BCHL Bulletin: Penticton signs Murray from Wenatchee, Cents add Latvian blueliner Kruklitis, and more!

Vees sign Murray from Wenatchee

The Penticton Vees have signed 2003-born forward Parker Murray for the 2023-24 B.C. Hockey League season. Murray was a free agent after Wild ownership acquired the Western Hockey League‘s Winnipeg ICE and will relocate it to Wenatchee.

Murray, who’s from Manhattan Beach, California, was fifth in scoring on the Wild last season with 23 goals and 39 points in 47 games. He added 13 goals and one assist in 10 BCHL playoff games.

He was selected in the first round, 30th overall, by the Lone Star Brahmas in this year’s North American Hockey League Draft. Murray’s father Glen played 1,009 career National Hockey League games with Boston, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles between 1992 and 2008.

Express adds Quinnipiac commit Shannon

The Coquitlam Express has added 2004-born forward James Shannon for the upcoming BCHL season. Shannon is committed to Quinnipiac University to start his NCAA Division I career in September 2024.

The native of New York, New York was captain at Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut over the last two seasons, compiling 31 goals and 70 points in 62 games.

Shannon was selected by the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the ninth round, 134th overall, in the 2020 U.S. Hockey League Futures Draft.

Bucks bring in Fletcher for 2023-24

2004-born forward Jacob Fletcher has committed to the Cranbrook Bucks for the 2023-24 BCHL season. Fletcher hails from Midland, Ont. and split the 2022-23 season between playing U.S. prep school hockey at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Massachusetts, and 18U AAA hockey with the GBL Bruins in Boston, Massachusetts.

Fletcher notched eight goals and 21 points in 21 games with the Bruins and six goals and 26 points in 23 games at Northfield Mount Hermon. He was added to the protected list of the Cape Breton Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in September 2021.

Cents sign their first non-North American player for 2023-24

The Merritt Centennials have dipped their toes into the European scouting waters and signed 2004-born Latvian defender Martins Kruklitis for the 2023-24 season. Kruklitis hails from Jelgava, a city of nearly 56,000 residents in the central region of Latvia.

Kruklitis ended this past season with four goals and nine points in 11 games with his hometown Zemgale Juniors of the Junioru Attistibas Hokeja liga, or Latvian junior development league. He also had a goal and nine points in 13 games for Zemgale in Optibet hokeja liga, which is the top tier of hockey in Latvia.

He also played in two games for Zemgale in Finland’s second-level Mestis, but didn’t register any points. Kruklitis represented Latvia at the U18 World Championship in 2022 and had three points in four games.

A pair of BCHL alumni to attend Pens’ development camp

The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled the attendees to their prospect development camp on Tuesday and two BCHL players are among those listed.

2004-born West Kelowna Warriors forward Luke Devlin and 21-year-old forward Lukas Svejkovsky (five goals, six assists in 16 games with Wenatchee in 2017-18) will both participate in the camp, which runs July 1 – 3 at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.

From Memphis, Tennessee, Devlin finished with 11 goals and 37 points in 51 games with the Warriors in 2022-23. The Cornell University commit was selected by the Penguins in the sixth round, 182nd overall, in last year’s NHL Draft.

Svejkovsky played his first pro season in 2022-23, tallying three goals and 15 points in 47 games with the Pens’ American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The product of Tampa, Florida was a fourth-round selection, 108th overall, by Pittsburgh in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Gulka traded in the ECHL from Maine to Wheeling

The Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL have acquired 23-year-old forward Sean Gulka (21 goals, 20 assists in 98 games with Langley from 2016-18) from the Maine Mariners as the future considerations from an earlier trade during the 2022-23 season.

Gulka, who’s from Langley, B.C., was scoreless in seven games with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays before being traded to Maine on Jan. 11. He ended the season with five goals and 10 points in 24 games for Pensacola of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Schiavo moves from Kansas City to Reading

Forward John Schiavo (30 goals, 32 assists in 58 games with Merritt in 2014-15) has been traded in the ECHL from the Kansas City Mavericks to the Reading Royals as future considerations to complete a trade from Feb. 23.

The product of East Patchogue, New York scored six goals and totalled 17 points in 43 games with the Mavericks in 2022-23. It was his second straight full season in the ECHL after posting 25 points in 51 games in KC the year prior.

Klack turns pro in France

26-year-old forward Christopher Klack (22 goals, 52 assists in 90 games with Penticton from 2016-18) has joined French Ice Hockey Federation Division 1’s Corsaires de Dunkerque. The team is located in the very northern tip of France, across the English Channel from England.

Klack, who hails from Georgetown, Ont., wrapped up a five-year NCAA Division I career at Clarkson University as an alternate captain in 2022-23. In 122 career college games with the Golden Knights, he had 15 goals and 26 points to go along with 42 penalty minutes.

Muller signs a tender with Minot of the NAHL

2003-born forward Chad Muller (seven goals, seven assists in 45 games with Chilliwack from 2021-22) will play in the NAHL in 2023-24 after signing a tender, which is a contract that gives a team his exclusive rights, with the Minot Minotauros.

Muller, who hails from Kingston, Ont., wrapped up the 2022-23 season with 14 goals and 34 points in 46 games with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He added three assists in seven AJHL playoff games.