Joseph LaBate and defensemen Evan McEneny and Nikita Tryamkin (who has returned to Russia.)

Zalewski, who turns 25 in August, was re-signed to a one-year NHL deal last summer after playing key roles during solid second pro season. However, his third campaign was slowed after being injured in November when his upper body collided with the net trying to break up a play against Hartford early in the season. He missed more than a month of action and finished with five goals and 13 assists in 54 games.

This is the second time the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Zalewski, who was undrafted and played two seasons at RPI, has not been given a qualifying offer by the Canucks since starting his professional career in 2014. He worked his way back to an NHL deal during the 2015-16 season.

In all, the versatile forward has played 167 regular-season games for the Comets, totaling 24 goals and 63 points. He has two assists in six games with Vancouver.

Of the players given offers, LaBate and McEneny each spent a majority of the season with the Comets. Chaput played 10 games with the Comets before spending the rest of the season with Vancouver. He could get another look this season, depending on decisions made by Vancouver.

The 24-year-old LaBate continued to use his size – he’s 6-foot-5 and 208 pounds, to play a gritty game and provided a strong net-front presence in 38 games. He finished with six goals and 10 assists for the Comets.

McEneny, who turned 23 in May, was one of the Comets’ most steady defensemen and played a few key roles in 64 games. McEneny, who was voted the team’s most improved player, finished with eight goals and 23 points in 67 games in his first full AHL season, while making his NHL debut in February.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Wildcats Name Ex Viper Defenceman Chanter Captain:

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats have named former Vernon Vipers defenceman Dylan Chanter captain for this coming season.

Chanter will be entering his fourth season at the University of New Hampshire played parts of one season in Vernon (2013-14) after acquiring his rights from the Merritt Centennials on January 3rd 2014 for Jason Bird & future considerations (Logan Mick). Chanter went pointless in 19 games with the Vipers. In 37 games last season Chanter collected (1-goal-2-assists-3-points).

Dylan Chanter's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=123669

This was posted on the Wildcats website:

Kelleher Named MVP; Chanter Named Captain at Annual Awards Banquet

Men's Ice Hockey | 4/22/2017

DURHAM, N.H. – Senior forward Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team was given the Roger A. LeClerc Award at the team's Most Valuable Player at the annual awards banquet. Saturday's event was held at the Huddleston Hall Ballroom on the campus of UNH.

Junior defenseman Dylan Chanter (Armstrong, British Columbia) was named the program's 114th captain for the 2017-18 season. Junior netminder Danny Tirone (Trumbull, Conn.) was named the assistant captain.

Kelleher also earned the Guy Smith Award at the best forward on the Wildcats this season and was named the Frank "The Fan" Halbert Fan Favorite award winner. Kelleher capped off his stellar Wildcat career with a 63-point season on 24 goals and a nation-leading 39 assists. He was one of three skaters to lead the nation in points. He was also named a CCM/AHCA Division I Second Team East All-American, a Hockey East First Team All-Star, a New England Division I All-Star, the Hockey East Scoring Champion, a winner of the Army ROTC Three Stars Award and a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Top-10 Finalist. He ended his collegiate career tied for 16th all-time in program history with 167 points on 57 goals and 110 assists.

Along with being named captain, Chanter was the recipient of the A. Barr "Whoop" Snively Citizenship and Service Award. Chanter finished with three points this season with his first collegiate goal and two assists. His goal came in a 4-4 tie at Boston University on Feb. 17.

Tirone was voted by the coaching staff to be the winner of the Charles E. Holt Coaches Award. It is given to the player that makes large contributions to the team, both on and off the ice. He started all 38 games he played between the pipes and tallied a record of 15-18-5 with a goals against average of 2.99 and a save percentage of .910. He secured three shutouts on the year and tallied an assist at Merrimack College in the Hockey East Opening Round (March 4). He was also named the Hockey East Player of the Week on March 6.

