BCHL Bulletin: Express, Caps, and Vees add new recruits, Fradette and Messina commit to schools, and more!

Buttazzoni heads to Coquitlam for 2022-23

The Coquitlam Express has added 2006-born forward Diego Buttazzoni for the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season. Buttazzoni, who’s from Langley, BC, was a regular with Burnaby Winter Club U18 Prep in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League in 2021-22 and posted 19 goals and 54 points in 32 games.

He also notched three points in three games as an affiliate for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Additionally, Buttazzoni got into one game with the Express as an affiliate player.

Messina commits to Union College

2002-born Langley Rivermen defender Joseph Messina has committed to Union College to play NCAA hockey in September 2023.

The product of Woodbridge, ON posted eight goals and 33 points in 54 games with the Rivermen as a rookie this past season. He added nine points in 15 playoff games with Langley.

Caps bring in Dunits for the 2022-23 season

Forward Kai Dunits has signed on to join the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the 2022-23 season.

The 2004-born native of Kanata, ON spent this past season at Ridley College in the Canadian Prep School Hockey Alliance. In 20 games, he notched 11 goals and 26 points.

Waterfield joins Merritt as an assistant coach

There’s no official announcement from the team, but according to the tweet above, Sam Waterfield (two goals, six assists in 35 games with Burnaby, Nanaimo, and Prince George from 2009-11) has joined the Merritt Centennials as an assistant coach.

The 30-year-old from Victoria, BC was an assistant coach with Cowichan Valley in 2021-22 after spending the previous season in the same role with Grande Prairie of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

He was also an assistant to Jason Fortier, who was named BCHL coach of the year, with the Coquitlam Express during the 2019-20 season.

Di Pasquo joins the Vees for next season

Michigan State University commit Luca Di Pasquo will join the Penticton Vees for 2022-23 before jumping to college hockey the following season.

The 2003-born goaltender from Livonia, MI tallied a 16-11-5 record to go along with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage, and three shutouts in 33 games with Maryland of the North American Hockey League in 2021-22. He also got into one game with Green Bay of the US Hockey League, a 6-3 win over Madison in December.

Di Pasquo is ranked 15th among North American goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting for July’s NHL Draft.

Fradette commits to Red Deer Polytechnic

Trail Smoke Eaters goaltender Evan Fradette has committed to Red Deer Polytechnic of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference for this September.

The 2001-born netminder was 16-18-5 with a pair of shutouts, a 3.63 goals-against average, and a .904 save percentage in 37 games as the workhorse for the Smokies during the 2021-22 season.

Lane, Hopkins, and Daniells named BCHL three stars of the week

The BC Hockey League unveiled its three stars of the week on Monday, with Penticton Vees goaltender Kaeden Lane, Vees forward Ryan Hopkins, and Nanaimo Clippers forward Kai Daniells taking the honours.

Lane, a 20-year-old from Burnaby, BC, was 2-0 with 37 saves, a 1.00 goals-against average, and a .949 save percentage last week to lead the Vees to two straight wins to open the Fred Page Cup final against Nanaimo. The Northern Michigan University commit has won 14 straight games in the playoffs.

Hopkins, a 2004-born product of Lunenburg, NS, posted a goal and an assist during Penticton’s two games against the Clippers. He scored on Friday to give the Vees a 2-0 lead in the game and set up the first goal on Saturday en route to a 3-1 win.

Daniells, a 2003-born native of Whistler, BC, scored both goals for Nanaimo in the two contests against Penticton last week. He has eight goals in the playoffs this year, the sixth-most in the BCHL.

Silverbacks hiring for new broadcaster

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks posted on Tuesday that they are looking for a new play-by-play broadcaster and communications manager for the 2022-23 season.

The successful hire will take over from Blake Friars, who served in the role for 2021-22 after being hired last September. He replaced Nathan Kanter, who worked for the Backs from 2019 to 2021.

Express looks to hire a manager of business operations

The Coquitlam Express has a job posting for a manager of business operations. Details about the position are available on the Express website here.

LaCouvee puts pen to paper with Dukla Trencin

Goaltender Connor LaCouvee (27-30-0, 3.09 goals-against average, .913 save percentage, four shutouts in 62 games with Cowichan Valley, Merritt, and Alberni Valley from 2012-14) has signed with HK Dukla Trencin of Tipos Extraliga, which is the top tier of pro hockey in Slovakia.

