BCHL Bulletin: Kings, Bucks, and Spruce Kings add new recruits, Express hires new bench boss, and more!

Bandu joins the Prince George Spruce Kings

The Prince George Spruce Kings have added 2004-born defender Aleksy Bandu for the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season.

Bandu, whoโ€™s from Montreal, QC, was with The Governor’s Academy Prep in 2021-22 and posted three goals and six points in 27 games.

His older brother Isack wrapped up a three-year career with the Victoria Grizzlies last season and is headed to Northern Michigan University this fall.

Kings bring in Blanchett for the 2022-23 season

2003-born defender Jack Blanchett has signed on to join the Powell River Kings for the 2022-23 season.

The native of Monroe, MI spent this past season split between Wichita and Maryland of the North American Hockey League. In 56 games, he notched 11 goals and 22 points.

Blanchett is committed to Lake Superior State University and is expected to head to the NCAA in September 2023.

Duarte joins the Bucks for this season

Hamilton, ON product Matthew Duarte will join the Cranbrook Bucks for 2022-23 as a rare 20-year-old rookie.

The 2002-born left winger tallied 21 goals and 59 points in 46 games with the Hamilton Kilty B’s of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2021-22.

Duarte, who was selected ninth overall by Northeast in the 2020 NAHL Entry Draft, added three goals and 12 points in 17 playoff games with the Kilty B’s last season.

Spruce Kings send Phangura to Estevan of the SJHL

The Prince George Spruce Kings tweaked their roster on Wednesday, sending 2004-born forward Jagjeevan Phangura to the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for future considerations.

Phangura, who hails from Burnaby, BC, was scoreless in 33 games as a rookie with the Spruce Kings during the 2021-22 season.

Express brings in Sexton as new head coach

The Coquitlam Express has brought in Patrick Sexton (four goals, 17 assists in 103 games with Penticton from 2013-15) as its new head coach to replace Brandon Shaw, who left last month to take an assistant coaching job in the Ontario Hockey League.

Sexton hails from Ottawa, ON, and has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Penticton Vees. The 28-year-old is the son of longtime NHL executive Randy Sexton, who most recently was a senior advisor for the Minnesota Wild.

Pinto signs with Surrey as head trainer and equipment manager

The Surrey Eagles announced the hiring of Stefan Pinto as their new head trainer and equipment manager for the upcoming BC Hockey League season on Thursday.

Pinto is from Delta, BC, and worked last season as the trainer for the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s Delta Ice Hawks.

Rivermen and Spruce Kings connect on a trade

The Langley Rivermen made a move with their forward corps on Thursday, bringing in 2002-born Matteo Turrin from the Prince George Spruce Kings for future considerations.

The product of Montreal, QC had six goals and 10 points in 41 games as a sophomore split between Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley last season. Turrin was acquired by Prince George from the Caps earlier this spring as the futures from a January trade.

Tambellini goes from the Lightning to the Kraken

The Seattle Kraken announced the hiring of Jeff Tambellini (67 goals, 101 assists in 88 games for Chilliwack from 2000-02) as its director of player development.

The 38-year-old from Calgary, AB spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning as an NCAA and pro scout. As a player, he was a first-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2003.

Tambellini served as the general manager and head coach for the Trail Smoke Eaters from 2018-20 and served as a senior advisor for the West Kootenay-based club in 2020-21.

McLain inks an AHL contract with Calgary

Forward Mitch McLain (38 goals, 54 assists in 111 games with Langley from 2012-14) has signed a contract with the Calgary Wranglers for the 2021-22 American Hockey League season.

McLain, a 28-year-old from Baxter, MN, had 17 goals and 23 points in 76 games with the AHLโ€™s Milwaukee Admirals in 2021-22. Heโ€™s a veteran of 194 AHL over the last five seasons.

Lucas transfers from Vermont to UConn

Defender Andrew Lucas (two assists in seven games with Langley and Nanaimo in 2018-19) has transferred from the University of Vermont to the University of Connecticut for this fall.