Senior blueliner Matias Cleland (Longmont, Colo.) earned the Rod Langway Best Defenseman Award. The captain finished the season tied for third in the nation in points among defensemen (36) and tied for first in the league after his three goal and 33 assist performance. Cleland started all 40 games played this season and blocked a total of 91 shots. He was named a Hockey East Honorable Mention All-Star and the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Jan. 9. He finished as the top-scoring defenseman in Hockey East.

The Robert A. Kullen Award, as selected by the coaching staff, was bestowed upon junior defenseman Cameron Marks (North Vancouver, British Columbia). It was previously known as the Unsung Hero Award, however it was renamed in 1991 in memory of the late UNH coach. Along with his defensive partner Cleland, Marks started every game this season and was second in the conference in blocked shots with 94. He tallied 12 points on one goal and 11 assists.

The Most Improved Player Award was given to junior forward Jason Salvaggio (Hanson, Mass.). Salvaggio was also given the Paul Hines Award for as New England's Most Improved Player. The Massachusetts native recorded 36 points on 23 goals and 13 assists. Coming into the 2016-17 season, he had just eight points on three goals and five assists through his first two years. Three of his goals this season were game winners while he had four games scoring two goals. He finished the season tied for fourth in Hockey East in goals and fifth in shots on goal with 143.

Sophomore Chris Miller (Windham, N.H.) received a pair of awards, the Warren R. Brown Memorial Award as well as the SCO Nate Hardy Ironman Award. The Warren R. Brown Memorial Award is given to the best defensive forward. Miller played in 38 of 40 games on the year and tallied a goal with five assists. The Ironman Award is earned by the student-athlete who excels in the weight room through a 15-event competition during dry-land training in the fall. The Award was named in honor of Nate Hardy, a Navy SEAL who was tragically killed in action in Iraq in early February 2008.

The final award, the Sid Knight Award, was garnered by freshman goalie Joe Lazzaro (Hampstead, N.H.). The award is given to the student-athlete that boasts the highest grade point average over the year. Lazzaro earned a mark of 3.91 in his field of electrical engineering.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pederson/BC Jr Canucks Advance To Brick Finals:

Vernon Vipers Assistant Coach-Head Scout Kevin Pederson & the BC Junior Canucks advanced to the finals at the Brick Invitational Super Novice hockey tournament in Edmonton Alberta, after a 1-0 victory Saturday over Toronto Pro hockey in the Semi-Finals. Pederson & the Jr Canucks will face the Toronto Bulldogs in todays Finals.

The Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament website:

http://pointstreaksites.com/view/brickinvitational/home-page-784

The BC Jr Canucks Team Brick Program (formerly Pacific Vipers Brick Program) has been representing the top 9 and 10 year olds players from the Province of British Columbia in the very prestigious Brick Invitational Super Novice tournament for over 25 years.

This is Pederson's second championship this summer.

Pederson & Team BC/Male U15 won the 2017 Male U15 Provincial Tournament in Penticton with a 6-3 victory over Team BC Maroon in the championship game May 15th 2017.

http://vipersdiehardfan.blogspot.ca/2017/05/pederson-team-bc-wins-u15-provincial.html

Pederson & the HPL Alliance won the North American Hockey Classic (NAHC) summer hockey tournament in Winnipeg, Manitoba June 18th 2017.

HPL Alliance is a collection of the Elite AAA Spring Hockey programs in British Columbia, that currently have teams in the 2010 to 2003 in our development program. The North American Hockey Classic (NAHC) Ltd. Is a prestigious summer hockey tournament held annually in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

http://vipersdiehardfan.blogspot.ca/2017/06/pederson-hpl-alliance-win-north.html

Pederson has been with the Vipers for four seasons (2009-2011 & 2015-present) Pederson will be entering his fifth season as an Assistant Coach-Head Scout with the Vipers next season.

