BCHL Bulletin: Merritt nabs Wessels via trade from Langley, Eagles add Sandhu to their forward group, and more!

Cents pick up Wessels from Langley

The Merritt Centennials have added 2003-born defender Josh Wessels to their blueline after acquiring him in a trade from Langley for future considerations.

The Richmond, BC product finished 2021-22 with five goals and five assists in 39 games with the Rivermen. He also added an assist in 13 Fred Page Cup playoff games.

As a rookie with Powell River during the 2020-21 pod season, Wessels put up five assists in 18 games. He was a selection of the Kamloops Blazers in the eighth round of the 2018 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

Eagles bring in Sandhu from Delta Hockey Academy

The Surrey Eagles have announced the addition of 2005-born forward Alex Sandhu for the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season.

Sandhu, who’s from Delta, BC, led Delta Hockey Academy U18 Prep in scoring last season with 23 goals and 48 points in 33 Canadian Sport School Hockey League games. He was scoreless in three CSSHL U18 playoff games.

Blace commits to Quinnipiac

Alberni Valley Bulldogs defender Braden Blace has secured his collegiate future and committed to playing NCAA Division I hockey at Quinnipiac University.

The 2003-born blueliner from Duncan, BC notched three goals and 22 points in 53 games for the Bulldogs in 2021-22. He added a goal and seven assists in 10 playoff games.

The upcoming season is the third in the BCHL for the Duncan, BC product after he signed with Alberni Valley in March 2020 ahead of that year’s pod season. Blace finished his rookie year with 11 points in 19 games.

Kings sign Symons for 2022-23 season

2002-born right winger Cameron Symons of Kingsville, ON has signed with the Powell River Kings for the 2022-23 season.

Symons played junior B in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2021-22, finishing with 28 goals and 59 points in 45 games with the Chatham Maroons. He contributed eight goals and 13 points in 17 GOJHL playoff games.

Vees sign an extension with the city of Penticton for the SOEC

The Penticton Vees and the City of Penticton reached a new agreement that sees the BCHL team continue to play at the South Okanagan Events Centre for at least the next six years.

The Vees have played at the SOEC since the 2008-09 season and won four BCHL championships over the last 14 seasons. Prior to its opening, they were housed at the Penticton Memorial Arena.

Bulldogs bring in Rehill as an assistant coach

With last season’s assistant coach Wacey Rabbit gone to the WHL, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs have added 26-year-old Ryan Rehill to their bench.

It’s the first coaching gig of record for the Edmonton, AB product. He most recently was a player at the University of Alberta, spending five seasons in U SPORTS from 2016-21.

Rehill was a fifth-round selection of the New Jersey Devils in the 2014 NHL Draft. He also played four seasons in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers from 2012-16.

Heinen returns to Pittsburgh on a one-year pact

Forward Danton Heinen (29 goals, 35 assists in 59 games with Merritt and Surrey from 2012-14) has signed a one-year, one-way contract worth $1 million to return to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 27-year-old from Langley, BC put up 18 goals and 33 points in 76 games with Pittsburgh this past season. He has 154 points in 348 career NHL games over the last six seasons with the Penguins, Anaheim, and Boston.

Russell re-ups with the Heartlanders

26-year-old defender Connor Russell (13 goals, 48 assists in 157 games with Penticton, Cowichan Valley, and Prince George from 2014-17) has agreed to a contract extension with the Iowa Heartlanders of the ECHL for the 2022-23 season.

Russell, who’s from Guelph, ON, had five assists in 28 games with the Heartlanders in 2021-22 after being acquired from Greenville in February.

He started the season at Brock University playing U SPORTS hockey and had one assist in seven games before signing with the Swamp Rabbits in January.

Lowry takes his game to Kassel of the DEL2

Forward Joel Lowry (39 goals, 72 assists in 99 games with Victoria from 2009-11) will take his game to the EC Kassel Huskies of DEL2 in 2022-23.

The 30-year-old Calgary, AB native spent 2021-22 with the Vienna Capitals in the ICE Hockey League and put up 13 goals and 28 points in 36 games. He also had five points in six ICEHL playoff games for the Austrian club.

Rivermen look to hire in a number of roles

Heading into the 2022-23 BCHL season, the Langley Rivermen are looking to fill a number of roles with new hires.

The positions the Rivermen are hiring for include a game day host and a sales and marketing associate. The club is also looking for a volunteer coordinator.

More information on the postings is available on Langley’s website.

Walter becomes head coach at Trinity Western University

38-year-old Ben Walter (37 goals, 69 assists in 100 games with Langley from 2000-02) has signed on with the Trinity Western University Spartans men’s hockey team as its new head coach.

Walter, who’s from Beaconsfield, QC, was the general manager and head coach of the North Island Silvertips U18 AAA in the BC Elite Hockey League this past season. He also joined the Nanaimo Clippers as a skills coach in May 2021.

Maglio joins the Giants as an assistant coach

Adam Maglio, who was the head coach of the Prince George Spruce Kings from 2017-19, was hired as an associate coach for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL last week.

Maglio, a 36-year-old from Nelson, BC, was the head coach for the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs for the last two seasons before being let go this past February. He spent four seasons in PG and was at the helm of the Spruce Kings team that won the Fred Page Cup and Doyle Cup in 2019.

Robertson joins Saanich as an assistant coach and assistant GM

31-year-old Sean Robertson (13 goals, 74 assists in 255 games with Victoria and Vernon from 2007-12) has joined the Saanich Predators of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League as assistant general manager and associate coach.

The Cobble Hill, BC product was an assistant coach for the Cowichan Valley Capitals in 2021-22. It was his first foray into coaching after a four-year professional playing career.

Brockman commits to Aurora University

21-year-old forward Jacob Brockman (six goals, 17 assists in 72 games with West Kelowna and Cowichan Valley from 2019-21) has committed to playing NCAA Division III hockey this fall at Aurora University.

The native of El Segundo, CA had 12 goals and 31 points in 52 games with the Maryland Black Bears of the North American Hockey League last season, which was his final year of junior hockey before aging out.