BCHL Today: BCHL reportedly departs CJHL, Sandhu joins West Kelowna, and more


BCHL to leave Canadian Junior Hockey League

Reports surfaced late Wednesday regarding the BC Hockey League leaving the Canadian Junior Hockey League, which is a national organization made up of the 10 sanctioned junior A leagues in Canada.

National sports talk show host Rod Pedersen tweeted the BCHL is striking out on its own and some Alberta Junior Hockey League teams may join as well.

The BCHL has been an original member of the CJHL since the league was formed in 1993. Ron Boileau, who was BCHL president from 1990-2003, also served as the first CJHL president and is credited with starting the league.

Warriors get Sandhu on loan from Langley

The West Kelowna Warriors have added 2003-born forward Chase Sandhu on loan from the Langley Rivermen.

The Langley product had two goals and five points in 10 exhibition games with the Rivermen last fall. He posted a pair of assists in 34 games with Langley as a rookie during the 2019-20 BCHL season.

Gregory returns to the booth for the Express

The Coquitlam Express announced on Wednesday that Eddie Gregory is back with the team to call all 20 games on BCHL TV during the 2020-21 season in the pod at Scotia Barn in Burnaby.

Gregory has been the man behind the mic for the Express for 16 seasons and the 39-year-old was named BCHL broadcaster of the year in 2011.

Silverbacks bring in Lentz as director of marketing

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks announced the hiring of Kierra Lentz as director of marketing on Wednesday.

Lentz, who recently graduated with a diploma in broadcast news from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, takes over from Russell Day after he resigned earlier this month.

She is a longtime resident of Salmon Arm and starts with the Silverbacks in July.

Warriors’ home shut down for repairs

Royal LePage Place, which is home to the West Kelowna Warriors, is being closed down by the City of West Kelowna from May 17 – Aug. 2 to replace the ammonia chiller in the arena.

The chiller is 21-years-old and the city was able to proceed with the upgrade after receiving a grant from the provincial government.

Barton signs with Detroit Red Wings

Defenseman Seth Barton (six goals, 27 assists in 51 games with Nanaimo and Trail from 2016-18) has signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Detroit Red Wings.

Barton, 21, spent the last three seasons in the NCAA with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, compiling seven goals and 36 points in 83 games.

The Kelowna native was Detroit’s third-round selection, 81st overall, in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Ellis jumps from Norway to England

Defenseman Brendan Ellis (34 goals, 92 assists in 198 games with Westside from 2006-10) has signed with the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League for the 2021 Elite Series.

Ellis, 32, had four goals and 20 points in 24 games this season for Lillehammer in Eliteserien, which is the top tier of pro hockey in Norway.

The Elite Series will serve as the regular season and playoffs for the EIHL, which hasn’t been able to play games yet this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vieten commits to Niagara University

Forward Drew Vieten (five goals, 12 assists in 56 games with West Kelowna in 2019-20) has committed to Niagara University for this fall.

The 20-year-old from Calabasas, California, has 13 goals and 29 points in 30 games with Wichita Falls of the North American Hockey League this season.