Chalk up the 2020 BCHL Showcase as another thing the COVID-19 pandemic put the boots to. Last year, the BC Hockey League invited its teams to apply to host the annual event and Salmon Arm was chosen.
However, due to the pandemic, the 2020 Showcase didn’t happen and as a result, this year’s event returns to a single venue for the first time since 2018 with the Chilliwack Chiefs once again playing host.
The BCHL expanded the Showcase for 2019, moving it from one venue to two. That year, Chilliwack hosted games involving teams in the old Mainland and Island Divisions while Penticton hosted games involving Interior Division teams. The Chiefs were exclusive hosts of the Showcase from 2012-18.
“We are thrilled to bring our Showcase event back after a year off last year,” said BCHL deputy commissioner Steven Cocker in a news release. “Our league is all about exposure and giving our players the chance to show their skills in front of scouts so they can move on to the next level and achieve their hockey goals. Over the years, this event has proven to be a great way to get those conversations started.”
This year, the event takes place over five days from Oct. 20 – 24 with each team playing a pair of games at the Chilliwack Coliseum.
The Showcase sees all 18 BCHL teams play two games over the course of the event. Only Langley, Coquitlam, and Surrey don’t play on consecutive days, so there are excellent opportunities for National Hockey League and college scouts to see specific players from the other 15 teams in person over the course of just a couple of days.
It is expected that fans are able to attend the Showcase this year, depending on specific guidelines in place from the Provincial Health Officer when the time comes.
There are a dozen players who saw action in the NHL this past regular season who played in the BCHL Showcase during their time in the league.
- Taro Hirose (Detroit) – 2014 and 2015 with Salmon Arm
- Troy Stecher (Detroit) – 2012 with Penticton
- Dennis Cholowski (Detroit) – 2014 and 2015 with Chilliwack
- Devon Toews (Colorado) – 2012 with Surrey
- Hunter Miska (Colorado) – 2013 and 2014 with Penticton
- Tyson Jost (Colorado) – 2014 and 2015 with Penticton
- Alex Newhook (Colorado) – 2017 and 2018 with Victoria
- Danton Heinen (Anaheim) – 2013 with Surrey
- Alexander Kerfoot (Toronto) – 2012 with Coquitlam
- Dante Fabbro (Nashville) – 2014 and 2015 with Penticton
- Mike Hardman (Chicago) – 2018 with West Kelowna
- Sheldon Rempal (Carolina) – 2013, 2014, and 2015 with Nanaimo
The BCHL is planning to return to the Showcase Festival format after this season. The Festival includes community events and activities for fans and also sees the event annually take place in a different BCHL community.