BCHL Bulletin: Cents, Spruce Kings, Express, Clippers, and Bulldogs sign new recruits, Newhook gets a deal in Montreal, and more!

Spruce Kings sign forward Sasaki

The Prince George Spruce Kings announced the signing of 2005-born forward Kazumo Sasaki for the 2023-24 B.C. Hockey League season on Tuesday. Sasaki is committed to Lake Superior State University for the 2025-26 NCAA season.

The native of Nishitokyo, Japan spent the 2022-23 season with the Chippewa Steel of the North American Hockey League and finished with a dozen goals and 26 points in 54 games. He added a goal in three NAHL playoff games.

Sasaki has played hockey of record in North America since 2019-20 when he was a member of the Ontario Hockey Academy Under-15 AAA program in the Hockey Eastern Ontario U15 division.

Merritt locks up May for the 2023-24 season

The Merritt Centennials have brought in veteran 2003-born forward Sammy May for 2023-24. May spent the 2022-23 season in the Western Hockey League with the Vancouver Giants and had a goal and eight assists in 63 games.

May, who hails from Richmond, B.C., has played 75 games in the WHL with Vancouver and Saskatoon over the last three seasons, totaling 10 points. He also notched 11 points in 22 games with the Langley Rivermen in 2021-22 before being traded to Drayton Valley of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. May had nine points in 22 games for the Thunder.

Dziver to play in Coquitlam in 2023-24

The Coquitlam Express has recruited 2005-born forward Noah Dziver for the upcoming BCHL season. The product of Winnipeg had 21 goals and 41 points in 32 games with South Alberta Hockey Academy U18 Prep in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League U18 division last season.

Dziver, who originally committed to the Penticton Vees in December, also played three games in the CSSHL U18 playoffs but didn’t register any points. He was the first overall pick by Neepawa in the 2020 Manitoba Junior Hockey League Draft.

Clippers bolster forward group with Edwards

The Nanaimo Clippers announced the addition of 2006-born forward Jack Edwards on Tuesday. Edwards, who calls Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home, spent 2022-23 with his hometown Penguins Elite 16U team. He played 13 games with the Pens in the NorthEast Pack Hockey League 16U division and 51 games in 16U AAA hockey.

In those 64 combined games, Edwards tallied 39 goals and 71 points. He also played two games with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League as an affiliate player but didn’t find the scoresheet.

Bulldogs add Ukrainian import to their crease

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have signed Ukrainian import goaltender Gleb Artsatbanov for the 2023-24 season. He spent most of this past season with HC Sparta Praha U20 in the Czechia U20 league.

In 23 games with Sparta Praha, the 2004-born netminder was 13-10-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average, a .938 save percentage, and five shutouts. In the playoffs, he was 11-2-0, posted one shutout, and finished with a 2.20 goals-against average, and a .927 save percentage.

Artsatbanov was solid for Ukraine at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship Division I Group B, finishing the tournament with a 1-1 record, a 2.44 goals-against average, and an .891 save percentage. He attended the Boston Bruins’ National Hockey League development camp last week.

Deveau heads from North Iowa to Merritt

2004-born defender Isaac Deveau has signed with the Merritt Centennials for the upcoming B.C. Hockey League season. Deveau, from Lorraine, Que., spent 2022-23 with North Iowa of the NAHL, where he notched five assists in 30 games.

Deveau was selected by Acadie-Bathurst in the 14th round of the 2021 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft and by Saint-Jérôme in the third round of the 2021 Quebec Junior Hockey League Draft.

Strobel signs to play in Fort McMurray

2022-23 West Kelowna Warriors affiliate player Ben Strobel has signed with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the AJHL for the 2023-24 season. Strobel is a 2005-born forward from West Kelowna, B.C.

Strobel spent last season with the Okanagan Rockets U18 AAA in the British Columbia Elite Hockey League U18 division and tallied 15 goals and 34 points in 32 games. He got into three BCHL games with West Kelowna as an AP.

Newhook inks a four-year pact to stay in Montreal

The Montreal Canadiens, who acquired forward Alex Newhook (60 goals, 108 assists in 98 games with Victoria from 2017-19) from the Colorado Avalanche on June 27, signed the restricted free agent to a four-year contract worth $11.6 million on Tuesday.

Related: How Alex Newhook went from the BCHL to the NHL in two years

Newhook, a 22-year-old from St. John’s, Nfld., has 27 goals and 66 points in 159 games for the Avalanche over the last three seasons. He added a goal and seven points in 27 Stanley Cup playoff games. Colorado made Newhook the 16th overall selection in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Mulrenin commits to Hamline University for the NCAA Division III season

21-year-old forward Ryan Mulrenin (nine goals, four assists in 25 games with Merritt in 2021-22) has committed to playing NCAA Division III hockey at Hamline University starting this September. Hamline is the oldest university in Minnesota and is located in St. Paul.

Mulrenin, from Wayzata, Minnesota, put up 27 goals and 50 points in 35 games during the 2022-23 season while playing for the Minnesota Moose in the United States Premier Hockey League Premier division. He also potted seven goals and 14 points in eight USPHL Premier playoff games.