BCHL Today: Kawaguchi and Cotton named Hobey Baker finalists, Spruce Kings solidify coaching staff, Capitals veteran Cote commits to Red Deer College, and more

Two former BCHL players named finalists for Hobey Baker Award

Two former BCHL players are among the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA hockey.

Forwards Jordan Kawaguchi (120 goals, 122 assists in 213 games for Chilliwack from 2013-17) and Jason Cotton (50 goals, 67 assists in 108 games for West Kelowna from 2013-15) are among the ten players in the running.

The next round of voting sees a 30 member selection committee and an additional round of fan balloting at http://www.hobeybaker.com until March 29. The last BCHL alum to win the Hobey Baker was former Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Ryan Duncan in 2007.

BCHL Commissioner Hebb appears on TSN 1040

BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb was a featured guest on the Sekeres and Price Afternoon Show on TSN 1040 on Wednesday.

The topics included how the league and teams broke the news of the season cancellation along with how the league is impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Hebb did his best to put a silver lining on the season shut down.

“It gives us time to sit back, gather our resources together and look back at the strategic plan that was approved unanimously last year and say ‘How’d we do in delivering it?’. This is a chance for us to go after some of the more esoteric ideas and see what we can do to grow this league.”

Hebb explained that he was pleased with how the 17 league governors have reacted to the pandemic. “There’s terrible news they have to pass on to their people, there’s terrible news that I’ve had to pass on to my people, but the good news is, this is going to end. We’re going to come out of it stronger.”

He added that they’re trying to look at the cancellation as a chance for growth. “What we’d like to do is take this opportunity to think outside of the box, create alliances, build relationships, and see what we can do with the best junior A hockey league in Canada to make it better.”

Spruce Kings bring back Garneau, lose Minardi from coaching staff

The Prince George Spruce Kings announced a change to their coaching staff on Wednesday. Leaving the team is assistant coach Colin Minardi, who was hired in early October 2019 as a replacement following the resignation of Jessie Leung.

Jumping back on PG’s bench as an assistant coach is Jason Garneau. He rejoins the Spruce Kings after serving as an assistant coach as recently as the 2015-16 season.

Capitals veteran Cote commits to Red Deer College

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Cruz Cote has committed to Red Deer College of the ACAC starting this September.

Cote had 16 goals and 25 assists in 74 games with the Capitals since being acquired from Grande Prairie of the AJHL via Penticton at the 2019 January 10 trade deadline. He is a veteran of 246 junior A games.

Former Kings defenceman Bodie released by IK Oskarshamn

Defenceman Mathew Bodie (nine goals, 75 assists in 104 games with Powell River from 2008-10) has been released by IK Oskashamn of the Swedish Hockey League.

Bodie had two goals and 11 assists in 44 games split between Oskarshamn and Vaxjo this season.

Three Stars of the Night Rewind ⏪ (March 19, 2016)

First Star: Nanaimo forward Sheldon Rempal had a goal and two assists.

Second Star: Chilliwack forward Kale Kane notched a pair of goals.

Third Star: Penticton forward Scott Conway scored two goals.

Honourable Mentions: Clippers forward Matthew Hoover posted a goal and two assists. West Kelowna goaltender Matthew Greenfield made 40 saves. Chiefs defenceman Dennis Cholowski had a goal and an assist. Powell River forward Nick Halagian tallied two assists.