BCHL Bulletin: Cents, Warriors, Rivermen, Silverbacks add new players, BCHL alumni get NHL qualifying offers, and more!

Centennials get Fancy for 2023-24

The Merritt Centennials have signed 2004-born defender Ocean Fancy for the 2023-24 B.C. Hockey League season. Fancy hails from Orleans, Massachusetts.

He had five goals and 14 points in 35 games with the Boston Advantage in the National Collegiate Development Conference during the 2022-23 season.

Rivermen bring in Merrick for the upcoming season

The Langley Rivermen bolstered their forward group on Friday with the addition of 2005-born Adyn Merrick out of Saline, Michigan.

Merrick is committed to Northern Michigan University for 2025-26 and posted 10 goals and 18 points in 40 games with the Springfield Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League this past season. He also got into one game with Youngstown of the United States Hockey League.

Warriors add Farrell and Ausmus to their roster

In a busy morning for the West Kelowna Warriors, the team announced the signing of 2004-born defenders Jack Farrell and Trey Ausmus for the 2023-24 season.

Farrell, who is from Wilmington, Massachusetts, played in 28 prep school games at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts in 2022-23, scoring seven goals and 29 points as captain. He also appeared with the East Coast Wizards U18 AAA club, but there aren’t any point totals of record available.

Ausmus, hailing from East Grand Forks, Minnesota, spent his 2022-23 season with the Madison Capitols of the USHL. He had two goals and 13 points in 48 games. He is committed to the University of North Dakota, located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to play NCAA Division I hockey starting in 2024.

Langley snags Hallett for its crease

The Langley Rivermen have recruited 2005-born netminder Liam Hallett for the upcoming BCHL season. The native of Victoria had an 8-4-1 record, a 2.57 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage, and one shutout in 15 games with St. George’s School U18 Prep in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League last season.

Hallett, who originally committed to the Vernon Vipers back in February, added a 1-1-0 record, a 2.00 goals-against average, and a .935 save percentage in a pair of CSSHL playoff games earlier this spring.

Silverbacks bring in skilled 2006-born Ashe

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks announced the addition of the University of Nebraska-Omaha commit Riley Ashe on Friday. The 2006-born forward spent 2022-23 with Melfort of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

In 55 games for the Mustangs, Ashe was the top-scoring 16-year-old in the SJHL with eight goals and 38 points. He chipped in with five assists in 10 playoff games for Melfort. Ashe is off to UNO in September 2024.

Beckford brings his game from Wisconsin to Langley

After playing 30 games in the NAHL with Wisconsin in 2022-23, 2003-born goaltender Max Beckford has signed with the Langley Rivermen to play in the BCHL this season.

The product of London, Ont. posted an 18-11-1 record, a 2.60 goals-against average, two shutouts, and a .923 save percentage with the Windigo last season. His numbers were even better in the NAHL playoffs — 4-2-0, a 1.87 goals-against average, and a .942 save percentage — in seven games.

Canucks give Hirose a qualifying offer

On Friday, the Vancouver Canucks extended a qualifying offer to 24-year-old restricted free agent defender Akito Hirose (20 goals, 102 assists in 208 games with Salmon Arm from 2016-20) to retain his rights. His qualifying offer was $897,750 USD.

Hirose, a native of Calgary, finished with three assists in seven games for the Canucks in 2022-23 after signing a one-year contract with them as a college free agent in March. He wrapped up a three-year NCAA career at Minnesota State University Mankato this past season, finishing with seven goals and 68 points in 104 games.

Rivermen bolster roster with forward Reierson

The Langley Rivermen continued to add to their roster on Friday with the signing of 2005-born forward Aaron Reierson out of Moorhead, Minnesota.

Reierson played most of 2022-23 with his hometown Moorhead High School prep team. As an alternate captain, he posted 35 goals and 51 points in 30 games. He also had seven goals and 13 points in 13 games with Team Sanford Power of the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League.

Centennials sign LeDrew away from the CCHL

The Merritt Centennials added another piece to their blueline on Friday, bringing in 2005-born defender Trent LeDrew from the Brockville Braves of the Central Canada Hockey League.

LeDrew, who signed a tender with Windigo of the NAHL earlier this spring but will now instead join the Cents, notched eight goals and 33 points in 55 games for Brockville in 2022-23, his second in the league. He posted a goal and four assists in a dozen CCHL playoff games.

Stars have two BCHL alumni at development camp

The Dallas Stars unveiled their 2023 development camp roster and schedule on Friday, and two former BCHL players are among those participating.

24-year-old forward Ben Berard (53 goals, 62 assists in 135 games with Cowichan Valley and Powell River from 2015-19), from Duncan, B.C., had an assist in two games with Texas of the AHL in 2022-23. He added 11 goals and 28 points in 34 NCAA games at Cornell University.

