BCHL Bulletin: Merritt and Coquitlam swing a deal, BCHL alumni sign new NHL deals, and more!

Cents and Express swing a big trade

The Merritt Centennials and Coquitlam Express made a big trade involving four players on Saturday. The deal sees the Express acquire 2004-born forward Jackson Krill while the Cents get 2003-born forwards Ray Hamlin and Blake Setter, along with 2004-born defender Tait Ross.

Krill, who’s from Port Moody, B.C., had 18 goals and 36 points in 49 games with the Centennials during the 2022-23 season. He is committed to the University of Vermont starting in September 2024. Krill has 26 goals and 48 points in 105 games combined between Merritt and Trail over the last three seasons.

Hamlin was an alternate captain for the Express this past season and the product of Windsor, Ont. finished with 10 goals and 25 points in Coquitlam, his second with the team. He is committed to Mercyhurst University to start his NCAA Division I career in September 2024.

Setter is from Calgary and split last season between the Express and Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He had seven goals and 13 points in 19 games for Coquitlam and six goals and 17 points in 38 games for the Canucks.

Ross, a commit of Dartmouth College, posted three goals and seven points in 29 games for the Express in 2022-23 after being acquired from Prince George. He was scoreless in three games for the Spruce Kings. In 80 BCHL games with Surrey, PG, and Coquitlam over the last three seasons, Ross has five goals and 18 points.

Canucks have two BCHL alumni at development camp

The Vancouver Canucks unveiled their 2023 development camp roster and schedule on Saturday, and two former BCHL players are among those participating.

24-year-old defender Akito Hirose (20 goals, 102 assists in 208 games with Salmon Arm from 2016-20), from Calgary, had 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.

21-year-old forward Christian Fitzgerald (16 goals, 23 assists in 64 games with Penticton and Surrey from 2019-21) racked up 16 goals and 29 points in 38 games at Minnesota State University Mankato this past season, his first in the NCAA. The Coquitlam, B.C. native has transferred to the University of Wisconsin for 2023-24.

Kerfoot moves from Toronto to Arizona

Unrestricted free agent forward Alexander Kerfoot (33 goals, 55 assists in 72 games with Coquitlam from 2010-13) has signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes worth $7-million. The 28-year-old from Vancouver spent the last four seasons with Toronto.

During the 2022-23 season, Kerfoot compiled 10 goals and 32 points in 82 games. He added a pair of goals in 11 Stanley Cup playoff games. In 442 career National Hockey League games with Colorado and the Maple Leafs, he has 74 goals and 219 points.

Five with BCHL ties attend Capitals development camp

The Washington Capitals have five players with BCHL ties on the roster for their 2023 development camp, which started on Saturday.

19-year-old Merritt Centennials forward Jaxson Murray, 22-year-old forward Simon Tassy (66 goals, 56 assists in 124 games with Salmon Arm from 2019-22), 24-year-old defender Dylan Anhorn (10 goals, 42 assists in 111 games with Prince George from 2017-19), 20-year-old defender Joaquim Lemay (10 assists in 15 games with Salmon Arm in 2020-21), and 22-year-old goaltender Aaron Trotter (27-14-9, 2.09 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage, four shutouts in 48 games with Prince George from 2020-22) are among those attending.

Murray, from St. Clements, Ont., posted 20 goals and 43 points in 52 games with the Centennials during the 2022-23 B.C. Hockey League season.

Tassy, who hails from Montreal, played 15 games at Minnesota State University Mankato this past season, putting up a goal and four assists. He has transferred to the University of Wisconsin for 2023-24.

Anhorn, a product of Calgary, spent the last four seasons in the NCAA, split between Union College and St. Cloud State University. In 89 career NCAA games, he has 18 goals and 61 points.

Lemay is from St-Pierre-les-Becquets, Que. and compiled two goals and 12 points as a rookie at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2022-23. He was chosen 119th overall in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Draft by the Capitals.

Trotter just wrapped his first NCAA season at the University of St. Thomas in 2022-23. In 34 games, the Victoria native was 11-21-2 with a 2.99 goals-against average, a .905 save percentage, and one shutout.

