BCHL Bulletin: Warriors add new recruits, Spruce Kings, Bulldogs, Caps make trades, and more!

Bulldogs trade Leyer to Spruce Grove of the AJHL

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have traded 2002-born Ethan Leyer to the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for future considerations.

Leyer, who’s from St. Albert, AB, is committed to St. Cloud State University for this September. With the trade, there’s a chance he returns to junior hockey for his 20-year-old season.

He posted nine goals and 24 points in 52 games with the Bulldogs last season. Leyer spent the previous three seasons in the AJHL split between Whitecourt and Bonnyville before being acquired by Alberni Valley in June 2021.

Warriors bring in Northeastern University commit Hayes

Boston, MA product Nolan Hayes is off to the West Kelowna Warriors after signing with the Interior Conference club for 2022-23.

The 2002-born defender spent last season with the Omaha Lancers of the US Hockey League and finished with a goal and four assists in 33 games.

Hayes is committed to playing NCAA Division I hockey at Northeastern University next September.

Smoke Eaters bring in UConn commit Smith as a new recruit

After a season with the Saskatoon Contacts U18 AAA, 2005-born defender Braydan Smith will join the Trail Smoke Eaters for 2022-23.

The product of Prince Albert, SK had five goals and 23 points in 37 Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League games as an alternate captain with the Contacts in 2021-22.

Additionally, the University of Connecticut commit added one goal in three SMAAAHL playoff games.

Warriors add Bernadet to their forward group

South Burlington, VT native Jake Bernadet has signed with the West Kelowna Warriors for the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season.

The 2003-born forward was with the Islanders Hockey Club of the National Collegiate Development Conference in 2021-22. He finished with 15 goals and 23 points in 46 games.

Bernadet was selected by Amarillo in the sixth round of the 2021 North American Hockey League Entry Draft.

Welsh leaves Omaha for Salmon Arm

After posting four goals and eight points in 48 games split between Sioux City and Omaha of the US Hockey League last season, forward Connor Welsh has joined the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for 2022-23.

The 2004-born native of Greenwich, CT was a rookie last season after being selected by Sioux City in the second round of the 2020 USHL Futures Draft. He joined the Lancers in late February.

Spruce Kings send Leitch to the Cowichan Valley Capitals

The Prince George Spruce Kings have traded 2004-born defender Adam Leitch to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations.

Leitch, who’s from Maple Ridge, BC, was scoreless in 14 games with the Spruce Kings after signing with them in January.

He started the season with his hometown Ridge Meadows Flames of the Pacific Junior Hockey League and had 16 points in 19 games. Leitch also appeared in four games as an affiliate for the Victoria Grizzlies, posting one assist.

Fusco commits to West Kelowna for 2022-23

The West Kelowna Warriors have signed 2003-born defender Matthew Fusco for the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season. He is committed to Harvard University for September 2023.

Fusco, a native of Westwood, MA, had nine goals and 24 points in 24 games as the captain at Dexter Southfield School in 2021-22. He also spent time with the East Coast Wizards 18U AAA.

BCHL announces Canucks Alumni scholarship winners

The BCHL and Canucks Alumni announced six scholarship recipients for the 2021-22 season. Each former BCHL player receives a $2,500 scholarship to a post-secondary school.

The recipients for last season are:

Capitals add Jackson to their coaching staff

The Cowichan Valley Capitals have hired Jamie Jackson as an assistant coach for the 2022-23 season.

Jackson, 42, was most recently the head coach of the Vancouver NE Chiefs U18 AAA of the BC Elite Hockey League. He was an assistant coach with the Coquitlam Express for two seasons from 2018-20.

Clippers bring Beatty back as associate coach

The Nanaimo Clippers announced on Tuesday the return of Bob Beatty as an associate coach to Colin Birkas for the 2022-23 season.

The 67-year-old has an extensive junior A coaching background over the last 25 years, including four seasons with the Cowichan Valley Capitals from 2013-17.

Beatty, who’s from La Ronge, SK, joined the Clippers in February as interim head coach when Birkas and Darren Naylor were placed on temporary administrative leave by the BCHL for allegedly violating the league’s coaches’ code of conduct.

Birkas was reinstated by the BCHL in March and signed a contract extension with the Clippers as general manager and head coach in May.

Cowichan adds Siermachesky as operations manager

The Cowichan Valley Capitals announced the addition of Kristen Siermachesky as operations manager on Tuesday.

Siermachesky, a 23-year-old from New Liskeard, ON, played NCAA hockey at Syracuse University from 2017-21 and graduated with a bachelor of science in Sport Management.

Minnesota Wilderness brings in Skinner as associate head coach

The Minnesota Wilderness of the NAHL has brought Brett Skinner (11 goals, 24 assists in 59 games with Trail in 2000-01) on board as an associate head coach for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

Skinner, a 39-year-old from Brandon, MB, was an assistant coach in the USHL with the Sioux Falls Stampede for the last five seasons.

