BCHL Today: Express and Spruce Kings make trades, lots of alumni news, and more!


Prince George sends Grant to Swan Valley

The Prince George Spruce Kings have traded 2002-born goaltender Kobe Grant to the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations.

Grant, from Sicamous, BC, appeared in two games for the Spruce Kings last season, stopping all 42 shots he faced for a pair of shutouts.

His BCHL tenure also included playing a game for both Salmon Arm and Vernon. He leaves with a 2-0 record, a 1.24 goals-against-average, a .944 save-percentage, and two shutouts in four games played.  

Grant’s last full season was in 2019-20 with the Thompson Blazers of the BC U18 AAA League. He went 10-10 with a 3.19 GAA in 21 contests with the Blazers.

Howarth signs with Rockford

Forward Kale Howarth (66 goals, 80 assists in 148 games with Trail from 2015-2018) has signed with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League for 2021-22.

Howarth, 24, recently completed a three-year NCAA career at the University of Connecticut. He recorded 16 goals and 18 assists in 79 contests with UConn over that span.

The Red Deer, Alberta product was selected in the fifth round, 148th overall, by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft while playing for the Smoke Eaters.

Centennials bring in Bowman for 2021-22

The Merritt Centennials announced on Thursday a commitment from 2002-born defenseman Will Bowman.

Bowman spent the past two seasons at Deerfield Academy of the United States High School Prep, notching one goal and one assist in 30 games played.

The native of Chicago, Illinois is the grandson of legendary NHL coach Scotty Bowman, and the son of Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman.

Pierog inks deal with Springfield

Forward Nic Pierog (40 goals, 33 assists in 112 games with Surrey and Penticton from 2012-2014) has signed with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds.

Pierog, 28, played last season in the ECHL with the Indy Fuel, tallying 24 goals and 21 assists in 61 games. He’s managed 78 goals and 56 assists in 179 career ECHL games, and another three goals and two assists in 15 AHL games.

Pierog had previously signed in Slovakia this summer before finding a contract in North America.

MacLeod heads to the UK

Forward Wade MacLeod (65 goals, 81 assists in 101 games with Merritt from 2005-2007) has signed with the Manchester Storm of the Elite Ice Hockey League, the top tier of pro hockey in the United Kingdom.

MacLeod, from Coquitlam, hasn’t played since 2017-18 due to injuries. He recorded 25 goals and 24 assists in 49 games that season with Löwen Frankfurt of the DEL2, Germany’s second tier of pro hockey.

Following his time in the BCHL, MacLeod spent four years in the NCAA at Northeastern University, picking up 137 points in 149 games. The now 34-year-old also played eight professional seasons before a three-year hiatus.

Collins joins the Admirals

Forward Anthony Collins (eight goals, 16 assists with Merritt, Prince George, Coquitlam, and Victoria from 2006-2009) has signed With the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL.

Collins spent last season with the Birmingham Bulls of the Southern Professional Hockey League, tallying four goals and seven assists in 24 games. He also played eight ECHL games with the Kansas City Mavericks and the South Carolina Stingrays.

The 31-year-old from Langley has played nine seasons in the ECHL with seven different organizations.

Bradley re-signs with the Swamp Rabbits

Forward Matt Bradley (no points in eight games with Surrey in 2013-14) has signed an extension with the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits for the 2021-22 season.

Bradley, 24, chipped in 21 goals and 26 assists in 69 games with Greenville last year. He has totalled 46 goals and 80 assists in 192 contests during his four-year ECHL career.

Bloodoff returns to Coventry

Forward Evan Bloodoff (no points in two games with Trail in 2005-06) has signed a contract that sees him return to the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL.

Prior to not playing last year, the product of Castlegar, BC spent 2019-20 with the Blaze, scoring 22 goals and adding 13 assists in 48 games played. The now 30-year-old Bloodoff has also played two EIHL seasons with the Fife Flyers, contributing 54 goals and 29 assists in 93 contests.

Express add forward Montgomery-Parsons

The Coquitlam Express have signed 2004-born forward Austin Montgomery-Parsons for the upcoming season. Coquitlam signed Montgomery-Parsons after he attended the Express’ all-star camp last weekend.

The Comox, BC product spent the shortened 2020-21 season with his hometown Comox Valley Glacier Kings of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. He scored twice and added six assists in 13 games played with the G-Kings.

In 2019-20, Montgomery-Parsons notched six goals and 12 assists in 31 contests with the North Island Silvertips of the BC U16 AAA League.

Ryan commits to Carleton University

Nanaimo Clippers graduating forward Liam Ryan has committed to Carleton University of U Sports for the upcoming season.

Ryan, 21, spent the last two years with the Clippers, picking up 17 goals and 12 assists in 66 games played. The native of New Westminster, BC, also tallied five goals and four assists in 22 contests with Surrey back in 2018-19.

Express deal Hammond to the SJHL

The Coquitlam Express announced they have traded 2001-born forward Curtis Hammond to the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations.

Hammond spent the past two seasons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Grande Prairie Storm and the Bonnyville Pontiacs. He managed five goals and 12 assists in 47 AJHL games.

The Express acquired Hammond on June 1 to complete a trade made with Grande Prairie on the Feb. 25 trade deadline.