The BC Hockey League’s 2020-21 extended training camp has concluded, and now we wait for the regular season to get underway – hopefully in early January.
While we patiently wait for the BCHL to return to the ice, I decided to take some time to reflect on the pre-season. While there were some bright spots as far as team performances, some individuals stood out as well.
I’ll recognize 12 players who had a strong exhibition season and divide them into two all-star teams. Each team will also be represented by a coach who led his team to a stellar performance during the pre-season.
In order to qualify for these teams, skaters must have played at least eight games during the exhibition season. Points-per-game is the biggest statistical consideration, although the league leaders in goals, assists, and points are all represented.
Goalies with at least five games played were given consideration for these teams, and individual stats were a bigger factor than win-loss record.
Here are the 2020-21 BCHL exhibition season all-star teams!
First team all-stars
— BC Hockey League (@GoBCHL) November 14, 2020
Forward – Dane Dowiak (Cranbrook Bucks)
Dowiak led the expansion Bucks in both goals and points during exhibition play. He finished with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in eight games. His 1.88 points-per-game was the highest in the BCHL among players with at least eight games played.
The 2002-born rookie from Wexford, Pennsylvania is off to Penn State University next season.
Forward – Cody Monds (Victoria Grizzlies)
Monds finished the exhibition season with 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points in 12 games. His goal total tied for the league lead, while he ranked second behind teammate Alex DiPaolo in points. He also ranked second with 1.83 points-per-game, behind only Dowiak.
Huge Congratulations goes out to Grizzlies own @monds_19 who has just been named All-Rookie Team in the #BCHL! Cody had over a point-per-game, and finished one point back of the rookie scoring lead with 59 points and his 37 assists were the most among all rookies. pic.twitter.com/ZQflBdgkoW
— Victoria Grizzlies (@BCHLGrizzlies) February 25, 2020
Monds was named to the BCHL all-rookie team last season, in which he put up 22 goals, 37 assists, and 59 points in 57 games. He led rookies in assists, while his point total ranked second. Monds also finished 14 points ahead of his next closest Grizzlies teammate in scoring last season.
The 2001-born product of Brockville, Ontario is off to Providence College next fall, so this will be his second and final BCHL season.
Forward – Alex DiPaolo (Victoria Grizzlies)
In 14 pre-season games, DiPaolo racked up eight goals and 15 assists, leading the league with 23 points. He ranked third in points-per-game, with a 1.64 rating.
The 20-year-old is entering his third and final BC Hockey League season. He has compiled 30 goals and 56 assists for 86 points in 109 career games.
DiPaolo is off to Colgate University for the 2021-22 season.
Defenseman – Cullen Ferguson (Cowichan Valley Capitals)
Ferguson led qualified BCHL defenseman with 0.88 points-per-game, recording two goals, five assists, and seven points in eight games.
Last season, his first with the Caps, Ferguson scored a goal and added 12 assists in 56 games.
The 2001-born native of Binbrook, Ontario is committed to Union College next season.
Defenseman – Owen Murray (Penticton Vees)
Murray scored one goal and added 11 assists, leading BCHL blue-liners with 12 points in 14 games. He trailed only Ferguson among defensemen with 0.86 points-per-game.
Entering his first BCHL campaign, Murray spent the last two seasons with the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. He recorded 13 goals, 54 assists, and 67 points in 85 games with the Terriers.
Congrats to Jack Bar, Jason Marsella, Owen Murray and Fin Williams!
— Penticton Vees (@PentictonVees) October 27, 2020
Murray is National Hockey League draft-eligible this season and was one of eight BCHL players on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary players to watch list.
The 2002-born product of Decker, Manitoba is heading to the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) next season.
Goalie – Kaeden Lane (Penticton Vees)
Honestly, either Penticton Vees goaltender could have been a first-team all-star, but Lane gets the slight edge over teammate Yaniv Perets.
Among qualified goalies, Lane led the BCHL with a 1.30 goals-against-average, a .951 save percentage, and two shutouts. In addition to those league-leading numbers, he posted a 4-0 record in his five games played.
Hailing from Burnaby, BC, the 2001-born Lane is entering his first BCHL season. He spent each of the last two years in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Grande Prairie Storm.
Coach – Fred Harbinson (Penticton Vees)
Entering his 14th season as the Vees head coach, Harbinson guided Penticton to a 13-1 record during the exhibition season, on route to winning the Okanagan Cup.