Jost returns to Buffalo for 2023-24

Forward Tyson Jost (65 goals, 84 assists in 97 games with Penticton from 2014-16) signed a one-year pact with the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday worth $2-million. He didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Sabres on Friday but re-signed with them as 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.

Nash back in the NHL, this time with the Rangers

34-year-old forward Riley Nash (38 goals, 46 assists in 56 games with Salmon Arm in 2006-07) signed a two-year contract worth $1.55 million with the New York Rangers on day one of National Hockey League free agency.

Nash, from Consort, Alta., had 24 goals and 59 points in 66 games as an alternate captain with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League last season. He is a veteran of 627 NHL games with Carolina, Boston, Columbus, Toronto, Winnipeg, Arizona, and Tampa Bay.

Lucic heads back to Beantown

Forward Milan Lucic (nine goals, 14 assists in 50 games with Coquitlam in 2004-05) signed a one-year, $1-million contract to return to the Boston Bruins for the 2023-24 season. The 35-year-old played eight seasons in Boston from 2007 to 2015.

Lucic, who’s from Vancouver, played his 16th NHL season in 2022-23, scoring seven goals and 19 points in 77 games for the Calgary Flames. He has 233 goals and 584 points in 1,173 career NHL games with Boston, Los Angeles, Edmonton, and Calgary and won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011.

Reilly goes from Beantown to South Florida

Defender Mike Reilly (24 goals, 59 assists in 51 games with Penticton in 2011-12) inked a one-year, $1-million deal with the Florida Panthers as an unrestricted free agent on Saturday.

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 got into 10 games with the Boston Bruins and posted one assist. The final year of his previous contract was bought out by the Bruins on Friday.

Canucks bring Irwin back to British Columbia

Defender Matt Irwin (41 goals, 70 assists in 178 games with Nanaimo from 2005-08) has signed with the Vancouver Canucks on a one-year, two-way contract as an unrestricted free agent. The deal pays him $775,000 for 2023-24.

The Victoria product finished the 2022-23 season with two goals and three assists in 61 games with the Capitals. The 35-year-old veteran has played 461 career NHL games with San Jose, Boston, Nashville, Anaheim, Buffalo, and Washington.

Stecher returns to Arizona on a one-year deal

Defenseman Troy Stecher (18 goals, 91 assists in 159 games with Penticton from 2010-13) has signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes as an unrestricted free agent. The deal is worth $1.1-million per season.

\Stecher, 29, split the 2023-24 season between the Coyotes and the Calgary Flames. He had three goals and seven points in 20 games for the Flames after being acquired from Arizona in March. The Richmond, B.C. product had seven assists in 61 games with the Coyotes before the trade.

Lucchini signs a two-way contract with the Minnesota Wild

Unrestricted free agent forward Jake Lucchini (48 goals, 69 assists in 168 games with Trail from 2012-15) signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Minnesota Wild for 2023-24.

The 28-year-old Trail, B.C. product had 19 goals and 53 points in 61 AHL games with the Belleville Senators this past season. Lucchini added one goal in 11 games at the NHL level with the Ottawa Senators.

Brossoit returns to the capital of Manitoba

Goaltender Laurent Brossoit (10-8-0 with a 3.78 goals-against-average, an .898 save percentage, and two shutouts with Cowichan Valley in 2009-10) has signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets worth $1.75-million.

Brossoit, a 30-year-old from Port Alberni, B.C., was 7-0-3 with a 2.17 goals-against-average, and a .927 save percentage in 11 games with Vegas in 2022-23. He was also 8-11-3 with a 2.72 goals-against average, two shutouts, and a .909 save percentage in 23 games with Henderson of the AHL.

Adkins goes from France to the U.K.

28-year-old Victoria forward Josh Adkins (36 goals, 95 points in 166 games with Victoria, Alberni Valley, and Cowichan Valley from 2012-16) has signed with the Leeds Knights of the National Ice Hockey League. The NIHL is the second tier of pro hockey in the United Kingdom.

Adkins played with Neuilly-sur-Marne of FFHG Division 1 in France during the 2022-23 season and notched eight goals and 22 points in 25 games. FFHG Division 1 is the second tier of French professional hockey.