After looking at the top 2004 and 2005-born players in both the Coastal and Interior Conferences of the B.C. Hockey League, it’s time to examine those players who have one more season of junior hockey eligibility left. In many cases, these players will head to college this fall and forgo their 20-year-old junior hockey season.
Goalie – Eli Pulver (Surrey Eagles)
Pulver once again had a very consistent season with the Eagles, more than doubling his win total from a year ago. His record this season was 23-8-3 in 35 games, including a league-leading six shutouts, finishing with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. The Vancouver, B.C. product’s win total of 23 put him fourth overall in the BCHL and his save percentage was the best among qualified netminders while being named a BCHL Second Team All-Star.
Defender – Ethan Mistry (Nanaimo Clippers)
This past season, Mistry had a breakout year with the Clippers, putting up 11 goals and 47 assists in 54 games. He followed that up with five points in Nanaimo’s six-game, first-round win over Langley. His play was a significant improvement from his first season with the Clips when he put up five goals and 22 assists in 53 games. The native of Toronto, Ont. is off to Brown University to play NCAA hockey in 2023-24.
Defender – Abram Wiebe (Chilliwack Chiefs)
Wiebe, who was a 7th-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights at last year’s NHL Draft, led the Chiefs in scoring this season with 12 goals and 41 assists in 54 games. Chilliwack’s captain added a dozen points in 15 playoff games as the Chiefs made a run to the Coastal Conference final. This was his third full season in Chilliwack after getting into three games as an affiliate in 2019-20. In 131 career BCHL games, Wiebe has put up 17 goals and 78 assists. The product of Mission, B.C. will join the University of North Dakota this September.
Forward – Kai Daniells (Nanaimo Clippers)
Daniells was a stud for Nanaimo during the 2022-23 season. He spent the last three years with the Clippers, tallying 58 goals and 61 assists in 128 games. This season in The Harbour City, Daniells led the Clippers in scoring with 35 goals and 36 assists in 54 games. The Whistler, B.C. native also added five goals and eight assists in 12 playoff games as the Clippers advanced to the Coastal Conference semifinals. Daniells announced his commitment to Princeton University last December and is off to the school this fall.
Forward – Nicholas Beneteau (Alberni Valley Bulldogs)
Beneteau played a huge part in the Bulldogs’ success this season. He finished first in team scoring with 20 goals and 36 assists in 53 games and is on fire during the playoffs, picking up eight goals and seven assists in 17 games as of this writing. Prior to joining Alberni Valley, Beneteau played for the Leamington Flyers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2019-20, scoring 15 goals and chipping in with 21 assists in 50 games. Beneteau, who is from Windsor, Ont., is heading to St. Lawrence University in September.
Forward – Jacob Bonkowski (Surrey Eagles)
Saying that Bownkowski had a notable season with the Eagles is an understatement. He finished the year ninth in the league scoring race with 27 goals and 27 assists in 53 games. In the previous two seasons with Surrey and Powell River, he put up 14 goals and 33 assists in 74 combined games. During the playoffs this season, he potted three goals and added four helpers in 12 games as the Eagles dumped the Kings in six games before falling to Alberni Valley in seven. The Richmond, B.C. native will head to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for 2023-24.
Goalie – Nathan Airey (Cranbrook Bucks)
Airey made a huge statement with his play this past season, his third in the BCHL. He finished with a record of 23-9-3, two shutouts, a 2.44 goals-against average, and a .925 save percentage. Airey had a seven-game winning streak during the season and a nine-game stretch where he didn’t allow more than two goals in a single start. The Cochrane, Alta. native earned the Michael Garteig Trophy as the BCHL’s Top Goaltender and is committed to the University of Minnesota for this September.
Defender – Tristan Allen (Salmon Arm Silverbacks/Merritt Centennials)
Allen was the top-scoring defender on the Silverbacks this season with six goals and 27 assists in 54 games, also adding a goal and seven assists in Salmon Arm’s 14-game run to the Interior Conference final. He was acquired by the Silverbacks from Merritt at the January 10 trade deadline. Allen spent the previous two seasons with the Centennials, where he scored a goal and had 23 helpers in 73 games. The product of Kamloops, B.C. is eligible to return to Salmon Arm’s blueline in 2023-24.
Defender – Isaiah Norlin (West Kelowna Warriors)
Norlin finished up his best offensive season with the Warriors, scoring six goals and adding 38 assists in 54 games. It was an improvement from his rookie season where he hit the scoresheet with two goals and had 11 helpers in 38 games in 2021-22. Norlin, who’s from Minneapolis, Minn., put up a goal and four assists in six first-round playoff games against Vernon. He’s committed to Clarkson University and College Hockey News has him heading off to the school in September 2024.
Forward – Brett Moravec (Penticton Vees)
Moravec has had quite the junior A career, starting with Okotoks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 2019-20 and then was traded to the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks. He had 12 points in 15 games with the Canucks in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season before being dealt to Penticton that off-season. Moravec finished this past season fourth in scoring on the Vees with 29 goals and 28 assists in 54 games. He also notched eight goals and five assists in 15 playoff games for Penticton as of this writing. The Airdrie, Alta. native is headed to the University of Wisconsin in the fall.
Forward – Ean Somoza (Wenatchee Wild)
Somoza ended this past season first on the Wild with 22 goals and 52 assists in 54 games. The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native came to the BCHL in 2021-22 after starting the season with Sioux Falls of the U.S. Hockey League. Somoza had one assist in five games with the Stampede and then finished with 15 goals and 38 assists in 49 games for the Wild. Somoza also picked up a goal and 11 assists in 10 playoff games against Cranbrook and Penticton this year and is committed to Western Michigan University for this September.
Forward – Josh Nadeau (Penticton Vees)
Nadeau came to the BCHL after playing the 2020-21 season for the Edmunston Blizzard in the Maritime Junior Hockey League. Last season, he was second in scoring on the Vees with 72 points in 54 games. He was second to his brother Bradly‘s 113 points this season with Penticton, exploding for 44 goals and 66 assists in 54 games. The St-François-de-Madawaska, N.B. has a career point-per-game average of 1.75 in the BCHL playoffs and he earned the Bob Fenton Trophy as the BCHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player this season. Nadeau is off to the University of Maine in September.