Fred Harbinson joins Smyl, Bestwick and Lewis in the exclusive BCHL wins club.
— BC Hockey League (@GoBCHL) February 28, 2019
Harbinson has led the Vees to win four Fred Page Cups, a Doyle Cup, a Western Canada Cup, and one Centennial Cup as national junior A champion. He and the Vees have their eyes set on another championship season in 2020-21.
Second team all-stars
Forward – Matteo Costantini (Penticton Vees)
Costantini scored six goals and added 14 assists for 20 points in 13 games. His 1.54 points-per-game ranked fourth among forwards with at least eight games played.
Entering his first BCHL season, Costantini enjoyed a successful campaign last year with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
He scored 36 goals and added 32 assists for 68 points in 50 games. In the playoffs, he added two goals and eight assists for 10 points in six games.
📸 Jack Murray pic.twitter.com/fmbNhlQXAh
— BC Hockey League (@GoBCHL) October 7, 2020
Costantini was selected in the fifth round, 131st overall by the Buffalo Sabres in October’s NHL entry draft. He is off to the University of North Dakota next season.
Forward – Ellis Rickwood (Victoria Grizzlies)
Rickwood racked up nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points in 15 games during the extended training camp. His 1.40 points-per-game was the fifth-best mark among qualified BCHL forwards.
The 2002-born rookie spent last season playing junior B in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. He posted 17 goals and 45 assists for 62 points in 50 games for the Hamilton Kilty B’s.
Forward – Briggs Gammill (Cranbrook Bucks)
Gammill scored four goals and added seven assists for 11 points in eight games. His points-per-game rating of 1.38 ranked sixth in the pre-season. He was named the Bucks’ second star in both October and November.
The 2001-born rookie out of New Canaan, Connecticut joined the Bucks from Berkshire School in the United States High School prep league. He scored 25 goals and added 20 assists for 45 points in 29 games with Berkshire last season.
— Cranbrook Bucks (@CranbrookBucks) November 5, 2020
Gammill, who was named the Bucks first captain in franchise history, is off to Yale University next season.
Defenseman – Noah De La Durantaye (Coquitlam Express)
De La Durantaye’s points-per-game mark of 0.80 was the third-highest among defensemen with at least eight games played. He recorded one goal and seven assists for eight points in 10 contests.
This will be De La Durantaye’s second season with the Express, after a seven-goal, 25 point performance in 41 games last year.
The 20-year-old from Beaconsfield, Quebec will serve as captain of the Express this season before heading off to Princeton University next fall.
Defenseman – Cody Schiavon (Trail Smoke Eaters)
The third straight captain to appear on this second all-star team, Schiavon was a lead-by-example player in the pre-season. He tied for second on the Smoke Eaters with four goals and added three helpers for seven points in nine games.
"My time in Trail playing in front of the best fans in the BCHL was second to none."
Smoke Eaters Captain Cody Schiavon commits to NCAA Div. 1 side Vermont, to join them immediately.
— Trail Smoke Eaters (@BCHLSmokeEaters) December 12, 2020
The 2000-born product of Kelowna, BC has announced that he is leaving the Smoke Eaters for the University of Vermont, effective immediately. Assuming Schiavon doesn’t return to Trail, he finishes with 15 goals, 47 assists, and 62 points over his 148-game BCHL career.
Goalie – Thomas Scarfone (Surrey Eagles)
Appearing in five exhibition contests, Scarfone went 4-1 with a 2.17 GAA, a .935 SV%, and a pair of shutouts. His two shutouts tied for the league lead, while his save-percentage was second-best, and his goals-against-average ranked fifth among qualified goalies.
Scarfone, a 2000-born Montreal product, returns for his second season with the Eagles. He went 14-11-5 last season, with a 2.69 GAA, a .920 SV%, and one shutout in 33 games.
Coach – Darren Naylor (Nanaimo Clippers)
Naylor helped the Clippers to an 11-5 record and an Island Cup championship during the extended exhibition season.
Things didn’t start out too smoothly for the Clippers as they went a modest 6-4 in their first 10 games. With the help of Naylor, Nanaimo righted the ship to go 5-1 in its final six games and win the all-important last game.
Under the tutelage of Naylor, and with a strong core of returning players, Nanaimo is another team with its eyes on a potential championship season.