BCHL Today: Kings beef up roster with 11 players, Express add goaltender Little, and more


Kings bolster roster with 11 new players

The Powell River Kings beefed up their roster on Tuesday with the signing of 11 new players for the 2020-21 season. The players include seven from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, two from the BC U18 AAA League, and one each from the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League and the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.

Players are shown with their most current totals.

  • 2002-born defenseman Keagen Abbott (one goal, four assists in 13 games with Columbia Valley of the KIJHL)
  • 2004-born defenseman Sam Belanger (no points in six exhibition games with Vancouver North West Hawks of the BC U18 AAA League)
  • 2000-born goaltender Jakob Drapeau (2-0-0, 1.90 goals-against-average, .917 save percentage in two games with Kamloops of the KIJHL)
  • 2002-born forward Lex Friesen (two goals in two games with Kamloops of the KIJHL)
  • 2003-born defenseman Curtis Gould (no points in three games with Princeton of the KIJHL)
  • 2003-born defenseman Brody Johnston (two assists in two games with Kamloops of the KIJHL)
  • 2003-born forward Tyden McWillis (one goal in two games with Revelstoke of the KIJHL)
  • 2002-born defenseman Dylan Malarchuk (three goals, three assists in three games with Columbia Valley of the KIJHL)
  • 2003-born forward Aaron Neal (two goals, four assists in six exhibition games with Vancouver North West Hawks of the BC U18 AAA League)
  • 2004-born goaltender Nick Peters (11-9-1, 2.82 goals-against-average, .908 save percentage, three shutouts in 21 games with Okanagan Hockey Academy Elite 15 of the CSSHL in 2019-20)
  • 2003-born forward Branden Toye (one goal, three assists in two games with Kamloops of the KIJHL)

Both Neal and Belanger are starting their BCHL careers a season early as they had previously committed to Powell River for 2021-22.

Express set to host Powell River and Surrey

The Coquitlam Express confirmed on Tuesday they host one of the five pod cities for the abbreviated 2020-21 BCHL season.

The Express also confirmed it will be joined in the pod by the Powell River Kings and Surrey Eagles.

Late last week, Mario Bartel of the Tri-City News outlined how the pod based in Coquitlam will actually play out of the Scotiabank Barn in Burnaby.

Coquitlam, Alberni Valley, and Powell River add affiliate players

The Campbell River Storm of the VIJHL announced on Tuesday that five of its players will join BC Hockey League teams as affiliates for the 2020-21 season.

Coquitlam Express

  • 2000-born forward Owen Christensen (10 goals, 13 assists in 13 games)
  • 2003-born defenseman Ben Coghlan (one goal, four assists in eight games)

Alberni Valley Bulldogs

  • 2002-born forward Davis Frank (no points in one game)
  • 2000-born forward Josh Pederson (eight goals, 15 assists in 13 games)

Powell River Kings

  • 2002-born defenseman Gabe Shipley (eight assists in 13 games)

Cents and Spruce Kings to join Chilliwack pod

The Chilliwack Chiefs confirmed on Tuesday what has already been widely reported, including here on BCHLNetwork.

The Chiefs announced that Chilliwack will host one of the BCHL’s five pods this season and they’ll be joined by the Prince George Spruce Kings and Merritt Centennials.

Penticton to bring in Trail and Cranbrook for 2020-21 season

The Penticton Vees made it official on Tuesday that the South Okanagan Events Centre will serve as a pod location for the upcoming BCHL season.

The Vees will play at their home rink along with the Trail Smoke Eaters and the expansion Cranbrook Bucks.

Express sign Little and Merritt brings in four affiliates from Creston

The Coquitlam Express have signed 2000-born goaltender Jaden Little for the upcoming BCHL season.

Little, who’s from Nanaimo, was 0-2 with a 4.02 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage in two games with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats of the KIJHL this season. He also served as an alternate captain for Creston.

The Thunder Cats also revealed on Tuesday that four members of their roster have been signed by the Merritt Centennials as affiliate players.

  • 2002-born forward Tyler Badger (no points in two games split between Creston Valley and Summerland Steam)
  • 2003-born defenseman Blake Hiltermann (no points in two games)
  • 2002-born forward Vin Jackson (one goal in three games)
  • 2002-born forward Campbell McLean (one assist in one game)

LaFontaine named Big Ten goaltender of the year

University of Minnesota netminder Jack LaFontaine (30-13-1, 2.19 GAA, .923 SV%, and 3 shutouts in 45 games with Penticton in 2018-19) was named Big Ten Hockey goaltender of the year on Tuesday.

The product of Mississauga, Ontario was also named to the all-Big Ten first team.

The 23-year-old Carolina Hurricanes draft pick finished the season with a 20-6 record along with a 1.65 goals-against-average, a .937 save percentage and five shutouts.

Americans bring Conway back to the ECHL

Forward Scott Conway (56 goals, 60 assists in 56 games with Penticton in 2015-16) has signed once again with the ECHL’s Allen Americans after being released by them earlier this month.

The 25-year-old, who’s from Basingstoke, Great Britain, had one goal in three games with the Americans last month. He added two points in five games with Orlando earlier this season before being released in January.

Serraglio signs WHL player agreement with Tri-City

2003-born defenseman Alex Serraglio (no points in three games with West Kelowna in 2019-20) has signed with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League.

The Langley native had one assist in five games with Yale Academy U18 Prep of the CSSHL this season.

2021 NHL Draft to stay on July 23-24

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted on Tuesday that the 2021 NHL Draft won’t be pushed back from its scheduled dates of July 23 – 24.

There was speculation it might be deferred to allow prospects and scouts to get more games in before NHL teams made their decisions on draft picks.

Two current BCHL players are on NHL Central Scouting’s latest Players to Watch list for the 2021 NHL Draft, which was released in January.

Chilliwack forward Sasha Teleguine and Penticton captain Finlay Williams are both rated as ‘C’ prospects, which means they are candidates to be selected in the fourth round or later.