scarfo

With the draft and free agent frenzy in the rear view mirror, the focus turns to the immediate future with several NHL teams holding prospect camps this week (some have already wrapped). In amongst the 30 camps are a handful of Kings players and alumni, and while some rosters haven’t been announced yet for camp, here is what I’ve found so far:

Nick Nonis – Anaheim Ducks
Ryan Scarfo (Union College) – Columbus Blue Jcakets
Daniel Carr – Montreal Canadiens
Craig Dalrymple – Winnipeg Jets

Columbus’ camp has wrapped and they had some great media available, including a full broadcast of their 4v4 tournament featuring Ryan Scarfo (#73 – Team Jenner in Grey). You can watch it here. Scarfo actually had the shootout winner in the mini-tournament, a nice move with some speed and skill that you can watch here (1:21:12 if the video doesn’t auto-cue) and helped his team to a 4v4 tournament win.

I’ll add/update as more rosters become available. But good luck/congratulations to the players involved!


Kings vs Nanaimo 03.17-0056

The BCHL has released the 2015/2016 schedule. The Kings will open up against the Nanaimo Clippers on Saturday September 12th at the Hap Parker Arena, leg 1 of a double header that weekend before embarking for 5-straight on the road. I’ll have a look at some of the key segments in the coming days, but for now here’s the league release and schedule.

The BCHL has released its full schedule for the 2015-16 season.
 
Opening night is Sept. 11 but unlike the last three years, the Bauer BCHL Showcase will not be the start of the regular season. There will be two weekends of regular-season games before the Showcase takes place Sept. 24 to 27 in Chilliwack.
 
To view the full season schedule, CLICK HERE. (You can also find the league schedule under the ‘Scoreboard’ menu above and the ‘League Schedule’ page).
 
Each team plays 58 games this season. With the Wenatchee Wild joining the BCHL, there are now 17 teams and there will be 493 total games on the 2015-16 calendar.
 
After playing twice at the Showcase, each team will have 28 home dates and 28 on the road.
 
Again, the league is playing a full interlock schedule, meaning each team will host every other team and also visit every other team. This will be done once each with out-of-division teams while in-division rivals will meet multiple times home and away.
 
The regular season concludes on Sunday, February 28 with the playoffs starting Friday, March 4.


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The Kings will face a pair of lower mainland teams at the 4th annual BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.

The Kings and Coquitlam Express will open the Showcase at 10:00am on Thursday morning, then the Kings will turn around and be on the ice 24 hours upon completion of game 1, with a 1:00pm puck drop against the Surrey Eagles. The Eagles will be a little on the ropes for their contest against the Kings, having played the night prior against Merritt.

The full schedule is here:

Date Time Rink Away Home
Thursday, Sept. 24 10 a.m. Main Powell River Coquitlam
1 p.m. Main Salmon Arm Langley
4 p.m. Main Penticton Alberni Valley
7:30 p.m. Main Merritt Surrey
Friday, Sept. 25 10 a.m. Main Alberni Valley Salmon Arm
1 p.m. Main Surrey Powell River
4 p.m. Main Nanaimo Merritt
7:30 p.m. Main Chilliwack Penticton
Saturday, Sept. 26 10 a.m. Main Trail Prince George
1 p.m. Main Coquitlam Nanaimo
3:30 p.m. Secondary Vernon Wenatchee
4 p.m. Main West Kelowna Cowichan Valley
7:30 p.m. Main Victoria Chilliwack
Sunday, Sept. 27 10 a.m. Main Cowichan Valley Vernon
1 p.m. Main Prince George Victoria
4 p.m. Main Wenatchee Trail
7:30 p.m. Main Langley West Kelowna

Not a great schedule, as in previous years the Kings had featured in at least 1 “prime” game at a 7:00pm start. However the league this year increased the length of the Showcase to avoid playing any games on the secondary sheet (although Vernon/Wenatchee will still be over there), so the odds of getting a “prime” game changed a bit. The team went 0-2 at the Showcase last season, dropping 1 in regulation and 1 in overtime.

It should be noted that although it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s widely speculated that the Showcase will NOT start the BCHL season, with at least 2 weekends of home and away play expected to feature before all the teams gather in Chilliwack. For those new, the Showcase ARE regular season games that DO count for points in the standings. They are neutral site where the Kings will be on the home bench for one game (vs Surrey) and on the visitors bench and last change for the other (Coquitlam).

Here’s the release from the league:

The matchups are all set for the fourth Bauer BCHL Showcase happening Sept. 24 to 27 at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.

