With all BC Hockey League teams coming together to start the season, there are a lot of new and old faces hitting the ice. The Chilliwack Chiefs were busy this off-season adding a bunch of recruits.
There are also a bunch of returnees that weren’t originally scheduled to return to the Chiefs. They’ve added some new faces to their front office as well.
Lacroix joins the Chiefs from the Delta U17 Hockey Academy of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. Last season, Lacroix only got into two games due to COVID-19 restrictions.
He played 30 games in 2019-20 for the DHA U15 team, gaining 26 goals and 34 assists for 60 points. Lacroix also got into one game with the DHA U18 team.
Milburn comes to Chilliwack from the Yale Hockey Academy that has produced many players for the Chiefs and other BCHL teams over the years.
He produced 15 goals and 30 assists for 45 points in 29 games for Yale in 2019-20. The Kamloops native was slated to play for his hometown Thompson Blazers U18 AAA last season.
Muller, from Kingston, ON, didn’t play last season. In 2019-20, he was with the Greater Kingston Gaels U18 AAA team.
In 33 games, Muller finished with seven goals and 20 assists for 27 points as well as 130 penalty minutes. He is a 5-foot-11, 190 lbs. power forward and should add a lot to the Chiefs lineup.
Orrico, a defenseman from Woodbridge, ON, is a St Lawrence University commit for the 2022-23 season. He played for St. Andrew’s College in 2019-20, gaining 32 points over 55 games.
Last season, Orrico played 10 games with the Islanders Hockey Club of the National Collegiate Development Conference and tallied one assist.
NEWS: Lucas Sorace Commits to the Chiefs.
“Lucas is a quality prospect who has continued to work to improve his game.”
— Chilliwack Chiefs (@Chiefs_Hockey) January 18, 2021
Sorace is from Port Moody, BC, and an alumnus of the legendary Burnaby Winter Club. He played for BWC U15 in 2019-20, gaining six goals and 15 assists. Sorace got into one game with the Chiefs that season as an affiliate player and didn’t register any points.
Messineo is a native of Westwood, MA. The bruising 5-foot-11, 198 lbs. defenseman played US prep hockey for St. Sebastian’s School. In 28 games, Messineo had two goals and 11 assists.
He did not play last season due to COVID-19 restrictions and like many other players, is itching to get into some games this season.
Riley comes to the Chiefs from the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League. He only played in five games for the Lancers in 2020-21, earning a 4.10 goals-against average, and an .837 save percentage.
In 2019-20 with the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League, the Boston College recruit had a 3.15 GAA and .911 save percentage. Riley will be looked upon as the number one goalie for the Chiefs after Matheu Caron aged out and plays for Brown University this season.
Savage is another product of the Yale Hockey Academy. He played only two games last season with Yale finishing with a 2.50 GAA and .922 save percentage.
In 2019-20, Savage played 21 games for Yale and ended up with an 11-9-0 record to go along with a 2.98 GAA and .909 save percentage.
Because of the NCAA allowing their seniors one more season of college hockey, some eligible players have returned to the Chiefs before heading to college for the 2022-23 season. The Chiefs also see the return of two players from the USHL after they left last season because of the uncertainty of the BCHL season.
Bowen was slated to play for North Dakota this season but instead returns for his fourth season with the Chiefs. Bowen, who appeared as a 15-year-old for the Chiefs during the 2017-18 playoffs and RBC Cup, will be looked upon to continue his scoring prowess and help lead this team.
Rylance comes back to the Chiefs before going off to Northern Michigan University. Rylance, like Bowen, will be one of the leaders in the locker room. Rylance served as an alternate captain to Kyle Penney last year.
Henry will be a stud on the back end for the Chiefs and will help lead the young D-core. The towering defenseman fought through injuries last season and looks to bounce back and be a heavy, powerful presence on the blueline for the Chiefs.
Carogioiello returns from the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, where he had one goal and three assists in 25 games. He left the Chiefs last season before the pod season got underway after spending the 2020-21 exhibition season in Chilliwack.
Draper also returns from the USHL. The son of former Detroit Red Wings grinder Kris Draper played 37 games with the Omaha Lancers, posting three goals and four assists. Draper was coming into his own in the BCHL before leaving for the USHL. He and Carogioiello will be teammates again next season at Miami University (Ohio).
Front office additions
The Chiefs have also added to their front office staff this season. The first is Brett Webster, who serves as sales and guest experience coordinator.
He comes to the Chiefs from the restaurant industry where he served as a regional operations manager. Webster is a six-time winner on the Vancouver Golf Tour as well.
The next big addition to the Chiefs’ front office is Mandy Henderson, who is the new customer and tickets administrator. Henderson came over after serving as business manager of the Langley Rivermen.
Henderson has also worked for the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League, Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer, and the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions. The Chilliwack native is also the wife of former Chiefs captain and Langley Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson.
The Chiefs should be one of the best teams in the BCHL this season with the recruits they have brought in and the surprise return of a handful of veterans. They will likely be a force along with the likes of Penticton, Vernon, and Wenatchee.