BCHL Bulletin: A pair of NCAA Division I commitments, Coquitlam assistant coach becomes VIJHL GM, and more!

Littler commits to Minnesota State University (Mankato)

2004-born forward Cade Littler has committed to Minnesota State University (Mankato). As a grade 12 student this school year, he is eligible to join the team as early as this fall. He has 12 goals and 15 assists in 26 games with Wenatchee this season.

Littler, who is from East Wenatchee, WA, is the seventh player from the Wild roster to commit to an NCAA Division I school. He is eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft and was ranked 198th among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings.

Disher commits to NCAA Division I Michigan Tech

2003-born forward Quinn Disher has committed to playing NCAA Division I hockey at Michigan Tech University for the 2023-24 season.

Disher, who hails from Fort St. John, BC, has eight goals and 16 assists through 30 games with the Smoke Eaters this season. He was eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft but wasn’t selected. His father, Jody, also played in the BCHL with Merritt and Quesnel in the late 1990s.

Hellweger hired as general manager and asst coach of Nanaimo Buccaneers

Coquitlam Express assistant coach Andy Hellweger has joined the Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League as their general manager and assistant coach.

Hellweger served as an assistant coach for the Express on an interim basis during last year’s pod season. The 27-year-old was the U18 head coach for West Vancouver Minor Hockey in 2020-21 before joining Coquitlam.

Martin released from Checkers

26-year-old forward Craig Martin (44 goals, 54 assists in 137 games with Trail, Vernon, and Alberni Valley from 2011-15) was released from his professional tryout by the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday. He is expected to rejoin the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen.

Martin, who is from Trail, BC, played in three games for the Checkers and didn’t register a point. In 30 games with the Icemen, Martin scored 12 goals and added 16 assists. He is playing in his third professional season following a four-year career with Quinnipiac University.

Vela signs with Bears for remainder of 2021-22

24-year-old forward Marcus Vela (31 goals, 37 assists in 104 games with Langley from 2013-15) has signed with the AHL’s Hershey Bears for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

Vela, who calls Burnaby, BC home, played in seven games with the Bears this season, collecting two goals and one assist. He has also appeared in 24 games with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, picking up 12 goals and eight assists. Vela was a seventh-round pick of the San Jose Sharks at the 2015 NHL Draft and also played four seasons with the University of New Hampshire.

Harrowgate heads to Germany

23-year-old forward Brendan Harrowgate (nine goals, 12 assists in 37 games with Penticton in 2018-19) has departed the University of Western Ontario and signed with ESC Kempten of Germany’s Regionalliga, which is the fourth tier of pro hockey in that country.

Harrowgate, who is from Chatham, ON, played in just four games at the University of Western Ontario this season due to COVID-19 restrictions shutting down the U SPORTS league. This was Harrowgate’s third season at the school.