A snapshot of BCHL alumni on BCIHL teams

For graduating players looking to attend post-secondary schools, there are several options. Many British Columbia Hockey League players leave for schools in the NCAA in the United States and others attend U SPORTS schools in Canada.

For several BCHL players, they attend schools in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League. The BCIHL is a five-team league consisting of teams from the Okanagan to Vancouver Island.

In Canada, the BCIHL operates as a club league. It has many student-athletes who are former junior players joining its five-member teams.

This article is about those BCHL players who ended up with BCIHL teams, but before that, I will profile its five-member teams.

From the Okanagan to Vancouver Island

Based out of Kelowna, B.C. are the Okanagan Lakers. They are one of two teams in the BCIHL that draw student-athletes from different schools. In this case, players are from Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia-Okanagan — both campuses are in Kelowna.

The Logan Lake Miners play out of the small community of Logan Lake, B.C. The Miners draw their players from student-athletes at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt, B.C.

Moving southwest, at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., are the SFU Red Leafs. On Vancouver Island, at Vancouver Island University are the Mariners, based out of Nanaimo, B.C.. Finally, at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. are the UVIC Vikes.

One former BCIHL member team has since joined U SPORTS. Trinity Western University jumped to Canada’s highest level of university athletics in 2020 after 15 seasons in the BCIHL.


For the Vikes, netminder Jakob Drapeau comes from the BCHL. In the 2020-21 Pod season, Drapeau played for the Powell River Kings against the Express and Surrey Eagles in the Coquitlam Pod based out of Scotiabarn in Burnaby. He played 10 games that season, finishing with a 3-4-0 record, a 4.48 goals-against average, and an .854 save percentage.

SFU Red Leafs netminder Kolby Matthews is a BCHL alumnus. During the 2018-19 season, he played 34 games for the Coquitlam Express, going 14-16-2 with a 3.01 goals-against average, one shutout, and a .900 save percentage.

VIU Mariners goalie Derek Krall is a former BCHLer. He spent parts of three seasons in the BCHL with Penticton and Powell River. He finished after the 2019-20 season playing for the Kings and compiled a 17-7-5 record, a .917 save percentage, a 2.62 goals-against average, and three shutouts in 30 games on the Sunshine Coast that season.

Drapeau was the only goalie to attend UVIC from the beginning. Before joining SFU, Matthews attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and played NCAA Division I hockey for the Tigers. Meanwhile, Krall played NCAA Division I and attended the University of Alabama-Huntsville before committing to the Mariners.


Former Victoria Grizzlies defender Andrew Braun is playing for his hometown Vikes. He joined UVIC after finishing his junior career with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s Peninsula Panthers.

Meanwhile, another Kings alumni has joined the SFU Red Leafs. Defender Dylan Hewlett played several seasons for the Kings and the 2023-24 season is his first at Simon Fraser University.

Joining him on the Red Leafs is fellow blueliner Liam Visram. From 2018 to 2021, Visram split his time between the Nanaimo Clippers and Merritt Centennials. After attending Portage College in Lac La Biche, Alta., he transferred to SFU. Portage College plays in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

Each player took different paths to BCIHL schools. Braun moved between junior A and junior B teams while Hewlett played his entire junior career with one team. Meanwhile, Visram played college hockey in Alberta before coming back to British Columbia.


Attending UVic is former Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Sam Schofield. Schofield played parts of three seasons between the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Cowichan Valley before finishing his junior career playing for the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Junior hockey veteran forward Blake Power played 15 games for the Nanaimo Clippers and one game with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. He spent the majority of his junior career with the VIJHL’s Port Alberni Bombers.

During the 2022-23 season, Connor Brown-Maloski played for the expansion Logan Lake Miners. During his time in the BCHL, Brown-Maloski split his time between the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the Trail Smoke Eaters.

After graduating from the BCHL, Brown-Maloski played NCAA Division I hockey at Bemidji State University. After two seasons in the United States, he transferred to the University of Ottawa to play U SPORTS. After two years away from hockey of record, Brown-Maloski joined the Miners.

Looking at these three players shows several things. Schofield spent most of his junior career in the BCHL before finishing it in Saskatchewan. Meanwhile, Power only played briefly on BCHL teams and finished his junior career with a junior B team.

Finally, Brown-Maloski took the long way when joining the Miners. Brown-Maloski played on NCAA and U SPORTS teams and went back to collegiate hockey after a two-season hiatus.

The BCIHL looks to the future

After its recent expansion, the BCIHL currently sits at five members. Throughout the regular season, member clubs play games against non-member teams.

During the 2023-24 season, Trinity Western University will play several games against BCIHL teams and the VIU Mariners will also play the NCAA Division I’s University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves.

Playing in the BCIHL doesn’t limit a player’s opportunities. It allows them to face off against teams from different athletic programs, and because of this, the league has a long future ahead.