BCHL Bulletin: Underwood joins the Express, Clippers ink Birkas to a multi-year extension, and more!

Express brings in Underwood for 2022-23

The Coquitlam Express has recruited 2002-born forward Nolan Underwood of Paris, ON for the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season.

Underwood played for the Hamilton Kilty B’s of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League over the last two seasons, compiling 32 goals and 80 points in 86 games.

Clippers sign Birkas to a contract extension

The Nanaimo Clippers announced on Tuesday that they have given general manager and head coach Colin Birkas a “long-term” contract extension. There’s no indication of how long the extension runs for.

Birkas, who’s been an assistant coach for Nanaimo for the last three seasons, and head coach and GM Darren Naylor were both placed on leave by the Clippers on Feb. 11 while the BCHL completed an internal investigation into alleged breaches of the league’s code of conduct.

On Mar. 9, the BCHL allowed Birkas to return to Nanaimo’s coaching staff while Naylor remained on administrative leave until May 31. Clippers owner Wes Mussio noted in March that Birkas would take over as head coach for the remainder of the season. He led the Clippers to the Fred Page Cup final, where they were swept by Penticton.

Wilson, Nadeau, and Djurasevic earn three stars of the week honours

The BCHL unveiled its three stars of the week on Tuesday, with Penticton forwards Luc Wilson and Bradly Nadeau, along with Vees defender Frank Djurasevic taking the honours.

Wilson, a 20-year-old from Duncan, BC, recorded five assists in two games last week to lead the league in points. The Minnesota State University, Mankato commit had a pair of helpers in game three against Nanaimo and added a trio of assists in the Vees championship-clinching 8-2 victory in game four.

Nadeau, a 2005-born product of St-François-de-Madawaska, NB, led the league in goals last week with three in two games played. He was held scoreless in game three of the Fred Page Cup final but exploded for a hat trick and an assist in game four as Penticton grabbed the 13th title in franchise history.

Djurasevic, a 2002-born native of New Rochelle, NY, topped all defenders in scoring last week with two goals and an assist in a pair of games. He recorded a goal on Tuesday in a 3-2 overtime win in game three and added a goal and an assist in Wednesday’s series-clinching 8-2 victory.

Kalezic jumps to HC Dalen for next season

Forward Colton Kalezic (13 goals, 23 assists in 56 games with Penticton in 2019-20) has signed a contract with HC Dalen of HockeyEttan for the 2022-23 season. HockeyEttan is the third tier of hockey in Sweden.

The 22-year-old native of Toronto, ON had 13 goals and 23 assists in 14 games with HA74 of HockeyTvåan this past season. HockeyTvåan is the fourth level of Swedish hockey.

Laframboise moves to Skövde IK

Forward Josh Laframboise (48 goals, 75 assists in 165 games with Penticton, Salmon Arm, and Trail from 2014-17) has signed with Skövde IK of HockeyEttan in Sweden for the upcoming season.

Laframboise, a native of Thunder Bay, ON who turns 26 in August, put up 50 goals and 97 points in 33 games with Åmåls SK of HockeyTvåan in 2021-22.

Petan inks a one-year extension with Fehérvár AV19

Forward Alex Petan (54 goals, 74 assists in 155 games with Burnaby and Coquitlam from 2009-12) has signed a contract extension through the 2022-23 season with Fehérvár AV19 of the ICE Hockey League, which is the top pro league based in Austria.

Petan, 30, had 14 goals and 43 points in 44 games with Fehérvár AV19 this season, his fifth in Europe after also having stints in Italy and Germany.

Ambrosio signs a deal in France for 2022-23

Forward Alex Ambrosio (30 goals, 42 assists in 134 games with Coquitlam from 2015-18) has signed a contract for 2022-23 with Corsaires de Nantes of FFHG, Division 1, which is the second tier of hockey in France.

The 25-year-old from Burnaby, BC compiled seven goals and 18 points in 35 games with Canisius College during this past NCAA hockey season.

Adkins takes his game to France for next season

27-year-old Victoria, BC forward Josh Adkins (36 goals, 95 points in 166 games with Victoria, Alberni Valley, and Cowichan Valley from 2012-16) has signed with Neuilly-sur-Marne of FFHG, Division 1 in France.

Adkins played his first season of pro hockey in 2021-22 with Evansville of the Southern Professional Hockey League and notched 11 goals and 22 points in 54 games.

Williams gets an extension with ASC Corona Brasov

Defender Owen Williams (one goal in three games with Surrey in 2016-17) has signed a one-year extension with ASC Corona Brasov of Hungary and Romania-based Erste Liga.

Williams, a 21-year-old from Delta, BC, tallied 19 goals and 47 points in 49 games with ASC Corona Brasov this past season, his first with the club after four years in the Western Hockey League.

Mofford commits to Red Deer Polytechnic

2001-born forward Deegan Mofford (10 goals, six assists in 32 games with West Kelowna and Merritt from 2019-21) has committed to Red Deer Polytechnic to play Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference hockey this coming fall.

The native of Rocky Mountain House, AB finished 2021-22 with 17 points in 22 games with Blackfalds of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Mofford also played four games with the junior B Rocky Rams of the Heritage Junior Hockey League and posted seven points.