The 23-year-old native of Alexandria, VA posted nine goals and 32 points in 81 games at Vermont over the last three NCAA seasons. He was the Catamounts captain in 2020-21.

Latta transfers from UMass-Lowell to Bentley

West Vancouver, BC native Josh Latta (37 goals, 43 assists in 135 games with Prince George, Salmon Arm, and Vernon from 2015-19) joins his third NCAA Division I school after transferring to Bentley University for this September.

The 23-year-old forward played at UMass-Lowell for the past two seasons and compiled two assists in a dozen games. He notched seven goals and 18 points in 32 games at the University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2019-20.

McKim transfers to Nova Scotia’s Acadia University

Left winger Matt McKim (eight goals, 23 assists in 58 games with Surrey in 2018-19) has transferred post-secondary schools, going from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks of the NCAA to Acadia University of U SPORTS.

He’ll join the Axemen this fall. McKim, a 22-year-old from St. John’s, NL, finished 2021-22 with one assist in six games as a first-year player for the Nanooks.

Kehler returns to Idaho for 2022-23

Port Coquitlam, BCโ€™s Colton Kehler (25 goals, 14 assists in 93 games with Cowichan Valley and Langley from 2013-15) has signed a contract extension for 2022-23 with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL.

In 2021-22, the 25-year-old right winger had 17 goals and 36 points in 62 games as a first-year North American pro with the Steelheads. He spent 2020-21 with Herner EV 2007 in the third tier of German hockey.

Keane is keen on the South Carolina Stingrays

Denver, CO product Jackson Keane (eight goals, 16 assists in 49 games with Penticton in 2017-18) has signed a contract for the 2022-23 ECHL season with the South Carolina Stingrays.

The 25-year-old played 40 games with the Orlando Solar Bears in 2021-22 and had 11 assists. He turned pro with Wheeling in April 2021 after three NCAA seasons at the University of North Dakota.

Collins returns to the K-Wings in 2022-23

Forward Anthony Collins (eight goals, 16 assists with Merritt, Prince George, Coquitlam, and Victoria from 2006-2009) has signed an extension for 2022-23 with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL.

Collins spent last season split between the Wings and Norfolk, tallying four goals and 13 points in 66 games. The 32-year-old from Langley, BC has played nine seasons in the ECHL with eight different organizations.

Stief returns to The Gem State for a second season

Defender Matt Stief (eight goals, 68 assists in 109 games with Prince George from 2014-16) has signed a contract with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL to return to the club this season.

The 26-year-old native of Boca Raton, FL posted 18 assists in 54 games with the Steelheads last season. It was his second as a pro player and first in the ECHL.

Muller signs for a sixth season in the Swiss League

Forward Devin Muller (31 goals, 54 assists in 102 games with Salmon Arm from 2010-12) has signed with EHC Basel in the Swiss League for 2022-23.

The 30-year-old from Zug, SUI, split 2021-22 between the SL’s EHC Olten and HC La Chaux-de-Fondshad, finishing with seven goals and 19 points in 44 games.

Craighead to play in Europe for the first time in his career

Forward Darien Craighead (52 goals, 86 assists in 143 games with Langley, Cowichan Valley, and Chilliwack from 2013-16) will play in Europe for the first time after signing with Manglerud of Norway’s Fjordkraft-ligaen.

Craighead, a 25-year-old from Surrey, BC, had 27 goals and 58 points in 70 games between the Norfolk Admirals and Indy Fuel last season, his second in the ECHL.

Stirling is back on the ice with French club Clermont

After not playing in 2021-22, defender Brett Stirling (eight goals, 37 assists in 95 games with Victoria from 2015-17) has signed a deal with Clermont of FFHG, Division 2, which is the third tier of pro hockey in France.

Stirling had six goals and 23 assists in 68 games over four NCAA Division III seasons with Connecticut College from 2017-21. The 25-year-old from Aurora, ON was an assistant coach at The Winchendon Prep School in Massachusetts last season.