BCHL Today: Bowen and Rylance back in Chilliwack, Vees name captains, and more!


Chiefs get a boost with the return of Bowen and Rylance

According to an article in The Chilliwack Progress published on Monday, the Chilliwack Chiefs will be buoyed this season by the return of 2002-born forward Ethan Bowen and 2001-born forward Brett Rylance for the 2021-22 season. Both players were set to attend NCAA schools this fall, but their commitments are deferred to 2022.

Bowen, a hometown Chilliwack player who was a 2020 seventh-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks, will head to the University of North Dakota. Meanwhile, Rylance, who hails from Edmonton, AB, is committed to Northern Michigan University for September 2022.

Rylance put up 23 goals and 50 points in Chilliwack in 121 games since 2018 while Bowen has 42 goals and 91 points in 118 career games with the Chiefs over the last three seasons.

Vees name leadership corps for 2021-22

The Penticton Vees announced on Monday the three players who will sport letters on their jerseys as the leaders of the 2021-22 squad. 2003-born forward Finlay Williams is Penticton’s captain for the second straight season while 2001-born forward Luc Wilson and 2002-born defenseman Frank Djurasevic will each have an ‘A’ on their jersey.

Williams is entering his third season in the BCHL and second with Penticton while Djurasevic is going into his sophomore campaign in the league with the Vees. Wilson heads into his fourth year in the BCHL and second in Penticton after being traded from Cowichan Valley in June 2020.

Wild bring in Littler for 2021-22 season

2004-born forward and East Wenatchee, WA native Cade Littler has committed to the Wenatchee Wild for the 2021-22 BCHL season.

Littler spent most of the 2020-21 season with the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 16U AAA of the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, putting up eight goals and 16 points in 17 games.

He also played three games with the US National Team Development Program in the US Hockey League and a trio of games with the US National U17 Team but didn’t register any points with either squad.

Littler is the son of Wild general manager Bliss Littler, who signed a 10-year contract extension in June that runs through the 2030-31 season.

Warriors send Sowa to SJHL’s Estevan Bruins

The West Kelowna Warriors have acquired future considerations from the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in exchange for 2002-born defenseman Billy Sowa.

Sowa, who hails from Calgary, AB, played 19 games with the Warriors during the 2020-21 BCHL pod season and notched one assist. He also added an assist in three games with Fort McMurray of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Express to play a pair of home games in Port Coquitlam

The Coquitlam Express announced on Monday that it will play a pair of regular season games during the 2021-22 BCHL season at the brand new Port Coquitlam Community Centre, which has its grand opening on Oct. 2. The Express is the home team for games against Surrey in PoCo on Valentine’s Day 2022 as well as on Feb. 19.

Gurski traded in the WHL from Winnipeg to Vancouver

The Cowichan Valley Capitals might not end up with 2002-born goaltender Will Gurski patrolling the crease for the 2021-22 BCHL season after all.

Gurski, who’s from Duncan, BC, had his Western Hockey League rights traded on Monday from the Winnipeg ICE to the Vancouver Giants in exchange for a ninth-round pick in this year’s WHL Prospects Draft.

The Caps acquired Gurski’s junior A rights from the Winnipeg Freeze of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in June. He had an 0-3-0 record with a 4.16 goals-against-average and a .903 save percentage in four games with the Freeze this past season.

Kozlowski heads to camp with the Minnesota Wild

Goaltender Trevin Kozlowski (9-16-0, 3.98 goals-against-average, .892 save percentage, one shutout in 29 games with Salmon Arm in 2016-17) has been invited to the Minnesota Wild’s prospect showcase, which starts this Wednesday.

Kozlowski, a 24-year-old from Valencia, CA, went 0-1-0 with a 3.04 goals-against-average and an .864 save percentage in a single appearance with the AHL’s Iowa Wild after signing an amateur tryout contract in May. He inked a one-year, two-way AHL contract with Iowa in June.

He wrapped up his fourth season at Army this past NCAA season. In four years, he posted a 36-21-6 record with a 2.20 goals-against-average, a .911 save percentage, and three shutouts.

Shortridge and Greenfield sign two-way deals with AHL Stockton

Goaltenders Andrew Shortridge (19-25-0, 3.15 goals-against-average, .915 save percentage, two shutouts with Vernon in 2015-16) and Matt Greenfield (13-4-0, 2.09 goals-against-average, .938 save percentage, two shutouts with West Kelowna in 2015-16) each signed two-way AHL-ECHL contracts with the Stockton Heat on Monday.

Shortridge, a 25-year-old from Anchorage, AK, spent time with Stockton and in the ECHL with Kansas City during the 2020-21 season. He had a 7-5-1 record with a 2.92 goals-against-average, a .905 save percentage and one shutout in 14 ECHL games and a 1-0-1 record with a 1.58 goals-against-average and a .952 save percentage in three AHL games.

Greenfield, 25, spent this past season with Kansas City of the ECHL, finishing a sharp 2.80 goals-against-average, a .916 save percentage, and two shutouts to go along with an 11-9-4 record.

McCarthy named assistant coach in Columbus

Steve McCarthy (25 goals, 52 assists in 57 games with Trail in 1996-97) was named an assistant coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday after Sylvain Lefebvre stepped down after not getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

McCarthy, a 40-year-old from Trail, BC, has been an assistant coach for the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL for the last five seasons. The Monsters are the top affiliate team of the Blue Jackets.

Perepeluk, Poolman, and King head to Flames’ camp

The Calgary Flames released their rookie camp roster on Monday and three players with BCHL experience are among the attendees.

Forwards Ben King (no points in two games with Vernon in 2017-18) and Reid Perepeluk (no points in three games with Prince George in 2017-18), and defenseman Colton Poolman (three goals, 37 assists in 57 games with Penticton in 2015-16) are all in camp with Calgary.

King, 19, had 28 points in 21 games with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels in 2020-21. 21-year-old Perepeluk signed with Flames’ AHL affiliate last week. He had five points in 21 WHL games with Brandon this past season.

Poolman, 25, was with the Stockton Heat of the AHL in 2020-21 and finished with six points in 21 games. He wrapped up a four-year NCAA career at the University of North Dakota in 2019-20.