Welcome to the September 19, 2018 edition of Around the BCHL, a look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.
The Nanaimo Clippers continue to be the most active BCHL team on the transaction front.
On the heels of bringing in defenceman Trevor Isaksson from Penticton earlier this week, the Clips made three more roster moves.
Nanaimo sent future considerations to Langley for 19 year old defenceman Andrew Lucas, whose Rivermen tenure was just three games and one assist long. The rookie spent the 2017-18 season with Loomis Chaffee School, a Connecticut-based prep program, where he collected 10 goals and 28 points in 26 games.
Lucas already has an NCAA commitment in hand for next season, when he’ll join the University of Vermont Catamounts. He also has one of the most intense, and borderline sinister, mug shots I’ve ever seen.
The Clippers kept going with the signing of ex-Western Hockey Leaguer Liam Belcourt.
The six-foot-four Albertan, who is still only 18 years old, played 18 games for the Dub’s Tri-City Americans in 2017-18. In 2016-17 he was a hard-nosed defenceman with the UFA Bisons midget AAA team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League, racking up 88 penalty minutes in 33 games.
Nanaimo cleared away a roster spot by sending 1999-born Noah Featherstonhaugh-Gowe to the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Cobourg Cougars in exchange for future considerations.
And all sports writers working on a word-count breathed a silent sigh of relief.
A transaction not involving Nanaimo did involve one of its closest rivals as the Powell River Kings picked up a netminder.
Hayden Missler, a 1999-born stopper, joins the team from the West Kelowna Warriors, acquired for future considerations.
West K fans may be saying, ‘Hayden who?’
The kid only got into one game for the Warriors, and it wasn’t a great one. The native of Wainwright, Alberta, gave up four goals on 31 shots in a 4-2 home ice loss to the Wenatchee Wild last weekend. Missler spent most of last season with an Alberta Junior Hockey League powerhouse, logging 21 games with the Doyle Cup champion Spruce Grove Saints, posting a 2.44 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.
|Hayden Missler is in this picture as part of last season’s Doyle Cup champion Spruce Grove Saints.|
Missler should be the backup to veteran Mitch Adamyk with the Kings, and he’ll have to play well to stick around long term.
Matteo Paler-Chow is still recovering from a wakeboard accident suffered in the offseason, but he should be back at some point to create a logjam in the crease.
The Penticton Vees have launched a new program, Community Heroes, that will help 28 local charities.
At each home game this season, the team will present a cheque for $1,000 to a registered charity that has applied through the Vees website to be a Community Hero.
“Launching Community Heroes is a very important project for us,” Vees Director of Corporate Partnerships David Michaud said in a news release. “When we reached over 3,000 fans per game last season, we knew we had to find a way to say thank you to the community for supporting us the way they do.
“This will give us a chance to recognize 28 amazing groups that do great work in our community. Even more special than the $1,000, we think the chance for Vees Nation to recognize the great work these organizations do will speak volumes. We hope to hear lots of applause and cowbells when each of these organizations are honoured.”
The Wenatchee Wild celebrated an anniversary earlier this week.
Monday marked a decade since the team debuted in the tier-II junior North American Hockey League, losing 2-1 in overtime to the Motor City Metal Jackets on Sept. 17, 2008.
According to Wikipedia, the team got its Wild moniker through a ‘name the team contest’ held at several Wenatchee-area schools. They could have potentially been called the Wranglers, Bombers, Wonders, Hockeyes, Winning Walruses and Ice Busters.
Winning Walruses certainly feels like a missed opportunity.
Wenatchee made the playoffs in each of their six NAHL seasons and twice appeared in the Robertson Cup championship.
The Wild transferred to the BCHL for the 2015-16 season and the Wild have quickly established themselves as one of the league’s flagship franchises.
Wenatchee coach Kyle Brodie was there from day one, and is featured in a video discussing that team history.
TODAY IS OUR 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
10 years ago today (Sept 17), the Wenatchee Wild played their first game ever. Wild alum (and current dev. team coach) Kyle Brodie was there, and shares his memories from that first game, and first season.
— Wenatchee Wild (@WenatcheeWild1) September 17, 2018
Back to the Vees now.
The team has circulated a lot of familiar last names through the ranks the last few seasons.
Sons of former National Hockey Leaguers often seem to end up in Penticton, and the son of an NHL Hall of Famer is the latest.
Eric Welsh is the sports editor at the Chilliwack Progress and has been covering junior A hockey in B.C. and Alberta since 2003.