BCHL Today: League rebrands social media accounts, Bucks add to coaching staff, and more


BCHL changes social media branding

The BC Hockey League changed its handles on social media on Monday.

Rather than being known as @GoBCHL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the league is now discoverable on those platforms under the moniker @BCHockeyLeague.

Vernon confirmed as pod city for 2020-21 season

The Vernon Vipers confirmed on Monday that Kal Tire Place will serve as one of the five pod cities for the abbreviated 2020-21 BCHL season.

It wasn’t officially announced which teams will join the Vipers in the pod, but Wayne Moore of Castanet wrote on Friday that West Kelowna and Salmon Arm will match-up against Vernon.

Bucks lose one assistant coach, add two others

The Cranbrook Bucks have added Todd Skirving (eight goals, nine assists in 49 games with Vernon and Prince George in 2010-11) and Ehren Menard as assistant coaches to GM and head coach Ryan Donald.

Skirving, 28, last played during the 2019-20 season, putting up 12 points in 37 games with the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL. The Growlers went on hiatus for this season due to COVID-19.

Menard, 31, most recently served as head coach and director of hockey operations for the KC Centennials U16 AAA of the Alberta Elite Hockey League U16.

The Bucks also announced the departure of assistant coach Adam Stuart. Stuart, who was hired by Cranbrook last June, leaves to join the Northern Alberta Xtreme of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League in an unknown role.

BCHL launches social media contest

The BCHL announced a social media contest on Monday that sees the top social posts from the league’s 18 teams over the last year duke it out in a March Madness-style tournament.

Details on the tournament are available here.

Bulldogs confirmed to host three former Island Division foes

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs made the announcement on Monday that the Multiplex in Port Alberni would serve to host the other three Vancouver Island-based teams for the shortened BCHL season.

In addition to the Bulldogs, the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Nanaimo Clippers, and Victoria Grizzlies will also play their regular season games out of the “Dog Pound”.

BCHL alumni shine in college hockey

The BC Hockey League tooted the collective horn of its alumni on Monday, highlighting 47 former players who have been recognized for academic achievement by the NCHC and WCHA conferences of NCAA hockey.

A full list of those student-athletes is here.

Former BCHLers highlighted by NHL.com

NHL.com writer Mike Morreale looked at some of the top college free agents who are able to sign with any National Hockey League team now that the NCAA season is winding down.

The list includes five former BCHL players:

  • Boston College forward Mike Hardman (39 goals, 33 assists in 58 games with West Kelowna in 2018-19)
  • Minnesota State University defenseman Akito Hirose (20 goals, 102 assists in 208 games with Salmon Arm from 2016-20)
  • University of North Dakota forward Jordan Kawaguchi (120 goals, 122 assists in 213 games with Chilliwack from 2013-17)
  • University of North Dakota goaltender Adam Scheel (29-12-0, 2.08 GAA, .927 SV%, 3 SO in 45 games with Penticton in 2017-18)
  • Quinnipiac University forward Odeen Tufto (25 goals, 40 assists in 57 games with Vernon in 2015-16)

Morreale’s full list is here.

Schneider inks ECHL deal with Orlando

Defenseman Jordan Schneider (eight goals, 39 assists in 109 games with Langley from 2014-16) has signed with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL for the 2020-21 season.

The 26-year-old from Toronto wrapped up his four year college career with Clarkson University last spring after posting three goals and 20 points in 103 NCAA games.

Jobke puts pen to paper on an extension with Ingolstadt

Defenseman Colton Jobke (three goals, eight assists in 43 games with Penticton in 2008-09) has signed a one-year contract extension with ERC Ingolstadt of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the top tier of pro hockey in Germany.

The 28-year-old from Vancouver has spent the last 6.5 seasons in the DEL, and the last three with Ingolstadt.

Betts and Cusinato among ECAC student-athlete of the year finalists

Cornell University forward Kyle Betts (45 goals, 44 assists in 98 games with Powell River from 2015-17) and St. Lawrence University forward Callum Cusinato (one goal, three assists in 14 games for Coquitlam in 2016-17) are among the three finalists for ECAC student-athlete of the year.

Betts, 23, has been a member of the ECAC Hockey all-academic team in each of his first three seasons.

Cusinato, 22, is a three-time ECAC all-academic selection, two-time Commissioners List representative, and a two-time AHCA all-American scholar.

The award is presented annually to an ECAC player who best establishes himself as a leader within their team, in the classroom, and in the community.

Shaw tapped to lead Vancouver North West Hawks

Chris Shaw (15 goals, 44 assists in 168 games with Trail, Victoria, Prince George, and Burnaby from 1998-02) returns for 2021-22 as general manager of the Vancouver North West Hawks program and is also the new head coach of the Hawks U15 AAA team.

Shaw spent the last three seasons as head coach of the Hawks U18 AAA squad. He has assistant coaching experience in the BCHL with Alberni Valley, Vernon, and Langley.