Regush turns pro with the Everblades

The ECHL’s Florida Everblades have agreed to a contract with centre Michael Regush (20 goals, 33 assists in 106 games with Langley and Merritt from 2014-17) for the 2022-23 season.

Regush, a 23-year-old from Surrey, BC, put up three goals and nine points in 24 games with Miami University (Ohio) last season. He spent the previous three years at Cornell, finishing there with 23 goals and 33 points.

Betts is back in the Beehive State for 2022-23

Flesherton, ON product Kyle Betts (45 goals, 44 assists in 98 games with Powell River from 2015-17) has signed with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies after playing five games with them on an amateur tryout last season. He finished with a goal and an assist.

Betts added five goals and 10 points in 18 playoff games for the Grizzlies.

The 24-year-old Betts wrapped his five-year NCAA career at Cornell University in 2021-22, compiling 17 goals and 48 points in 125 games for the Big Red.

Netminder Hanson makes history with Savannah Ghost Pirates

Goaltender Darion Hanson (14-4-0, 1.84 goals-against average, .945 save percentage, two shutouts in 21 games with Vernon in 2016-17) is the first player ever signed by the ECHL’s Savannah Ghost Pirates.

The 25-year-old product of East Bethel, MN spent most of 2021-22 with the University of Connecticut. He posted a 20-15-0 record along with a 2.24 GAA and a .923 SV% in 35 games.

Hanson also made his pro debut in April, making 22 saves for the Reading Royals in a 4-1 win over the Maine Mariners.

Rockwood moves from Slovakia to Sweden

Forward Adam Rockwood (19 goals, 81 assists in 107 games with Coquitlam from 2012-14) has signed with AIK of HockeyAllsvenskan, which is the second-tier of hockey in Sweden.

Rockwood, 25, posted nine goals and 31 points in 39 games with HK Nitra, which plays in the top level of hockey in Slovakia. He also tallied 14 points in 19 playoff games.

Ryan transfers from Merrimack to MSU

24-year-old forward Ryan Nolan (25 goals, 34 assists in 101 games with Victoria from 2017-19) has transferred from Merrimack College to Michigan State University for the upcoming NCAA season.

Ryan, who’s a product of Winnetka, IL, finished with two goals and eight points in 46 games at Merrimack over the last three seasons.

Klimek signs with the Guildford Flames

26-year-old defender Jordan Klimek (six goals, 19 assists in 60 games with Surrey from 2011-13) has signed with the Guildford Flames of the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League.

Klimek spent last season with Hungarian club Debreceni Egyetem Atlétikai of Erste Liga and finished with three goals and 14 points in 34 games. The Langley, BC native also posted six points in 14 playoff games.

Lundy commits to NCAA Division I American International College

Forward John Lundy (six goals, one assist in 29 games with Cowichan Valley in 2019-20) has committed to playing NCAA Division I hockey at American International College this September.

The 2001-born product of Brooklyn, NY had 32 goals and 57 points in 60 games with the NAHL’s Jamestown Rebels this past season. He added four points in eight NAHL playoff games.

Daly returns to Denmark for the upcoming season

Defender Tim Daly (20 goals, 48 assists in 119 games with Langley from 2009-11) has signed a contract extension to play with Rungsted Seier Capital of Denmark’s Metal Ligaen in 2022-23.

Daly, 30, notched 10 goals and 19 points in 45 games with Rungsted in 2021-22. The Maple Ridge, BC product also played for Rungsted in 2020-21 and put up 34 points in 41 games.

Hammond signs a deal in Nottingham

Forward Mike Hammond (82 goals, 117 assists in 159 games with Victoria, Cowichan Valley, and Salmon Arm from 2007-11) inked a contract with the Nottingham Panthers of the EIHL for the 2022-23 season.

Hammond, a 32-year-old from Brighton, GBR, lit up Germany’s Oberliga to the tune of 30 goals and 90 points in 49 games with the Hannover Scorpions during the 2021-22 season. Oberliga is the third tier of pro hockey in Germany.

Cuglietta goes from Greenville, SC to Italy

Forward Diego Cuglietta (40 goals, 88 assists in 149 games for Merritt from 2012-15) has signed a contract for 2022-23 with Cortina of the Alps Hockey League. It’s his first contract overseas after parts of four seasons in the ECHL and AHL.

The 26-year-old from Kamloops, BC played five games with the Indy Fuel this season but didn’t put up any points. He was traded to Greenville last November and had nine goals and 18 points in 19 games for the Swamp Rabbits.

Bowie commits to the University of Waterloo to play U SPORTS

Right winger Brendan Bowie (three goals, 15 assists in 50 games with Victoria in 2019-20) has committed to the University of Waterloo to play U SPORTS hockey this fall.

Bowie, a 21-year-old from Burlington, ON, played the last two seasons with Oakville of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and finished with 11 goals and 35 points.