BCHL Bulletin: Express, Vees, and Caps swing a three-way deal, Cowichan adds Bidewell to its crease, and more!

Express, Vees, and Capitals connect on a three-way trade

The Coquitlam Express, Penticton Vees, and Cowichan Valley Capitals hooked up on a three-way trade on Friday. First, the Express sent 2001-born forward Shane LaVelle to the Capitals for 2003-born defenseman Owen Simpson. Then Coquitlam moved Simpson to the Vees for fellow 2003-born defenseman Luke Vardy.

LaVelle, who’s from Chaska, MN, had four goals and four assists in eight games with the Express since being acquired from Spruce Grove of the Alberta Junior Hockey League on Oct. 21.

Simpson is a University of Connecticut commit who notched two goals and five points in 18 games with Cowichan Valley so far this season. The native of Toronto, ON is set to head to UCONN next September.

Vardy hails from Hammonds Plains, NS, and in 13 games with Penticton in 2021-22, he posted two goals and one assist. The Vees recruited him from St. Andrew’s College of the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association.

Caps sign Bidewell, put Jeffery on injured reserve

In addition to acquiring LaVelle, the Capitals also added 2002-born goaltender McCoy Bidewell to their active roster after signing him as an affiliate late last week.

Bidewell hails from Grande Prairie, AB. Heading into Friday’s game against Langley, he made two appearances as an AP for Cowichan, going 0-2 with a 4.13 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.

He was 8-3-0 with a 1.60 goals-against average, a .959 save percentage, and three shutouts in 12 appearances for the Fernie Ghostriders of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey this season.

The Caps also placed forward Adam Jeffery on the 30-day injured reserve list. The 2001-born forward from Leamington, ON is eligible to return to Cowichan Valley’s lineup in its first game after Christmas.

The Rochester Institute of Technology commit had six goals and an assist in four games with the Capitals this season before suffering the undisclosed injury.

Merritt commits to Bentley University

Coquitlam Express forward Arlo Merritt has committed to Bentley University, starting in September 2022. Merritt, who was previously committed to Ohio State University, has nine goals and 15 points in 17 games with the Express this season.

He is the seventh member of Coquitlam’s roster to commit to an NCAA Division I school. The 2001-born product of Halifax, NS spent the 2020-21 season with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the US Hockey League, posting a pair of goals and a pair of assists in 32 games.

Cents send Murphy-Johnson to Blackfalds

The Merritt Centennials have traded 2002-born defenseman Jackson Murphy-Johnson to the Blackfalds Bulldogs of the AJHL for future considerations.

The Cents acquired the Burnaby, BC native from Coquitlam on Oct. 21 for future considerations. He played four games for Merritt and didn’t register any points.

Through 63 BCHL games with the Centennials, Express, and Trail, Murphy-Johnson posted two goals and seven points over the course of three seasons.

Cowichan Valley vs. Langley first career BCHL goals

2003-born forward Sammy May of the Langley Rivermen scored his first BCHL goal at 18:10 of the second period in Friday’s 4-2 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The forward from Richmond, BC was playing his 12th BCHL game and now has eight points on the season. The Rivermen signed May last month after he was released by the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants.

Nanaimo vs. Powell River first career BCHL goals

Nanaimo Clippers forward Alex Johnston tallied his first career BCHL goal in his first game on Friday. It came with 2:32 left in the second period in a 5-1 victory over Powell River.

It was also the first junior game for the Stittsville, ON native since March 2020 when he was a member of the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. Nanaimo acquired his junior A rights from the Central Canada Hockey League’s Navan Grads on Wednesday for future considerations.

MacLeod signs with Narvik of GET-ligaen

Forward Wade MacLeod (65 goals, 81 assists in 101 games with Merritt from 2005-07) has signed with the Narvik Arctic Eagles of GET-ligaen, which is the top professional hockey league in Denmark.

MacLeod, from Coquitlam, BC, had one assist in seven games with the Manchester Storm of the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League this season, which was his first professional action since 2017-18 due to injuries and a battle with brain cancer. The Storm released MacLeod earlier this month.

Three Stars of the Night ⭐⭐⭐

First Star: West Kelowna forward Felix Trudeau had a hat trick and one assist as the Warriors dumped Trail 7-3.

Second Star: Surrey forward Michael Abgrall posted a goal and two assists in the Eagles 7-4 triumph against Coquitlam.

Third Star: Penticton forward Luc Wilson put up a goal and two assists as the Vees hammered Merritt 8-0.

Honourable Mentions: Warriors forward Elan Bar-Lev-Wise finished the night with a goal and two assists. Langley goaltender Jameson Kaine stopped 43 shots. Surrey forward Jake Bongo, Coquitlam forward Christian MacDougall, Alberni Valley forward Stephen Castagna, West Kelowna forward Chase Dafoe, and Penticton forwards Casey McDonald and Ethan Mann each scored a pair of goals. Warriors defenseman Tyler Rubin registered three assists. Merritt netminder Keegan Maddocks and West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick each kicked out 44 shots.