Kevin Pederson's Player-Coaching Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=395541

Saturday, July 8, 2017

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:

Brind'Amour Commits To Chilliwack Chiefs:

The Chilliwack Chiefs are welcoming the son of a Stanley Cup champion into the fold. Skyler Brind’Amour has committed to the team for the 2017-18 season, bringing a familiar surname to the BCHL. Skyler’s dad, Rod, played 21 big-league seasons with the St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes. Between 1988 and 2010 he logged 1,643 regular season and playoff games. Rod is a member of the NHL’s 1,000 point club (1,184, including 459 goals) and a two time winner of the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward. He won an NHL championship with the Hurricanes in 2006 and casts such a large shadow that we’ve spent the first six paragraphs of Skyler’s introductory article talking about his father. “It’s been a blessing because my dad knows the game and he can help me with a bunch of stuff,” the 18 year old said. “He’s watched all my games and helped me become a better hockey player for sure. “That’s been huge and I’m very thankful for that.” Having Brind’Amour on his back raises expectations for Skyler. Fairly or unfairly, people will compare him to his famous father and those are massive skates to fill. If he were Skyler Smith or Skyler Jones instead, the burden of those expectations might be eased. But the teenager, who will come into next season on the radar of NHL scouts, doesn’t seem bothered by any of it. “I’m a pretty quiet guy who just likes to get things done,” he said. Skyler has already been rated 157th among North American skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau. Standing six-foot-two and weighing 175 pounds, he has the frame to add muscle and be a physical force at the junior A level. Rod was a tank on skates, so the genetics are there. “He was a bit stronger than I am right now but I’m trying to get there,” Skyler said. Rod was a legend in the faceoff circle, one of the best the NHL has seen. “He says you’ve got to get in there and own the circle,” Skyler said “Get in there, get low and you’ve got to try and cheat a bit as well.” A smart and instinctive player, Skyler also shares his dad’s competitive fire. “I’m competitive in everything I do and it’s something I’ve worked at in my game, getting my compete level up for every game and every shift,” Skyler said. “It’s something I worked on last season and something I continue to work on.” Skyler spent much of last season training with the vaunted U.S. Development Team Program (USDTP) and had options on where to go. Chiefs head coach/general manager Jason Tatarnic reached out to Skyler at one of his tournaments and whatever he said resonated. “We had a good conversation and it was mostly just the honesty,” Skyler recalled. “He doesn’t guarantee anything to anybody, but he talked about where he sees me fitting in. “He said he feels I can have a good effect on the team and I felt really comfortable with him. “My dad and I feel he’s a good guy and a good coach and I’m going to learn a lot from him.” Tatarnic has an extra card to play in recruiting this year, with his team hosting the 2018 Royal Bank Cup tournament. The chance to play for a national junior A title next spring played a big role in Skyler’s decision. “There were other options and tons of leagues to play in, but  playing in the RBC Cup is something cool and an added bonus for sure,” Skyler said. “I don’t know too much about it yet, but I look forward to it for sure.” Skyler is likely to be a one-and-done in Chilliwack. He already has a commitment to the University of Michigan State in his back pocket, coincidentally the same school his dad went to in the mid 1980’s. Tatarnic is happy to have the kid for one season and looks forward to seeing Skyler’s development. “The one thing Rod insisted on during the recruiting process is I had to go watch Skyler play live,” Tatarnic said. “When I did, I saw a big player who skates well, has great vision and has a ton of potential. “He’s got some things he has to work on too, but that’s OK. I think every player should be working on something at the junior level, and what separates good players from great players is the great ones are willing to work on those areas.” Skyler says he has high expectations for himself and the team and can’t wait to get started. “First and foremost I want to win, because that’s the main goal always,” he said. “Personally I want to get better and stronger and just be the best I can.”

