BCHL Today: Vees and Grizz defensemen secure NCAA futures, lots of alumni news, and more


Grizzlies defenseman Veilleux commits to UConn

The Victoria Grizzlies announced on Monday that 2000-born defenseman Jake Veilleux has committed to the University of Connecticut for this September.

The South Windsor, Connecticut product had a goal and seven points in 14 games with the Grizzlies during the 2020-21 training season.

In his first full BC Hockey League season of 2019-20, Veilleux had three goals and 10 points in 57 games.

Express name Nugent-Hopkins as interim head coach

The Coquitlam Express unveiled Adam Nugent-Hopkins as its interim head coach on Sunday.

The 32-year-old from Burnaby, BC takes over from Dan Cioffi, who Coquitlam announced on Saturday had stepped down.

Nugent-Hopkins was coach of the Greater Vancouver Canadians U15 AAA during the 2019-20 season.

Cents cancel identification camp in Merritt

The Merritt Centennials announced on Monday that their Merritt identification camp, which was set for March 26-28 at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, is cancelled.

According to the Cents, the camp was cancelled due to public health restrictions and “in the interest of everyone’s safety”.

Capitals add blueliner Ramsay for 2021-22

The Cowichan Valley Capitals announced the commitment of 2003-born defenseman Chase Ramsay for the 2021-22 BCHL season on Monday.

The native of Granite Springs, New York is the captain of Avon Old Farms School this season, but there’s no record of stats.

However, he did play seven games with the Mid Fairfield Rangers 18U AAA and had a pair of goals and five points.

Vipers set up alumni association

The Vernon Vipers made a call out for former players and staff on Monday as the team announced it was establishing a new alumni association.

Details on the association are available here.

Clippers bring in Nanaimoite Ethan Jones

There’s no record of any trade on either the BCHL or Alberta Junior Hockey League websites, but the Nanaimo Clippers have added 2001-forward Ethan Jones.

The Nanaimo native had five goals and 13 points in 34 games with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the AJHL last season after being traded by Alberni Valley on Nov. 5, 2019.

In 52 games with the Bulldogs from 2018-19, Jones posted eight assists.

Vees defenseman Chapleau commits to St. Lawrence

Penticton Vees defenseman Philippe Chapleau has committed to play NCAA hockey at St. Lawrence University starting this fall.

The 2000-born blueliner from Longueuil, Quebec was acquired by the Vees on Nov. 21, 2020, and didn’t end up playing any games for them during the 2020-21 training season.

He spent the past three seasons with Longueuil of the Quebec Junior Hockey League and posted 21 goals and 134 points in 132 games.

Express ink Brown commit Kopff for next season

The Coquitlam Express have recruited 2003-born forward Tyler Kopff for the 2021-22 BCHL season.

The Brown University commit has 10 goals and 19 points in 12 games with the North Jersey Avalanche 18U AAA of the Atlantic Youth Hockey League 18U this season.

In 22 games with the Avalanche 16U AAA squad in 2019-20, the Ridgewood, New Jersey product had eight goals and 21 points.

BCHL alumni earn NCHC honours

University of North Dakota forward Jordan Kawaguchi (120 goals, 122 assists in 213 games with Chilliwack from 2013-17) and his Fighting Hawks teammate, goaltender Adam Scheel (29-12-0, 2.08 GAA, .927 SV%, 3 SO in 45 games with Penticton in 2017-18), are among the BCHL alumni named to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference first all-conference team on Monday.

Colorado College forward Grant Cruikshank (43 goals, 31 assists in 82 games for Penticton from 2016-18) earned an all-NCHC honourable mention.

Voting was conducted by the eight head coaches at each NCHC institution and eight media members, one covering each school.

Finley named an alternate captain of the Chiefs

2002-born forward Jack Finley (one goal in two games with Penticton in 2017-18) was named an alternate captain for the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs on Monday.

The St. Louis product notched a goal and an assist in three games with the West Kelowna Warriors during the 2020-21 training season last fall.

Gulka released by the Royals

The Victoria Royals of the WHL have released 2000-born forward Sean Gulka (21 goals, 20 assists in 98 games with Langley from 2016-18) ahead of their 2020-21 abbreviated season.

Gulka, who’s from Langley, had nine goals and 17 points in 43 games with the Royals during the 2019-20 season.

Bonar released by ECHL’s Indy Fuel

Goaltender Sean Bonar (38-15-0, 2.60 GAA, .908 SV%, 6 SO in 59 games with Penticton from 2008-10) was released by the Indy Fuel of the ECHL on Monday.

The 30-year-old Delta, BC product was 1-1 since signing with the Fuel a week ago.

Prior to signing with Indy, he went 0-5-1 with a 4.06 goals-against-average and a .866 save percentage in nine ECHL games split between Kansas City and South Carolina this season.

Hunt signs ECHL with Wheeling

The Wheeling Nailers added some toughness to their lineup with the addition of forward Garet Hunt (seven goals, six assists in 62 games with Chilliwack from 2003-04), who is the ECHL’s all-time penalty minute king.

Hunt, 33, had one assist in 28 games with the Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League during the 2019-20 season.