22-year-old forward Keaton Mastrodonato (40 goals, 54 assists in 125 games with Alberni Valley from 2016-19) was scoreless in a pair of games with AHL Texas this past season. He wrapped up his NCAA career with 16 goals and 36 points in 42 games with Canisius College in 2022-23.

Kayter takes his game to Langley

Humboldt Broncos defender Carsten Kayter will continue his junior hockey career in the BCHL after signing with the Langley Rivermen. The 2006-born blueliner was a rookie with the Broncos in 2022-23.

He finished the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season with five goals and 29 points in 52 games. In 10 SJHL playoff games, he ended up with one assist. The Warman, Sask. product is committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha to start his NCAA career in September 2024.

Stars don’t send qualifying offer to Scheel

The Dallas Stars didn’t give a qualifying offer to restricted free agent goaltender Adam Scheel (29-12-0, 2.08 goals-against average, .927 save percentage, three shutouts in 45 games with Penticton in 2017-18) on Friday. He’s now free to sign with any team.

The 24-year-old product of Lakewood, Ohio appeared in two games with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars this past season. He added a 28-8-0 record with a 1.97 goals-against average, five shutouts, and a .932 save percentage in 37 ECHL games with the Idaho Steelheads.

Jost becomes an unrestricted free agent in the NHL

Forward Tyson Jost (65 goals, 84 assists in 97 games with Penticton from 2014-16) didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and is now an unrestricted free agent.

Jost, 25, had seven goals and 25 points in 54 games split between Minnesota and Buffalo this past season. Through 413 career NHL games with the Sabres, Wild, and Colorado, the St. Albert, Alta. product has 54 goals and 134 points.

Maple Leafs bring Tychonick to their development camp

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have defender Jonny Tychonick (12 goals, 58 assists in 96 games with Penticton from 2016-18) at their 2023 development camp.

Tychonick, a 23-year-old from Calgary, recorded eight goals and 26 points through 35 games with the University of Nebraska-Omaha this past season. He signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL in March and finished 2022-23 with two goals and five points in seven games with Newfoundland of the ECHL.

Tychonick was originally drafted 48th overall in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

Barton and Weatherby don’t get offers from Detroit

The Detroit Red Wings chose not to qualify forward Jasper Weatherby (49 goals, 57 assists in 104 games with Wenatchee from 2016-18) and defender Seth Barton (six goals, 27 assists in 51 games with Nanaimo and Trail from 2016-18) and both become unrestricted free agents.

Weatherby, from Portland, Oregon, split the 2022-23 season between Grand Rapids and San Jose of the AHL, finishing with six goals and 17 points in 70 games. The 25-year-old was originally drafted 102nd overall in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks.

Barton scored five points in 36 AHL games with Grand Rapids last season. The 23-year-old from Kelowna, B.C. also chipped in with two goals and eight points in 10 games with Toledo of the ECHL. He was selected 81st overall in the third round of the 2018 NHL Draft by Detroit.

Kings ink a deal with Ward

25-year-old right winger Taylor Ward (36 goals, 41 assists in 162 games with Penticton from 2015-18) has signed a one-year, two-way extension with the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kelowna, B.C. native totaled nine goals and 26 points in 71 games for the AHL’s Ontario Reign in 2022-23, his first full pro season. He also got into one playoff game for the Reign.

Vegas development camp highlighted by four former BCHLers

The Vegas Golden Knights have four former BCHL players on the roster for their 2023 development camp, which starts on Saturday.

22-year-old defender Jayden Lee (seven goals, 34 assists in 84 games with Langley and Powell River from 2017-19), 19-year-old blueliner Abram Wiebe (17 goals, 78 assists in 131 games with Chilliwack from 2019-23), 22-year-old defender Layton Ahac (10 goals, 51 assists in 110 games with Prince George from 2017-19), and 24-year-old forward David Silye (59 goals, 122 assists in 218 games with Nanaimo and Penticton from 2016-20) are among those attending.

Lee, from North Vancouver, B.C., posted 13 goals and 47 points in 133 NCAA games at Quinnipiac University over the last four seasons.

Wiebe, who hails from Mission, B.C., is set to start his NCAA career this fall at the University of North Dakota. The Golden Knights nabbed him in the seventh round, 209th overall, in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Ahac, a product of North Vancouver, B.C., spent the last two and a half seasons in the AHL with the Henderson Silver Knights. In 79 career AHL games, he has a goal and 11 assists.

Silye is from Anprior, Ont. and joins the University of Wisconsin this fall after transferring from Minnesota State University Mankato, where he spent the last two seasons. In 99 games over three NCAA campaigns, he has 31 goals and 59 points.

Reilly becomes a free agent after being bought out by Boston

Defender Mike Reilly (24 goals, 59 assists in 51 games with Penticton in 2011-12) was placed on unconditional waivers by the Boston Bruins for the purpose of a buyout on Friday morning. Reilly had one more year on a $3-million contract that he signed in 2021.

