BCHL Today: BCHL clubs get provincial funding, Bulldogs sign new goaltender, and more!

BCHL to get a piece of $11-million pie

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport announced on Tuesday it has formed the Amateur Sport League Fund to provide $11 million in grants to aid in the recovery of financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, 72 organizations and leagues will benefit from the funding, including the BC Hockey League itself and a number of its member clubs.

More on the announcement is available here.

Bulldogs add 2003-born goaltender Hedquist

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have added 2003-born goaltender Hobie Hedquist for the 2021-22 BC Hockey League season. He is committed to the University of North Dakota for September 2022.

The product of Heron Lake, MN posted a 4-9-1 record along with a 4.45 goals-against-average, and an .831 save percentage in 21 games as a rookie with Dubuque of the US Hockey League in 2020-21.

Hirose inks an extension in the Motor City

Forward Taro Hirose (33 goals, 88 assists in 116 games with Salmon Arm from 2014-16) signed a one-year extension with the Detroit Red Wings for the 2021-22 season.

The 25-year-old Hirose split last season between the Red Wings and their American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids. He posted two assists in six games with Detroit and 28 points in 29 games in the minors.

Moose brings back Maier and Jones for 2021-22

Forwards Cole Maier (25 goals, 29 assists in 58 games with Nanaimo in 2014-15) and Nicholas Jones (46 goals, 79 assists in 100 games with Penticton from 2015-17) each signed new contracts with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.

Maier, a 26-year-old from Pequannock, NJ, signed a deal through 2022-23. He put up eight goals and 14 points in 31 games with the Moose in 2020-21.

Jones, 25, hails from Edmonton, AB. His contract is for the 2021-22 season after posting two goals and 11 points in 35 games this past season.

Silye transfers from Clarkson to Minnesota State

Forward David Silye (59 goals, 122 assists in 218 games with Nanaimo and Penticton from 2016-20) has transferred from Clarkson University to Minnesota State University (Mankato) for the 2021-22 season.

The product of Arnprior, ON had three assists in 17 games with Clarkson as a rookie during the 2020-21 season.

Willcox signs in Italy for 2021-22

Defenseman Reece Willcox (10 goals, 27 assists in 105 games with Merritt from 2010-12) has signed with HC Pustertal of the ICE Hockey League for the upcoming season.

The 27-year-old from Surrey, BC notched five assists in 27 games with the Hershey Bears of the AHL this past season. He was also scoreless in five games with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades.

Kane returns to Beijing with Kunlun

Forward Cory Kane (42 goals, 55 assists in 119 games with Vernon from 2008-10) has signed an extension with the Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League for 2021-22.

The 30-year-old from Irvine, CA, spent the last four seasons with Kunlun and posted 43 points in 162 career KHL games.

Howse steps down from Cariboo U17 AAA

Ryan Howse (two assists in two games with Prince George in 2006-07) has resigned as the head coach of the Cariboo Cougars U17 AAA team. In the tweet above, Howse announced he was stepping down to “enjoy a winter off.”

The 30-year-old coached the Cougars U16 team in 2020-21 after being an assistant coach the season before.

Newell becomes an unrestricted free agent

Forward Patrick Newell (16 goals, 31 assists in 56 games with Penticton from 2014-15) didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the New York Rangers by Monday’s deadline and is now an unrestricted free agent.

The 25-year-old from Thousand Oaks, CA put up 11 goals and 26 points in 81 games with the Rangers AHL affiliate in Hartford over the last two seasons.

Kehler isn’t offered a new contract by Winnipeg

Like Newell, goaltender Cole Kehler (18-24-0, 3.84 GAA, .898 SV% in 43 games with Merritt in 2015-16)  is also an unrestricted free agent after he wasn’t given a qualifying offer by the Winnipeg Jets.

The 23-year-old from Altona, MB was 2-1-0 with a 2.52 goals-against-average, and an .861 save percentage in three games with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose in 2020-21.