Candice Ward/Calgary Hitmen

33 players with BCHL experience on WHL opening night rosters


The BC Hockey League is one of the top development leagues in North America and although there is always competition when it comes to recruiting players, there’s no doubt the BCHL also acts as a development path for many to advance to the Western Hockey League.

In total, 33 players on 17 WHL opening night rosters played at least one game in the BCHL.

Although most of the players on the list were only affiliates in the BCHL, playing a proverbial “cup of coffee” in the league, other players chose to sign in the WHL after playing at least one full season of junior A hockey.

The Everett Silvertips lead the way with four BCHL alumni on their opening night roster. The Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Seattle Thunderbirds, and Tri-City Americans are next with three, while Calgary, Edmonton, Prince George, Vancouver, and Victoria each feature two former BCHL players.

Eight of the players were regulars in the BCHL before joining a WHL roster while 25 only got into a handful of BCHL games as affiliate players. Those games would have come while they were still on the roster of a team at a lower level like junior B, academy, BC Elite Hockey League, or minor hockey.

In brackets on the list below is the BCHL team each player was affiliated with or played with before becoming a full-timer in the WHL.

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Former BCHL players on WHL opening night rosters

Calgary Hitmen (2)
Jackson van de Leest (Penticton Vees affiliate)
Tyson Galloway (Merritt Centennials)

Edmonton Oil Kings (2)
Carson Golder (Vernon Vipers affiliate/Trail Smoke Eaters)
Kobe Verbicky (Cowichan Valley Capitals)

Everett Silvertips (4)
Alex Swetlikoff (Vernon Vipers)
Aidan Sutter (Salmon Arm Silverbacks affiliate)
Jacob Wright (Powell River Kings affiliate)
Dylan Anderson (Vernon Vipers affiliate)

Kamloops Blazers (3)
Connor Levis (Coquitlam Express affiliate)
Dylan Sydor (West Kelowna Warriors affiliate)
Fraser Minten (Prince George Spruce Kings affiliate)

Kelowna Rockets (3)
Elias Carmichael (Langley Rivermen affiliate)
Dylan Wightman (Penticton Vees affiliate)
Steel Quiring (Vernon Vipers affiliate)

Lethbridge Hurricanes (1)
Kayden Sadhra-Kang (Surrey Eagles affiliate)

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Medicine Hat Tigers (1)
Lukas Svejkovsky (Wenatchee Wild)

Moose Jaw Warriors (1)
Logan Doust (Vernon Vipers affiliate)

Portland Winterhawks (1)
Luca Cagnoni (Alberni Valley Bulldogs affiliate)

Prince George Cougars (2)
Aiden Reeves (Prince George Spruce Kings affiliate)
Hudson Thornton (Chilliwack Chiefs)

Red Deer Rebels (1)
Benjamin King (Vernon Vipers affiliate)

Saskatoon Blades (1)
Carter Streek (Vernon Vipers affiliate)

Seattle Thunderbirds (3)
Henry Rybinski (Coquitlam Express)
Jeremy Hanzel (Coquitlam Express affiliate)
Thomas Milic (Coquitlam Express affiliate)

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Spokane Chiefs (1)
Jack Finley (Penticton Vees affiliate)

Tri-City Americans (3)
Mitchell Brown (Salmon Arm Silverbacks affiliate)
Alex Serraglio (West Kelowna Warriors affiliate)
Connor Bouchard (Penticton Vees affiliate)

Vancouver Giants (2)
Connor Horning (West Kelowna Warriors affiliate)
Cole Shepard (Penticton Vees)

Victoria Royals (2)
Riley Gannon (Alberni Valley Bulldogs affiliate)
Cage Newans (Nanaimo Clippers affiliate/Cowichan Valley Capitals affiliate)