The National Collegiate Development Conference, which was formed four years ago, is becoming one of the main competitors for the BC Hockey League as it relates to recruiting and retaining players.
One tool that NCDC clubs use in recruiting against the BCHL is the annual NCDC Entry Draft, which sees players born from 2001 to 2004 eligible to be selected. The draft was held on Wednesday and there are no fewer than three players with ties to the BCHL who were chosen.
It’s key to note that being drafted into the NCDC isn’t binding for the team or player. It just means the team has the player’s rights within the NCDC. There’s certainly a chance the players selected by NCDC teams will never play in that league and instead choose to complete their junior hockey careers in the BCHL or other leagues.
The Boston Advantage selected 2001-born forward Joey Moffatt of the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Moffat, who was acquired by the Capitals from the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for future considerations on Feb. 24, posted five goals and nine points in 20 games during the pod season.
The Portage La Prairie, Manitoba product has played in the United States before, as he started the 2020-21 season with the Minot Minotauros of the North American Hockey League before being released.
Congratulations to all the players selected today and best of luck!
— USPHL (@USPHL) May 12, 2021
Another member of the Capitals was selected as 2001-born forward Sean Ramsay went to the Philadelphia Hockey Club. The native of Victoria had two goals and seven points in 19 games with Cowichan Valley during the pod season.
Ramsay scored four goals and added 13 assists in 44 games as a rookie with the Surrey Eagles in 2019-20. He was traded to the Capitals for future considerations last September.
The last player with BCHL ties who was selected in Wednesday’s NCDC Entry Draft is 2003-born defenseman Weston Turner. The Granite Bay, California product was chosen by the Boston Junior Bruins.
He hasn’t played in the BCHL yet but was announced as a recruit of the Wenatchee Wild for the 2021-22 season. Turner didn’t play anywhere in 2020-21 but had six goals and 22 points in 30 games with Groton School Prep in 2019-20.
Defections from the BCHL to the NCDC
Of course, nothing was normal for the 2020-21 season with the BCHL seeing so many delays due to provincial health restrictions and approvals, so take this information with a grain of salt.
2020-21 NCDC rosters include five players who finished the 2019-20 season in the BCHL. They also feature two players who left British Columbia during the various delays, played some in the NCDC, and then came back to the BCHL for the pod season.
Victoria Grizzlies forward Chase McInnis played 14 games for the Connecticut Jr. Rangers in the NCDC and put up a pair of goals and four points overall. Upon rejoining his Grizzlies teammates for the pod season, the 2001-born forward notched three goals and 16 points in 20 games as one of four American players on Victoria’s roster.
West Kelowna Warriors forward Tyler Cristall also spent time with the Jr. Rangers and played two games. The 2002-born North Vancouver product returned to the Okanagan to play in the Vernon pod with the Warriors and finished third in scoring with eight goals and 15 points in 20 games.
The other players who wrapped up the 2019-20 season in the BCHL and jumped to the NCDC for 2020-21 are 2001-born defenseman Cade Alami (Surrey Eagles), 2002-born forward Austin Spiridakis (Alberni Valley Bulldogs), 2000-born forward Connor Sweeney (Trail Smoke Eaters), 2001-born forward Kenny Riddett (Surrey Eagles), and 2001-born defenseman Jerrett Overland (Wenatchee Wild).
Alami and Spiridakis have each since seen their BCHL rights traded to the Prince George Spruce Kings from Surrey and Alberni Valley respectively.