To view the schedule, CLICK HERE

The Showcase host Chilliwack Chiefs play feature games on Friday and Saturday night, both 7:30 p.m. starts. The defending league champion Penticton Vees play at 4 p.m. on Thursday and then face the Chiefs Friday night.

The secondary rink at Prospera Centre, which was not supposed to be used this year, becomes necessary for one game as the Wenatchee Wild have joined the BCHL. The Wild will play the Vernon Vipers on the secondary sheet of ice on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

About 200 scouts from the college and professional ranks are expected to attend this year’s Showcase.

Over the last three seasons, since the Showcase began, the BCHL has averaged 137 players with college commitments and this past season, there were 247 BCHL graduates playing NCAA Div. I hockey (LIST). There have also been 12 BCHL players selected in the two NHL Entry Drafts since the first Showcase was held. There are five current BCHL players listed by NHL Central Scouting leading into this year’s Draft.


Kings vs Alberni Valley 02.25-0018

The Powell River Kings are happy to announce the return of Jeff Smith to the club for the 2015/2016 season.

Smith, 6’2, 205lbs out of Maple Ridge, first suited up for the Kings during the 2013/2014 season, compiling a 20-10-1 record to accompany a 2.25 GAA and .923 sv%. It was those numbers that lead Smith to winning the BCHL Goaltending Award by recording the lowest goals against average of any BCHL goaltender. He was also 2nd in the league in save percentage.

Jeff-Smith-Home

During the season, Smith earned a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell where he went 3-3-0 (1 shutout) with a 3.02GAA and .885 sv% percentage as a freshman. “It was a good experience, the coaches gave me an opportunity but I just don’t think it was the right fit” says Smith of the collegiate experience. “I’m excited to come back to Powell River, play out my eligibility at the Junior level for the Kings and work my way back to the NCAA.”

“Jeff covers the net very well. He’s a big goaltender who is capable of stealing games, which is what he did a couple of seasons ago” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “He knows what he’s coming into, he knows the team, he knows the league, he’s going to give us a chance to win every night and win right away.”

Smith will work with Kings goaltending coach Jeff Battah during the off-season and get ready for a 2nd and final year of Junior hockey. “I want to drop 5-10 pounds, get quicker, lighter” says Smith. “I’m excited for the chance to play. I’ve been keeping tabs on the team through guys like Keats and Luko and it’s going to be great to come back to Powell River, the town, the billets, everything.”

Smith will return to Powell River in August, ahead of main camp at the Hap Parker Arena towards the end of the month.


storm

The Powell River Kings are happy to announce the commitment of 97-born forward Gavin Rauser for the upcoming 2015/2016 season.

The 18 year old winger suited up for the VIJHL’s Campbell River Storm last season, finishing 8th in team scoring with 18 goals and 28 assists from 40 regular season games. Rauser was also a regular call up as an affiliate for the Kings last season, tallying an assist in 7 games. “As a call up last year, it was pretty easy to see first hand how great the organization is” says Rauser on the commitment. “I knew how the systems were and it just seems like the right opportunity for me. Coming up the first few times was pretty nerve-wracking, but it got better the longer the season went on.”

Rauser’s energy and tenacity was crucial not only for the Kings during his 7-game stint, but also for the Storm as he helped Campbell River setup for the Junior B triple crown last year. Despite limited playoff action due to injury, the local product was a key part of the Storm’s success. “It doesn’t happen often, but we had a great group last year from the top down with Lee (Stone) as coach and GM. That was our goal at the beginning of the season and we were fortunate to be able to see it out.”

“Anyone who saw Gavin play with us last season knows that his work ethic is second to none” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “He hunts down loose pucks, he’s great on the fore-check, gets back in his own zone quickly…he plays a solid high-tempo game. Gavin was a great spark for us down the stretch drive when we were pretty short with injuries.” For Rauser, he prides himself on a 200-foot game. “I feel I contribute at both ends, but my biggest asset that I can provide for the Kings is my grittiness and physicality” says Rauser. “I’m not the biggest guy on the ice, but every time I’m out there I want to finish my check and give the boys on the bench some energy.”

The 5’10, 185 product of Campbell River is gearing up for the coming season, now that his Junior hockey future is set. “I’ll be training with my brother who has a scholarship to Oklahoma next year, so just hitting the gym and preparing for next season. I need to get my speed up with the rest of the players, so I’m working on that” says Rauser.

“Like a lot of players who come into the BCHL, Gavin will need to work on his speed and develop his skill set while he’s here” adds Lewis. “He needs to take the energy that we saw in a handful of games last year, and bring it for 58 games and playoffs.”

