BCHL Today: Sports in BC moves into Phase 3 of Return to Play, Chiefs add Swiss forward Fust, and more


Sports in BC moves into Phase 3

The Government of BC announced on Monday that the province’s amateur sport organizations and associations have moved into Phase 3 of viaSport’s Return to Sport plan.

The key points of Phase 3 as they relate to hockey are:

  • Contact – Physical contact within the same team training environment may be introduced. For the game or competition, environment rules should be modified to minimize physical contact. All activities that involve any form of close proximity or physical contact should take place only within the cohort environment.
  • Cohort Size – Cohorts may contain up to 50 people or four teams (whichever is deemed most appropriate by the Provincial Sport Organization).
  • Competition – Competitive activities (e.g. gameplay) may occur within designated cohorts.

It remains that participants and spectators must still adhere to a maximum of 50 people per event, which means fans are still not allowed at hockey games.

This move to Phase 3 allows hockey teams, including those in the BCHL, to have ice sessions that include physical contact or scrimmages within the team.

The cohort model also allows four teams to play games against each other, which per the BCHL’s extended training camp from September to November, could see exhibition games played.

Chiefs add firepower up front with Fust

The Chilliwack Chiefs have signed 2002-born forward Ray Fust for the 2020-21 season. Fust has played most of his hockey in Switzerland but his dad was born in Montreal, so the 17-year-old won’t count as an import for the Chiefs.

He spent the 2019-20 season playing US High School prep hockey at Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York, scoring 31 goals and 21 assists in 44 games. Fust was selected in both the United States Hockey League Entry Draft and the Quebec Junior Hockey League Draft earlier this year.

Fust is a product of the Lausanne organization in Switzerland and captained its U17 team in 2018-19. He is eligible for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

Caps ink Russell for 2020-21

Rice Memorial Prep school reported on Monday that 2001-born forward Samuel Russell has signed with the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the upcoming season. Russell, from Boucherville, Quebec, had 17 goals and 20 assists in 58 games with Rice in 2019-20.

Despite playing US high school prep hockey this past season, Russell won’t count as an import for the Capitals because he was born in Canada.

Jermain turns pro with Greenville

Forward Nick Jermain (29 goals, 25 assists in 54 games with Merritt in 2015-16) has signed a standard professional contract with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL for the 2020-21 season.

Jermain, 24, is coming off a four year NCAA career at Quinnipiac University where he had 26 goals and 25 assists in 123 games. The Cos Cob, Connecticut product served as captain of the Bobcats in 2019-20.