BCHL Today: Express add two veterans from Cowichan, Vipers bring in WHL veteran Culling, and much more!


Express brings in Fontana and Schovanek from Cowichan

The Coquitlam Express made a last-minute trade before the start of the 2021-22 season, bringing in 2001-born forwards Kahlil Fontana and Gabe Schovanek from the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations.

Fontana, who’s from Duncan, BC, is a veteran of 61 career BCHL games with the Victoria Grizzlies and the Capitals, posting eight goals and 20 points over the last three seasons.

Schovanek played the last two seasons with the Surrey Eagles before being traded to Cowichan in August. In 2020-21, he played in 18 games for the Eagles, scoring seven times and finishing with 12 points.

Warriors name leadership group for 2021-22

The West Kelowna Warriors announced that they have named 2001-born forward Elan Bar-Lev-Wise as captain for the 2021-22 BCHL season.

Joining him in the leadership group are 2002-born defenseman Nick Ardanaz, 2002-born forwards Chase Dafoe and John Evans, and 2001-born forward Marcus Joughin.

Vipers bring WHL veteran Culling

The Vernon Vipers signed 2001-born forward Matthew Culling of Regina, SK ahead of their season opener against Penticton.

Culling is a veteran of 153 Western Hockey League games with Edmonton, Swift Current, and Prince Albert. He finishes his WHL career with 21 goals and 39 points.

Chiefs unveil leadership group for this season

The Chilliwack Chiefs announced which players will don a letter on their jersey for the 2021-22 season on Friday.

Rather than have one player wearing the ‘C’, 2002-born forward Ethan Bowen, 2001-born forwards Connor Milburn and Brett Rylance, and 2001-born defenseman Xavier Henry will each wear an ‘A’ as alternate captains.

Smoke Eaters name 2021-22 captains

Just hours before their season opener against the Cranbrook Bucks, the Trail Smoke Eaters unveiled who will serve as their captains for this BCHL season.

2001-born forward Coalson Wolford is the Smokies captain while 2002-born defensemen Jordan Hendry and Ethan Willoughby, and 2001-born forward Nicolas Roussel will serve as alternate captains.

Price enters the NHL’s player assistance program

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (2.70 goals-against-average in 18 games with Quesnel in 2002-03) has voluntarily entered the NHL’s player assistance program.

Price, a 33-year-old from Anahim Lake, BC, was 12-7-5 in 25 games with the Habs in 2020-21, finishing with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage. He then led Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay.

Kawaguchi called up to the Dallas Stars

Forward Jordan Kawaguchi (120 goals, 122 assists in 213 games for Chilliwack from 2013-17) has been recalled by the Dallas Stars from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.

Kawaguchi, an Abbotsford, BC product, signed a one-year, entry-level contract with Dallas on Mar. 31. The same day, he inked an amateur try-out with Texas and played three games to round out the season, posting a goal and an assist.

Minnesota assigns Hammond to the AHL

Goaltender Andrew Hammond (46-27-3, 2.74 goals-against average, .904 save percentage, eight shutouts in 82 games with West Kelowna, Vernon, and Surrey from 2007-09) cleared National Hockey League waivers on Friday and was assigned to the Iowa Wild of the AHL.

Hammond signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Minnesota Wild in July. The 33-year-old from White Rock, BC, spent the 2020-21 season as a member of Minnesota’s taxi squad but didn’t appear in any games.

Stankowski commits to the University of Calgary

Goaltender Carl Stankowski (14-3-0, 2.08 goals-against average, .915 save percentage in 18 games with Penticton in 2019-20) has committed to playing U SPORTS hockey at the University of Calgary.

The 21-year-old from Calgary, AB spent the 2020-21 season with the Winnipeg ICE of the WHL, finishing with a 5-2 record to go along with a 3.41 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage in seven games.

Pieper makes his way to the Worcester Railers

Forward Canon Pieper (33 goals, 33 assists in 57 games with Coquitlam in 2013-14) has signed a tryout with the Worcester Railers of the ECHL.

The 27-year-old from Roseville, MN didn’t play in 2020-21. He split the 2019-20 season between Birmingham and Fayetteville of the Southern Professional Hockey League and had 16 points in 47 games.

Sherbinin and Williams are suspended by Kalamazoo

Defensemen Brayden Sherbinin (22 goals, 56 assists in 160 games with Westside, Cowichan Valley, and Salmon Arm from 2010-13) and Owen Williams (one goal in three games with Surrey in 2016-17) have both been suspended by the Kalamazoo Wings and removed from training camp by the ECHL club.

Sherbinin, a 28-year-old from Kelowna, BC, signed with the Wings after being released by Gap of Ligue Magnus on May 30. He had two assists in 13 games with Gap this past season.

Williams turned pro with the Wings when he signed a contract on Sept. 23. The Delta, BC native recorded 15 points in 24 games during the 2020-21 season with the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos.

Robson sent down to Cincinnati of the ECHL

Goaltender Mathew Robson (35-13, 1.94 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and six shutouts in 49 games with Penticton in 2016-17) has been assigned from the Rochester Americans of the AHL to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL.

The 25-year-old Mississauga, ON native, who signed with Rochester in August, was 1-8-0 with a 3.61 goals-against-average, a .861 save percentage in nine games with the Straubing Tigers of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga last season.

Fogarty reassigned to the Providence Bruins

Forward Steven Fogarty (33 goals, 48 assists in 60 games for Penticton in 2011-12) was reassigned from the Boston Bruins to the AHL’s Providence Bruins on Friday.

Fogarty, a 28-year-old from Chambersburg, PA, had 10 points in 16 games with AHL Rochester last season. He added three points in nine NHL games with Buffalo before signing in Boston as a free agent in July.

Sadhra-Kang traded in the WHL from Lethbridge to Swift Current

2003-born defenseman Kayden Sadhra-Kang (one assist in three games with Surrey in 2019-20) was traded in the WHL from the Lethbridge Hurricanes to the Swift Current Broncos on Friday.

The Richmond, BC native made his Broncos debut later that night. He had one assist in two games with the Hurricanes thus far this season.

Three Stars of the Night ⭐⭐⭐

First Star: Chilliwack forward Frankie Carogioiello had a hat trick and one assist in a 7-5 loss to Langley.

Second Star: Victoria forward Matthew Wood posted two goals and two assists in the Grizzlies’ 6-2 win over Alberni Valley.

Third Star: Coquitlam forward Ryan Tattle notched a goal and three assists as the Express dumped Surrey 7-4.

Honourable Mentions: Nanaimo forward Tristan Fraser tallied a goal and three assists. Langley forward Riley Wallack finished with four assists. Cranbrook forward Tyson Dyck, Rivermen defenseman Joseph Messina, and Langley forward Keaton Oakley each had two goals and an assist.