Maser Commits To Nanaimo Clippers:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Tyler Maser has committed to play for the Team for the 2017-2018 season.  The 1999 born forward joins the Clippers after playing the past two seasons for the Cariboo Cougars of the British Columbia Major Midget Hockey League.  During the 2016-2017 regular season, the 6’3″ 200lb Houston, BC native scored 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 31 games played.  In the playoffs Maser tallied 4 points in 8 games helping the Cougars win the BCMML Championship.  The Cougars recently participated in the Telus Cup Canadian Midget Hockey Championships where Maser led his team in scoring with 4 points in 5 games played.  We would like to welcome Tyler to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice with his new teammates at Training Camp in August.

Kamloops Blazers Going After Vees Forward Rizzo:

Concrete answers didn’t emerge from a meeting with the Kamloops Blazers’ top unsigned prospect. The Blazers brought the heavyweights — owner Tom Gaglardi, part-owner Shane Doan, general manager Stu MacGregor and head coach Don Hay — to the gathering with Massimo Rizzo, 16, and his father in Vancouver on Wednesday. Rizzo, a top-tier talent who notched 22 goals and 84 points in 48 games with Burnaby Winter Club’s midget prep team in 2016-2017, was the Blazers’ first-round pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, but may play junior A hockey next season in order to maintain his NCAA eligibility. “We’re just continuing to converse and decisions are still moving forward,” MacGregor said. “There’s no final decision either way. It’s really status quo at the moment.” In an interview with KTW in April, MacGregor said he, “would like to think we’ll have a decision by the end of May, end of June.” Canada Day is Saturday, July 1, and still no word on Rizzo’s future as of Thursday morning. “The philosophy that we have is that a player should come when he’s ready to be here because he’s going to perform to the best of his ability, for himself and for the team,” MacGregor said on Thursday. “Would you like to know everything about what’s happening with someone? Maybe. But as long as they come when they’re ready to play and they’re comfortable to play, there’s no real timeline for anybody.” Hay declined comment, saying MacGregor is the point man on all Rizzo news, but it is safe to assume any head coach would like to know who he is working with sooner than later. Training camp on Mark Recchi Way is just around the corner. “He’s a passionate player who brings a lot of emotion to the game and wears his heart on his sleeve and we believe one day he’ll be a top-end player for us,” Blazers’ director of player personnel Matt Recchi said at the draft last year. Rizzo has potential to change the face of the franchise for the next few years, a game-breaker who was recently invited to Hockey Canada’s under-17 selection camp in advance of the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August. He racked up 60 goals and 137 points in 61 games in his second-year bantam campaign with BWC in 2015-2016. He won the Canadian Sport School Hockey League’s 2016-2017 Freshman of the Year Award. “It’s probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make so far,” Rizzo told KTW last August at Blazers’ training camp. “There are lots of options and lots of things to think about, either playing college or Dub (WHL).” Rizzo suited up for three regular-season games and seven playoff games with the junior A B.C. Hockey League’s Penticton Vees in 2016-2017. The highly skilled forward could opt to go the same route taken by Kamloops product Ryan Gropp, who joined the Vees and kept his NCAA options open before eventually signing with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. Some WHL-drafted players who join junior A squads never return — see Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost. “They’re just continuing to evaluate and make some determination on what they want to do,” MacGregor said. “They’re trying to decide exactly which is the right route.”

BCHL 2017-18 Regular Season Schedule Released:

The 2017-18 BCHL regular season schedule is ready and has been uploaded to the league website. Fans and media can navigate the schedule using the ‘Schedule & Scores’ menu at www.bchl.ca. The subpages of that menu include ‘League Schedule’ which shows all games in a month-by-month format and ‘League Scoreboard’ which shows the games scheduled on any given night. Website users can filter the schedule by team, by date and by month using the drop-down menus on these pages. Opening night for the coming season will be Friday, September 8 with seven games on the slate for that evening. The league will complete two weeks of regular-season games before the Bauer BCHL Showcase which begins Sept. 20 in Chilliwack. Each team will play 58 games again this season with two of those contests taking place at the Showcase. The last day of the regular season will be Sunday, February 25 and the Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs will be on the following Friday, March 2. The upcoming season is the 56th for the BCHL since its inception in 1961.