The 29-year-old from Chicago, Illinois spent most of last season with the Providence Bruins of the AHL, compiling seven goals and 26 points in 36 games. He did get into 10 games with Boston and posted one assist. He’s now an unrestricted free agent.

Hurricanes pin down Coghlan

The Carolina Hurricanes gave defender Dylan Coghlan (no points in two games with Nanaimo in 2013-14) a qualifying offer on Friday, keeping the restricted free agent’s rights in the fold. The 25-year-old from Duncan, B.C. split the 2022-23 season between the NHL and AHL.

Coghlan had three assists at the NHL level with the Hurricanes. He also chipped in with two goals and an assist in the American League with the Chicago Wolves before his season was cut short due to an injury.

Neaton heads to camp with the Winnipeg Jets

Goaltender Logan Neaton (32-8-5, 1.92 goals-against average, .914 save percentage, five shutouts in 47 games with Prince George in 2018-19) will attend development camp with the Winnipeg Jets.

The 2019 fifth-round pick of the Jets hails from Brighton, Michigan. He played 16 NCAA Division I games with Miami University at Ohio over the last two seasons. In those 16 games, the 24-year-old had a 1-9-0 record with a 4.02 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage.

BCHL well-represented at Canadiens development camp

2023-24 Penticton Vees recruit Francesco Dell’Elce has been invited to the Montreal Canadiens development camp, which starts on Saturday. He is committed to the University of Massachusetts for September 2024.

Dell’Elce, from King City, Ont., was eligible for this past week’s NHL Draft but wasn’t selected. He had 20 goals and 62 points in 51 games for St. Andrew’s College in the Canadian Athletic High School League in 2022-23.

The Canadiens also announced that Victoria Grizzlies general manager and head coach Rylan Ferster (11 goals, 10 assists in 28 games with Vernon in 1989-90) and assistant coach Geoff Grimwood will serve as guest coaches at the camp.

Quillan goes camping with the Bruins

21-year-old forward Jacob Quillan (13 goals, 14 assists in 20 games with Penticton in 2020-21) is attending development camp with the Boston Bruins as an invitee and off-ice participant.

The centre from Dartmouth, N.S. spent the last two seasons playing NCAA Division I hockey at Quinnipiac University and won a national championship with the Bobcats this past season. In 77 career NCAA games, he has 21 goals and 47 points.

Canadiens extend a qualifying offer to Newhook

The Montreal Canadiens extended a qualifying offer to 22-year-old restricted free agent forward Alex Newhook (60 goals, 108 assists in 98 games with Victoria from 2017-19) on Friday. The product of St. John’s, Nfld. was acquired by the Habs from Colorado in a trade this past Tuesday.

Newhook had 27 goals and 66 points in 159 games for the Avalanche over the last three seasons. He is coming off a three-year, $4.475 million entry-level contract he signed with Colorado back on Mar. 31, 2021.

Brooks and Witkowski depart Leeds of the NIHL

Forwards Zachary Brooks (15 goals, 22 assists in 77 games with Cowichan Valley and West Kelowna from 2019-21) and Jake Witkowski (23 goals, 17 assists in 58 games with Alberni Valley in 2016-17) have departed the Leeds Knights of the U.K.’s National Ice Hockey League. The NIHL is the second tier of pro hockey in the United Kingdom.

Brooks, a 21-year-old from Bromont, Que., played 51 games with the Knights in 2022-23, finishing with 28 goals and 89 points. He notched a goal and five points in four NIHL playoff games.

The 26-year-old Witkowski started last season with the Pensacola Ice Flyers in the Southern Professional Hockey League, putting up two goals and an assist before signing with Leeds in January. The native of Melrose, Massachusetts tallied 16 goals and 46 points in 24 games for the Knights. He had 13 points in four playoff outings.

Morley leaves Norway 🇳🇴 for Italy 🇮🇹

Forward David Morley (25 goals, 51 assists in 52 games with Victoria in 2010-11) has signed with HC Pustertal Wölfe/Val Pusteria Lupi of the ICE Hockey League for 2023-24.

The 32-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont. put up 14 goals and 50 points in 37 games with IF Frisk Asker during the 2022-23 season, his seventh in Norway’s Eliteserien, which is the top level of hockey in that country.

Arseneau signs his first pro deal in Solway

After spending six seasons playing U SPORTS hockey split between the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of Windsor, 27-year-old defender Olivier Arseneau (seven goals, 36 assists in 144 games with Chilliwack from 2014-17) has signed with the Solway Sharks of the NIHL.

Arseneau, who hails from Tracadie-Sheila, N.B., finishes his U SPORTS career with a dozen assists in 80 games with the UPEI Panthers and Windsor Lancers. His deal with the Sharks is the first professional contract of his career.