BCHL Bulletin: Bucks sign McGowan to the herd, Cents add Lane to their crease, and more!

Bucks bring in McGowan

The Cranbrooks Bucks have signed 2006-born defender Tyler McGowan out of Irvine, California for the 2023-24 B.C. Hockey League season.

McGowan spent the 2022-23 season with the Anaheim Junior Ducks 16U AAA split between the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League 16U division and 16U AAA hockey league. In 80 games with the Jr. Ducks, he had 25 goals and 66 games. He also appeared in two games with Muskegon of the United States Hockey League as an affiliate player.

Cents add Lane to their crease

The Merritt Centennials have added 2004-born goaltender Beau Lane for the upcoming BCHL season. Lane hails from Pembroke, Massachusetts, and was the 21st-ranked North American goaltender by National Hockey League Central Scouting for the 2022 NHL Draft.

Lane split this past season between the Cape Cod Whalers 18U AAA team and playing prep hockey at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts. He was 8-7-3 with a 2.93 goals-against average in 20 games for the Whalers. Lane posted a 2.09 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage with Thayer Academy.

Merritt loses Schmidt to Fort McMurray of the AJHL

2004-born Merritt Centennials forward Carter Schmidt has signed with the Alberta Junior Hockey League‘s Fort McMurray Oil Barons for the 2023-24 season. Schmidt, who is from Kelowna, B.C., played 49 games for the Centennials in 2022-23.

As a third-year player, he compiled three goals and 16 points. His career BCHL totals include nine goals and 27 points in 93 games with West Kelowna, Cranbrook, and the Centennials over the last three seasons.

Silverbacks hire Stewart as play-by-play voice

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks announced on Thursday that they have hired Zach Stewart as their broadcaster and communications manager for the 2023-24 season.

Stewart, who is originally from Alberta, spent this past season as the play-by-play voice of the Merritt Centennials. He pulled double duty as news anchor and morning show co-host at Q101, a radio station in Merritt.

His hiring in Salmon Arm not only means that Q101 is looking for a new news anchor, but the Centennials will have a new voice in the broadcast booth starting in September.

Spruce Kings look to hire Director of Communications and Broadcasting

The Prince George Spruce Kings are looking for a new director of communications and broadcasting following the resignation of Ethan Ready to take a position outside of hockey.

Ready joined the Spruce Kings 11 months ago following three years in radio and television journalism split between Vista Radio and CKPG-TV in Prince George.

Five former BCHLers at Hurricanes camp

The Carolina Hurricanes announced their development camp roster on Thursday afternoon and it includes five players with BCHL ties on it.

2005-born forward Bradly Nadeau, 2003-born forward Josh Nadeau, 19-year-old defender Charles-Alexis Legault (six goals, 12 assists in 36 games for West Kelowna in 2021-22), 22-year-old forward Massimo Rizzo (43 goals, 80 assists in 132 games with Penticton, Coquitlam, and Chilliwack from 2017-21), and 23-year-old goaltender Yaniv Perets (25-8-2, 2.19 goals-against average, .918 save percentage, five shutouts in 37 games with Penticton in 2019-20) are among the attendees of the Canes camp.

Nadeau, who is from St-Francois-de-Madawaska, N.B., scored 45 goals and 68 assists in 54 games for Penticton in 2022-23, tying for the league lead in goals, assists, and points. He then added 17 goals and 18 assists in 17 playoff games as the Vees won the Fred Page Cup. Carolina nabbed the University of Maine commit in the first round, 30th overall, in this year’s NHL Draft.

Nadeau was second to his brother Bradly‘s 113-point season with Penticton in 2022-23, exploding for 44 goals and 66 assists in 54 games. The St-François-de-Madawaska, N.B. product has a career point-per-game average of 1.75 in the BCHL playoffs and earned the Bob Fenton Trophy as the BCHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player this season. Nadeau is off to the University of Maine in September.

Legault, a Laval, Que product, just wrapped up his first NCAA season at Quinnipiac University. In addition to winning a national championship with the Bobcats, Legault notched two goals and nine points in 40 games as a rookie college player. He was taken by Carolina in the fifth round, 139th overall, at last week’s NHL Draft.

Rizzo, who hails from Burnaby, B.C., played 77 games at the University of Denver over the last two seasons, scoring 29 goals and 82 points. He was selected 216th overall in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Hurricanes.

From Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., Perets earned a 34-4-3 record, 1.49 goals-against average, .931 save percentage, and 10 shutouts in 41 games with Quinnipiac in 2022-23, leading the Bobcats to the first national championship in program history. He signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Hurricanes as an NCAA free agent in April.

Stibbe transfers to Augsburg University

22-year-old forward Cade Stibbe (14 goals, 16 assists in 54 games with Wenatchee in 2021-22) has transferred from Arizona State University to Augsburg University to play NCAA Division III hockey. His new school is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Stibbe, who is from Fargo, North Dakota, got into 10 games at ASU as a first-year player in 2022-23, but didn’t register any points.

Bunz returns to ECHL Wheeling in 2023-24

Defender Davis Bunz (nine goals, 18 assists in 49 games with Chilliwack in 2016-17) signed to return to the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL for a second season on Thursday. Wheeling is a city of 26,000 in the state of West Virginia.

The 24-year-old product of Middleton, Wisconsin was a rookie with the Nailers during the 2022-23 season and ended up posting three goals and 23 points in 58 games.

Santerno re-ups with Kansas City

Forward Luke Santerno (58 goals, 56 assists in 171 games with Merritt, Cowichan Valley, and Trail from 2014-17) has signed a contract for the 2023-24 ECHL season with the Kansas City Mavericks. The Mavs play out of the city of Independence, Missouri.

The 27-year-old from Smithers, B.C., split the 2022-23 ECHL season between Kansas City, Wheeling, and Greenville, totaling three goals and 12 points in 30 games. He also got into three playoff games with the Mavericks but didn’t register any points.

Zins heads back to Indianapolis for next season

From St. Michael, Minnesota, defender Trevor Zins (15 goals, 41 assists in 99 games with Trail from 2017-19) has signed with the ECHL’s Indy Fuel for the upcoming season. The Fuel is affiliated with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.

The 24-year-old got into six games and posted one assist with Indy last season after signing an amateur tryout with the Fuel in March. He wrapped up a four-year NCAA career in 2022-23, finishing with four goals and 19 points in 69 games split between St. Cloud State University and the University of St. Thomas.

Lewis traded in junior B from Kamloops to Victoria

2003-born defender Samuel Lewis was traded in junior B hockey on June 3, going from the Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay Internation Junior Hockey League to the Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

Lewis, who’s from Kamloops, B.C., had one goal in seven games with the Merritt Centennials as an affiliate player in 2022-23. He also put up six goals and 21 points in 40 games for his hometown Storm. Lewis is committed to the University of Victoria to play in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League in September 2024.