Thorpe Commits To Capitals:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals junior A hockey club is happy to announce that defenseman Riley Thorpe, from West Kelowna, BC, has committed to the club for next season. The 18-year-old Thorpe joins the Capitals from the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs program of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL); he totalled one goal and 10 points in 39 games with the Monarchs last season. Prior to his year in the EHL, Thorpe spent two seasons developing with the highly-regarded Pursuit of Excellence (POE) program in Kelowna. With the POE Elite 15’s team in 2014-15, playing on the same club as current Capitals forward Alec Zawatsky, Thorpe tied for the league-lead in defensemen scoring with 22 points in 30 games. A year later with the POE Midget Prep club, Thorpe tied for the team-lead in scoring among defensemen, with 22 points in 36 games, and played alongside another current Capitals forward in Ty Pochipinski. “Riley has a year of junior under his belt… He’s a good skater, physically strong and has good puck skills,” Capitals Head Coach and GM Bob Beatty commented. “We’re excited to add another solid young defenseman to our D core.” In New Hampshire last season, Thorpe helped the Monarchs to the third round of the EHL playoffs, after posting an impressive 33-11-4 regular season record – good for first place in the New England Division and third overall in the 17-team EHL league.

Two Financial Takeaways From The Cents AGM:

After the Centennials' AGM two things are clear: they're in better financial standing then they have been in several years, and they have a new program to help them pack the rink. The Centennials are reporting a surplus due in large part to a program initiated by Aspen Planers. By receiving partial proceeds from timber salvage from the Pine Beetle problem, the Cents were able to add over 200,000 dollars to their revenue streams. Director of Hockey Operations, Brian Barrett, says, "We hadn't had an amount for quite a while, and then they got on the program again so we were very fortunate to be able to get a large amount of money out of that." The other exciting development is a new initiative spearheaded by the league called 'The Ultimate Tool Box.' It's a platform that's been used in many different leagues, including the NBA and MLB, and now it's coming to the BCHL. The objective of the program is to focus on a handful of games throughout the year, make them special, and try to sell the last seat in the house. By targeting these games, it's proven to help retain fans throughout the season. Barrett adds, "If we can increase our attendance significantly through this program, then I think it will ease a lot of the revenue problems for teams throughout the league." Armed with 'The Ultimate Tool Box,' and the best financial standing they've been in for years, the Cents are ready to make their 45th season their best.

Bahn Commits To Nanaimo:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Lucas Bahn has signed to play for the Team for the 2017-2018 season. The 1999 born defenceman joins the Clippers after playing this past season for the Skipjacks Hockey Club of the USPHL. During the 2016-2017 regular season the 5’10”165lb Hendersonville, Tennessee native scored 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in 25 games played. At the completion of the season Lucas was awarded the USPHL U18 Defenceman of the Year Award. He is also committed to play for the NCAA Division 1 University of New Hampshire Wildcats at the conclusion of his Junior career. We would like to welcome Lucas to the Clippers Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice with his new teammates at Training Camp in August.

Silverbacks Name Former Captain Killip New Assistant Coach:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks Hockey Club are proud to announce that Backs Alumni and former Captain David Killip is the new full time Assistant Coach. David played for the Silverbacks for three years in 2008-2009, 2009-2010 & 2010-2011. He was the assistant captain during the 2009-2010 season and then captain in the 2010-2011 season. He then went on to a 4-year scholarship at Western Michigan NCAA. After his 4 years he has been the Volunteer Assistant coach for the Western Michigan Broncos and has been working side by side with former Silverbacks owner Andy Murray at WMU. “We are very excited that David has agreed to come on board with his former junior team” says GM Troy Mick. David has grown into an amazing young man and coach and we are looking forward to him returning to Salmon Arm. His passion is second to none and we look forward to him working with our new coach Scott Atkinson. “I’m extremely excited to rejoin the Silverbacks, and can’t wait to get started. I have many fond memories of Salmon Arm and am looking forward to the challenge of improving upon some of the great seasons in Silverbacks History. I want to thank Andy Murray for all the help and knowledge shared, and Western Michigan University for a great 6 years in Kalamazoo.” David will start his new role Aug 7 as the Silverbacks start their first year running the Salmon Arm Hockey School where he will be a lead instructor and then move onto the Backs Main camp which will start Aug 21 at the Shaw Centre.

