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New recruits for the Chilliwack Chiefs

With the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season just over three months away, teams are working their way to add new recruits and veterans to their rosters to contend for the Fred Page Cup championship. The Chilliwack Chiefs did a lot of recruiting last season and so far during the offseason – both on and off the ice.

The Chiefs have 12 players moving on to either NCAA Division I schools or Canadian U SPORTS universities. The biggest area of recruiting is the defense as the Chiefs only have two returnees on the back end.


Dryden Kuramoto

Kuramoto is a 16-year-old and early recruit from last season. Kuramoto played 2021-22 with the Vancouver NE Chiefs U18 AAA of the BC Elite Hockey League where he put up 14 goals and 12 assists in 26 games. Kuramoto also got into five games with the Chiefs last season while the team was hit with injuries, adding one assist. He will be an asset for the Chiefs with his small stature and size, flying around the ice. Kuramoto was impressive even in the preseason last fall.

Nico Grabas

Grabas, alongside Kuramoto, is a 16-year-old recruit who committed to the team early last season. He played with Burnaby Winter Club U18 Prep of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League last season, putting up 15 goals and 12 assists in 26 games. Grabas got into four games with the Chiefs last season and like Kuramoto, notched one assist. He joins older brother Luca in the BCHL. Luca is a former Chilliwack player and current member of the Nanaimo Clippers.

Dalton MacGillivray

MacGillivary came to the Chiefs after playing last season with the Delta Ice Hawks of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. In 36 games for the Ice Hawks, MacGillivray tallied 30 goals, 40 assists, and 131 penalty minutes. MacGillivary then added six goals and nine assists in 13 playoff games to help lead his Ice Hawks to the Cyclone Taylor Cup final. He also got into six games with the Chiefs and scored a pair of goals.

Daimon Gardner

Gardner is from Eagle Lake, ON, and played for Warroad High in Minnesota High School League. With 83 points in 30 games for Warroad, Gardner also played 14 games in the United States Hockey League split between Omaha and Tri-City, putting up two points for each team. Gardner is a 6-foot-4, 201 lbs. bruising forward who will be tough for defenders to move from the front of the net on the power play. Gardner is committed to Clarkson University for the 2023-24 season.

Mason Kesselring

Kesselring joins the Chiefs from Manchester, NH, and played prep school hockey at Cushing Acadamy. He finished with 13 goals and 13 assists in 25 games in 2021-22. Kesselring comes from a line of pretty good players with his dad Casey playing four years a Merrimack College and several years in the ECHL, while his brother Michael is a draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers and currently playing with Bakersfield of the American Hockey League.

Bryan Jones

Jones comes to the Chiefs from Columbus, OH and he played last season with Northwood School in US High School Prep hockey, putting up 16 goals and 22 assists in 53 games. Jones is a product of the impact the Columbus Blue Jackets have had since joining the NHL in 2000. Jones is a 6-foot-3, 179 lbs. forward who, with Gardner and Kesselring, could create a towering forward line that is an issue for a lot of BCHL teams.

Ryan Walsh

Walsh is from Rochester, NY, and heads to Chilliwack from the Buffalo Regals 18U AAA and Salisbury School. With the Regals, Walsh had 24 goals and 35 assists in 28 games. At Salisbury, Walsh added 16 goals and 23 assists in 28 US high school prep league games. He is committed to Brown University for the 2023-24 season.


Hunter Curtis

Curtis comes to the Chiefs from the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds U18 AAA of the BCEHL. He notched five goals and 18 assists in 34 games. The Langley, BC product got into six games with the Chiefs last season and scored his first career BCHL goal. Curtis will be the youngest player on the Chiefs’ blue line at 17 when the season starts and part of an entire defense core that measures over six feet tall.

Hunter MacInnes

MacInnes comes to the Chiefs from St. George’s School U18 Prep in the CSSHL. MacInnes put up five goals and 13 assists in 30 games for St. George’s. The Nanaimo, BC native also got into seven games as an affiliate for the Chiefs and added four assists.

Duncan Ramsay

Ramsay will be the second biggest defender on the Chiefs blueline, measuring at 6-foot-4 and 205 lbs. He hails from Halifax, NS, and spent last season with both Kimball Union Academy and GBL Bruins 18U AAA where he captained both teams. With the Bruins, Ramsay had 11 points in 20 games, and at Kimball, he posted 27 points in 33 games. He is committed to the University of Vermont for September 2023, where he will join former Chiefs Ethan Bowen, Xavier Henry, and Dawson Good.

Liam Steele

Liam Steele is a unique recruit for the Chiefs as he hails from Cobham, GBR. For 2020-21, Steele crossed the Atlantic and played for Stanstead College in the Canadian Athletic High School League. This past season with Stanstead, he was team captain, scoring 30 points in 30 games.

Steele also got into some international games with Great Britain at the Under-18 World Championships Division II – Group A, where he had four points in four games. At the World Junior Championship Division II – Group A, he had one assist in five games. Steele is 6-foot-6 and 216 lbs. and is the 171st ranked North American Skater for the 2022 NHL Draft. He is committed to Cornell University for the 2023-24 season.

Brian Morse

Morse will be the only new recruit import for the Chiefs on their blueline and is also the smallest defender at 6-foot-1 and 165 lbs. The Fresno, CA native joins Chilliwack after playing for Northstar Christian Academy 18U AAA. Morse tallied 32 points in 26 games in the North American Prospects Hockey League 18U and 74 points in 55 games in the US U18 AAA league.


Austin McNicholas

McNicholas makes his way to the Chiefs from Clarence Center, NY. McNicholas was a teammate of Walsh’s at Salisbury School and posted a 1.78 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in 17 games. McNicholas was selected to be a part of Team USA at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he got into one game and didn’t allow a goal. He will be a good 1A/1B combo in goal with Cole Savage for the Chiefs this coming season.

Front office

The Chiefs have added to their front office staff and coaching staff for this season as well, starting with Cole Marton as sales and guest experience coordinator. Marton, who’s an alumnus of the BCIT Radio Arts and Entertainment program, comes to the Chiefs from the rival Surrey Eagles where he was their broadcaster for the past three seasons.

The Chiefs also added Kaylea Burt as their new office administrator. Burt joins as a highly respected member of the Chilliwack retail community, including spending several years with one of the Chiefs partners – Cheam Source for Sports.

Chilliwack also added to their coaching staff by bringing in Chris Price as an assistant and strength and conditioning coach. Price spent last season as the head coach and assistant general manager of the Aldergrove Kodiaks of the PJHL. Price was with the Chiefs before as player development coach and scout for the BC region over the last couple of seasons.