The Kings will hold their Main Camp in Powell River during August, before setting off to Vancouver Island for a handful of exhibition contests before beginning the regular season in early September.


Leipsic playing last season with the Winnipeg Wild in the Winnipeg Midget AAA League.

Leipsic playing last season with the Winnipeg Wild in the Winnipeg Midget AAA League.

The Kings have added one more piece to their offensive puzzle for 2015/2016, signing 97-born forward Jeremy Leipsic.

The 5’8, 155lb forward is from Winnipeg, where he played for the Midget AAA Wild last season putting up 20 goals and 64 assists in 44 games. “We had a really strong season but unfortunately fell short in the playoffs” says Leipsic. “It was a really successful year regardless, I had great team mates that helped me put points on the board.” That’s the primary focus for Leipsic, offensive production. “I play a fast style of game, offensive. I’ve been really working on my defensive game a lot, but I’m an offensive player and help the team as much as I can on the scoreboard.”

“Jeremy’s numbers speak for themselves. He’s offensively gifted, he’s quick, he’s gritty and he’s going to be big for our hockey club” says Kings Head Coach and General Manager Kent Lewis. “We’ve been talking with Jeremy for a number of weeks now and we’re confident he’s going to make the jump to Junior hockey successfully and contribute right away for the Kings.”

Leipsic will make the trek from Manitoba to Powell River ahead of camp in August, and it’s that road which was paved by a now-former King which helped Leipsic land in Powell River. “The BCHL is probably the top league in Canada and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Powell River, the people and the community” says Leipsic. “Kurt Keats is also a friend of mine and he just raved about the town, so being able to talk to a guy who played there helped my decision (to come).”

In addition to offensive talents in his own right as Jeremy, 18,  comes from a hockey family. His older brother Brendan, 21, played over 250 games in the Western Hockey League, finishing better than a point per game, before moving onto a continuing pro career. “He’s a huge influence, I’ve been looking up to him since I’ve been playing hockey” adds Leipsic. “I focus on my own career, but he’s a great help in the summer when we train and skate together so he’s someone I definitely look up to.”

With a commitment to the BCHL and Powell River secured, Leipsic will turn his attention to making a difficult jump from Midget hockey to Junior. “College hockey, Division 1, is the main goal especially with me coming out west, knowing how much the BCHL and Powell River is scouted. I want to continue working on my defensive game, and just get bigger, stronger, faster off the ice and that’ll be a big part for me to play better on the ice. My expectations right now are to come in and have a good training camp, then look ahead to the season after that.”

Camp begins in late August at the Hap Parker Arena in Powell River, with exhibitions and the regular season getting underway in September.


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The Powell River Kings are thrilled to announce the commitment of 1996-born winger Chris Protopolous for the 2015/2016 season.

From Verdun, Quebec, the 19-year-old Protopolous is a speedy and skilled winger. “Speed is one of the biggest aspects of my game” says Protopolous. “I use it to my advantage, but I also play gritty. My coaches also tell me to shoot lots, I have a good shot.”

For the past two seasons, Protopolous (pronounced Pro-top-olous) has played with the Dawson College Blues in the QCHL. Protopolous was better than a point per game in his 2nd and final year (41 in 35), totaling 35 goals and 24 assists in 68 games for the Blues during his time there. “I was very fortunate to be chosen for them in my first year (2013/14), and two years with the Blues really helped me develop my game and become one of the better players in that league” says Protopolous. “I’m coming out to BC to play junior to continue that development and hopefully attract attention from D1 scouts. A lot of people say that the BCHL is the best Junior A league in Canada, and I’ve been doing research on Powell River and it looks like a beautiful place with the ocean right there and a great place to play hockey.”

“An NCAA coach first bough Chris to our attention, and from there on out we’ve maintained a good dialogue with him. Chris flies around the ice, he’s very very quick and that’s going to be invaluable to establishing a good forecheck and backcheck, playing a 200-foot game.” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “He’s offensively gifted and will slot nicely into our top 6. To find a player like Chris to help replace what we’re losing this off-season up front is a big positive for our club.”

The 5’9, 190lb Protopolous will spend the summer in his home province of Quebec, readying himself for a jump to Junior in September. “I need to work on being ready for that longer season, more games. I’ll be working on my conditioning, and of course wanting to get stronger and faster” says Protopolous.

The Kings held their annual Spring Camp over the weekend in Kamloops, watching over prospective Junior A players. Around 30-40 players (including recruits and eligible returnees) are expected in Powell River for Main Camp, beginning in late August.

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