Clippers Make Appeal To City Council:

The Clippers hockey team decided to take a shot and ask city council for a grant. The Nanaimo Clippers are continuing their campaign to try to finalize the sale of the junior A hockey club from the previous ownership group to the new Clippers Hockey Society. Andrea Trepanier, Clippers chief executive officer, said the campaign has “lost momentum” in recent weeks, which is one of the reasons she addressed city council as a delegation last week. Earlier this year when ownership talked about relocating the team, “it was all doom and gloom and people were like, ‘no, we’ve got to save the Clippers,’” Trepanier told the News Bulletin. “And we thought we’d get lots of support and we have, we’re doing OK, but it hasn’t been as big as we’d hoped.” She said the previous ownership group has now asked the society to work toward a Dec. 1 deadline to complete the sale of the team. Trepanier said the society will eventually be able to access gaming funds and hold lotteries, but in the meantime, financial support is needed. “We would also like the City of Nanaimo to consider a possible grant for the first two years of operation, as our monies from gaming will be delayed…” she told city council June 12. “The Clippers are a thread in the fabric of Nanaimo and we want to stay here and create more winning moments for our community.” She said the estimated benefit of a BCHL team to a city is $4 million annually, noting that visiting teams stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants and make other purchases on their travels. Trepanier told the Bulletin she couldn’t get into more specifics about her grant request to the city as the team and city are still in lease negotiations. City council motioned to receive the Clippers’ delegation. “I appreciate the fact that you’re working hard to save the Clippers,” said Coun. Jim Kipp. Coun. Diane Brennan acknowledged the presence of numerous Clippers fans in the gallery at council chambers that night. “I think it’s obvious that the Clippers have a great deal of meaning for the people in Nanaimo and it’s wonderful to see so many supporters here tonight to urge us forward,” she said. The new Clippers Hockey Society took another step toward faceoff with the selection of its board directors. The society held a meeting Tuesday and elected Graham Calder as chairman, Paul Manhas as vice-chairman and Jim Olsen as secretary-treasurer.

Spruce Kings Name Buffie New Director Of Scouting:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are very happy to announce the hiring of former Spruce Kings assistant coach Colton Buffie as the team’s new Director of Scouting. Colton had previously worked with the team in the role of assistant coach for four seasons from 2011 to 2015. Most recently Colton had been in a scouting role with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. “Colton is somebody who’s eye for talent I trust. In his time with us previously he proved to me that he has a knack for spotting talented players and does a good job in recruiting them to our program.  I’m really looking forward to having him back on board with us because he understands the type of player and more importantly the type of young man we like to have as Spruce Kings” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “I am very honored and excited to be a part of the Spruce Kings organization again. This organization is one of the most professionally run and well respected franchises in the BCHL. Mike Hawes and his staff have done a phenomenal job putting a competitive team on the ice each and every night and I will do everything I can to help that process. I spent four years as a part of the coaching staff and feel as though I have a good understanding of the type of players that are successful in Prince George.  My plan is to work with Mike, Adam and Alex to help recruit as many talented, driven, respectful, and hardworking players to the Spruce Kings family and hopefully bring a championship to the City of Prince George. I want to thank Mike, Tom Bohmer, and the rest of the organization for giving me this opportunity. Now it’s time to get to work” said Spruce Kings new Director of Scouting Colton Buffie.