2022-23 BCHL trade deadline primer

The BC Hockey League trade deadline arrives on Thursday at 3 pm PST. That’s the deadline for teams in the BC Hockey League and the other nine junior A leagues across Canada to be able to make trades and releases from their rosters.

When BCHL teams trade a BC-born player out of the league in exchange for a player development fee (often noted as future considerations), he must be waived through the BCHL first.

Relating to that, there is a deadline of 12 pm PST Tuesday for trades involving waivers and BCHL teams have until 2:30 pm PST to put in a claim for a player being dealt out of province in exchange for a player development fee.

At 4 pm PST, the Hockey Canada Registry closes, and teams won’t be able to make any other moves.

2022-23 BCHL roster rules

The allowable number of players on a roster is 23, which is down two from the 25 allowed during the seasons impacted by COVID-19. Teams are still permitted to have only six import players and six 2002-born players on their roster. As is the norm, only American-born players are considered imports, but only for the 17 BC-based teams.

American players from outside of Washington, California, Colorado, and Arizona are considered imports for the Wild, and Wenatchee is allowed to have six of them. It is also permitted to have four Canadian import players.

BCHL clubs are also required to have a minimum of four rookie players, which is defined as those entering the season with less than 30 games of junior A experience. They are also required to have a minimum of two players 17 years old or younger on their active roster. For 2022-23, that means 2005-born or 2006-born players. ‘

Teams were permitted to make trades for the 2022-23 season starting last June 1. As of this writing, there have been 147 trades since then.

Trades per team since June 1

Cowichan Valley and Merritt lead the way with a total of 21 trades each since last June. Prince George is a close second with 20 moves. Vernon and Victoria each made 17 swaps in that time and 15 each for Langley and Powell River.

  • Alberni Valley (11)
  • Chilliwack (5)
  • Coquitlam (6)
  • Cowichan Valley (21)
  • Cranbrook (8)
  • Langley (15)
  • Merritt (21)
  • Nanaimo (8)
  • Penticton (5)
  • Powell River (15)
  • Prince George (20)
  • Salmon Arm (10)
  • Surrey (13)
  • Trail (6)
  • Vernon (17)
  • Victoria (17)
  • Wenatchee (5)
  • West Kelowna (6)

When it comes to age groups, players in their second-to-last or final season of junior hockey eligibility moved the most since last June as 2002-born and 2003-born players have been included in 120 of the 147 trades made to this point.

2004-born players featured in 47 deals and just five 2005-born players have been moved. There’s also been one deal that saw a 2006-born player change teams.

Trades per league since June 1

Teams in the Alberta Junior Hockey League have been the most popular trading partners with BCHL teams this season, with 44 out of 93 out-of-province deals seeing players sent to, or coming from, the league. BCHL clubs have come to trade agreements with Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League teams 15 times and Central Canada Hockey League teams 14 times.

  • Alberta Junior Hockey League (44)
  • Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (15)
  • Central Canada Hockey League (14)
  • Ontario Junior Hockey League (9)
  • Manitoba Junior Hockey League (8)
  • Maritime Hockey League (2)
  • Quebec Junior Hockey League (1)
  • Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (0)
  • Superior International Junior Hockey League (0)

With rosters featuring forwards more than any other position, it makes sense players from those ranks make up the majority of trades this season. So far, 105 forwards have been involved in transactions, compared to 46 defensemen and 11 goaltenders.

A whopping 89 per cent of all trades this season have included future considerations, with 131 out of 142 featuring either a player to be named later or a player development fee changing hands.

A look at how many deals went down each season over the last five shows the number of moves during 2022-23 to this point isn’t all that abnormal.

  • 2021-22 (164)
  • 2020-21 (151)
  • 2019-20 (160)
  • 2018-19 (119)
  • 2017-18 (121)

The most up-to-date list of BCHL trades is available on the BCHLNetwork Trade Tracker.