The 27-year-old from Qualicum Beach, BC was 6-4-0 with a 3.38 goals-against average and an .881 save percentage in 14 games with the Bratislava Capitals of the ICE Hockey League this season.

He also posted a 6-4-3 record, a 2.31 goals-against average, an .897 save percentage, and two shutouts in 14 games with KalPa of Finland’s Liiga.

Milan let go by the Halmstad Hammers

North Vancouver, BC native Garrett Milan (67 goals, 88 assists in 177 games with Burnaby and Penticton from 2008-11) was cut loose by the Halmstad Hammers HC of HockeyEttan, which is the third tier of Swedish pro hockey.

In 23 games as captain with the Hammers in 2021-22, the 31-year-old forward notched 11 goals and 29 points. It was his seventh season as a pro.

Szczechura signs with Unia Oswiecim

Forward Alex Szczechura (30 goals, 33 assists in 55 games with Penticton in 2009-10) has signed with Unia Oswiecim of the Polish Hockey League for next season.

The 32-year-old Brantford, ON product spent the last five seasons with GKS Tychy in the Polish League, posting 61 goals and 197 points in 182 games.

Doolin transfers from Sacred Heart to Colby College

Hanover, MA native Ryan Doolin (19 goals, 33 assists in 57 games with Alberni Valley in 2019-20) has transferred from playing NCAA Division I hockey at Sacred Heart University to Colby College, which is an NCAA Division III school.

The 23-year-old forward had just one assist and was minus-8 in 13 games at Sacred Heart over the last two seasons.

Jones hangs up his skates

Montrose, BC’s Connor Jones (80 goals, 118 assists in 163 games with Vernon from 2007-10) took to Twitter on Friday to announce his retirement from professional hockey.

With the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets in 2021-22, the 31-year-old finished with 10 goals and 39 points in 52 games. Jones added four assists in seven playoff games.

In total, Jones played eight pro seasons with seven different teams in five different leagues. He spent the most time in the American Hockey League, getting into 290 games.

Edwards returns to ERC Ingolstadt after two years

35-year-old defender Maury Edwards (24 goals, 58 assists in 110 games with Alberni Valley from 2005-07) has signed with ERC Ingolstadt of the DEL after having his contract terminated by Kölner Haie earlier this month.

The product of Rocky Rapids, AB spent the last two seasons with Kölner Haie, tallying eight goals and 40 points in 73 games. All told, Edwards has spent the last seven seasons playing in the DEL.

McGowan inks an extension with Gherdeina

Forward Brad McGowan (48 goals, 87 assists in 117 games with Surrey from 2009-11) signed a contract extension for 2022-23 with Gherdëina of the Alps Hockey League, which is based in Central Europe.

McGowan, a 32-year-old from Vancouver, BC, had 30 goals and 67 points in 41 games with Gherdëina this season. 2022-23 will be his fourth season with the northern Italy-based club.

Moore signs with Tyringe for 2022-23

Defender Meirs Moore (seven goals, 40 assists in 58 games with Victoria in 2014-15) has signed with Tyringe SoSS of Sweden’s HockeyEttan for the 2022-23 season.

HockeyEttan is the third tier of professional hockey in Sweden. Moore, a 27-year-old who’s from Västervik, SWE, had nine goals and 22 points in 39 games with Vänersborgs HC of Division 2 in Sweden this past season.

Bjorkloven cuts Gropp loose

Forward Ryan Gropp (16 goals, 24 assists in 62 games with Penticton from 2011-13) won’t have his contract renewed by IF Björklöven of HockeyAllsvenskan for 2022-23.

This past season, the 25-year-old Kamloopsian had 12 goals and 27 points in 43 games with IF Björklöven. HockeyAllsvenskan is the second tier of pro hockey in Sweden.

Oilers bring Turris up from Bakersfield

Forward Kyle Turris (102 goals, 91 assists in 110 games with Burnaby from 2005-07) was recalled by the Edmonton Oilers from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Monday.

Turris, 32, had a goal and four points in 23 games with the Oilers in 2021-22. The New Westminster, BC product is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.