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Merritt Centennials: Graduating players and eligible returnees

With the 2021-22 BC Hockey League season officially done for two of the circuit’s 18 teams, anticipation is building for next season already.

With future considerations from this season’s trades potentially turning into players, plus recruiting and players moving on due to age or college commitments, there’s no shortage of work to be done before training camp for the 2023-24 season starts in September.

As each team’s season comes to an end, we’ll break down what all 18 teams are looking at roster-wise heading into the off-season. These numbers will likely change as players move to other leagues like the Western Hockey League, US Hockey League, or North American Hockey League. They may drop down to junior B, be sent away in trades, retire, or wind up committing to college before September and don’t return to their BCHL clubs.

The depth chart is based on the league going with a 24-player roster next season and coaches going with 14 forwards, eight defenders, and two goaltenders. First up is the first team in the Interior Conference to not make the playoffs – the Merritt Centennials, who finished with a 12-37-5 record. It’s the third straight season the Cents have missed out on the BCHL’s annual post-season dance.

The Centennials have three players in forwards Christian Lowe and defenders Tyler Bates and Jackson Murphy-Johnson who aged out of junior hockey. 2003-born forward Jackson Krill is the lone player on Merritt’s roster committed to an NCAA Division I school for this September as he heads to the University of Vermont.

Cents general manager and head coach Curtis Toneff has 11 players eligible to return up front, five on the blueline and two in goal.

Graduating players

Jackson Krill (University of Vermont)
Christian Lowe (aged out)
Tyler Bates (aged out)
Jackson Murphy-Johnson (aged out)

Eligible returnees (* indicates an open spot – assuming the team goes with 14 forwards and eight defenders)

Damon Jugnauth (03)
Jaxson Murray (03)
Mark Thurston (03)
Connor Farren (03)
Carter Schmidt (04)
Aidan Lindblad (04)
Jacob Smith (04)
Ryan Spinale (04)
Dylan Emerson (05)
Maddix McCagherty (06)
Diego Johnson (06)

Michael Shara (03)
Jonathan Wong (04)
Kyle Isenberg (04)
Aleksey Chichkin (05)
Erik Sollied (05)

Conor Sullivan (03)
John Hicks (05)