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The league has taken the first step in gearing up for ‘next’ season, barely a week after ‘this’ season wound up at the RBC Cup in Portage, SK. The league will hold its 4th annual Showcase event at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.

Two questions always arise when the Showcase is bought up among fans…

  1. What is it and is it exhibition? The Showcase is an event that sees every team in the BCHL play 2 neutral-site games for regular season points. Typically teams play one game as the home team and one as the road team, but scheduling quirks don’t always afford that opportunity. Despite one game likely being a “home” game for the Kings, both will be played in Chilliwack. Why? To allow NCAA, WHL and pro scouts an opportunity to see every team and player in person at one venue at one time.
  2. Why is it always in Chilliwack? For the past three years, Chilliwack has hosted it due to its central location and dual rink setup with two ice sheets right next to each other (not unlike Powell River). It will host again, despite all games being played in the one rink. This move opens up other venues to host the event in the future.

Here’s the release from the BCHL:

The British Columbia Hockey League is pleased to announce the Chilliwack Chiefs and Prospera Centre as the host team and venue for the fourth annual Bauer BCHL Showcase, happening Sept. 24 to 27, 2015.

An extra day has been added to this year’s Showcase in order to allow all games to be played on Prospera Centre’s main ice surface.

“Chilliwack has been a gracious host and has provided a beautiful venue in Prospera Centre for the Bauer BCHL Showcase since its inception in 2012,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “Our teams and players get optimum exposure to scouts from the college and professional ranks and the opportunities gained as a result speak for themselves.”

Since the first Showcase was held, the BCHL has had 12 players selected in the NHL Entry Draft with another five projected to be drafted this June. Over the last three seasons, the league has also averaged 132 players with college commitments, 114 of those to the NCAA Division I level.

The ability of scouts to evaluate players will only be enhanced this coming September as Prospera’s main sheet of ice will be used exclusively, which will also improve the fan experience at the Showcase.

“The Chilliwack Chiefs and Prospera Centre are proud to again welcome the university and professional hockey scouts of North America as well as Junior hockey fans from across the BCHL,” said Chiefs president Glen Ringdal.

All the matchups for the 2015 Bauer BCHL Showcase will be released after the conclusion of the league annual general meeting June 4 to 6.

The Kings are 3-2-0-2 at the Showcase’s 3-year history, with wins over Chilliwack, Salmon Arm and Vernon. The Kings went 0-2 last year dropping games to Chilliwack and Trail (in overtime).


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The Powell River Kings are proud to announce the commitment of 17-year-old defenceman Andy Stevens from Campbell River.

The 6’2, 195lb Campbell River product should be a name familiar with Kings fans, as Stevens played 12 games during the regular season and playoffs with the Kings last season. “When I was an AP last season, I found out first hand that Powell River was such a first class organization with a great coaching staff and a great group of guys in the room” says Stevens on the decision to come to the Kings. “It seems like a great place to live and a good place for me to develop.”

Kings vs Victoria 03.06-0004“Andy is a high end defenceman who garnered a lot of WHL and BCHL interest” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “Even at 16 with us last season in the regular season and playoffs, he showed a lot of maturity with the puck and his play away from it, he was a good kid to have in the room down the stretch and we’re happy to add him to the roster permanently this season.”

Away from Powell River, Stevens patrolled the blue line for his hometown Campbell River Storm in the VIJHL, scoring 2 goals and adding 15 assists in 40 regular season games.

He also helped the Storm to a magical season that saw them win the VIJHL, Cyclone Taylor and Keystone Cups as Western Canada’s top Junior B team. “Obviously that’s a once in a lifetime experience to win a Junior B Championship” says Stevens on the achievement. “It was tough, a lot of hockey, but it was well worth it and something I’ll never forget.”

“We were very happy for Andy’s success and the Storm’s season last year” adds Lewis. “We’ve fostered a great relationship between the two clubs, that was evident when Andy joined us during their playoffs, missing some of their games to play for us.”

After a busy season, Stevens is excited to get back to hockey come August, and will prepare for the grind of a 58+ game Junior A schedule. “I’m already a pretty tall guy for my age, but I really need to fill out a bit and put on some muscle” says Stevens. “Junior A is a faster game, I felt I did well as an affiliate last season, but I need to work on getting faster and more powerful.”

“Andy is young, but he’s skilled and he’s going to develop here” says Lewis on early expectations for Stevens. “He skates well, he makes smart, simple plays and that’s what we ask out of our defensemen.”

Stevens will spend the off-season at home in Campbell River, before joining the Kings in late-August ahead of Main Camp at the Hap towards the end of the month. The Kings are currently preparing for their Spring Camp in Kamloops at the end of May. Information and registration can be found here.


After a flurry of news last week, I took the weekend off and away to enjoy a stunning couple of days off here on the Sunshine Coast. But a couple of bits of news did cross my desk that I wanted to catch up on.

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Pritchard Named 2nd Team All-Star
Kings forward Jacob Pritchard has been named to the 2014/15 All-Star teams for the BCHL, the lone King to achieve the feat. The votes were based on the BCHL broadcasters views, with announcers voting for candidates, but not allowed to stuff the ballot box for their own players. Congrats to Jacob, who incidently celebrated his 20th birthday last Thursday. I would imagine that Kurt Keats and Jarid Lukosevicius probably polled fairly high as well, but I haven’t seen any final voting numbers. Here’s the release from the league:

The votes have been counted and the league is announcing its 2014-15 league-wide all-star teams. The all-stars were chosen after a survey of the BCHL’s play-by-play broadcasters. This season, there is an all-BCHL First Team, Second Team and Rookie Team.

There are 11 BCHL teams represented in the all-star teams and five of the all-stars will be competing for a BCHL championship in the Fred Page Cup.

BCHL 1st All-Star Team
F – Corey Mackin, Coquitlam Express
F – Dane Gibson, Victoria Grizzlies
F – Brett Supinski, Coquitlam Express

D – Andrew Farny, Salmon Arm Silverbacks
D – Kurt Gosselin, Alberni Valley Bulldogs

G – Hunter Miska, Penticton Vees

BCHL 2nd All-Star Team
F – Liam Blackburn, West Kelowna Warriors
F – Jacob Pritchard, Powell River Kings
F – Jake Lucchini, Trail Smoke Eaters

D – Yanni Kaldis, Nanaimo Clippers
D – Gabe Bast, Penticton Vees

G – Guillaume Decelles, Nanaimo Clippers

All-Rookie Team
F – Brett Supinski, Coquitlam Express
F – Liam Finlay, Vernon Vipers
F – Tyson Jost, Penticton Vees

D – Yanni Kaldis – Nanaimo Clippers
D – Dante Fabbro – Penticton Vees

G – Aidan Pelino, Chilliwack Chiefs

BCHL League Final Through 2 Games
Call it an upset, but the Nanaimo Clippers have stolen not 1, but 2 games on the road over the weekend in Penticton. The Clippers won handidly on Friday night in game 1, but teams needed overtime in game 2 before Brett Roulston scored 20 seconds into the extra frame to give the road team a weekend sweep. Nanaimo can hammer another nail in the coffin Monday night in Nanaimo, with a chance to close it out Tuesday. It should be noted that Nanaimo were up 3-0 on Alberni in round 1, and 2-0 on the Kings in round 2 and both series went 7 games. The big difference is in both those situations the Clippers had home ice advantage, something they didn’t going into this series.

Kings Alumni Strike Out at NCAA Frozen Four
Luke Nogard, Brian Rideout and Sean Maguire all came up empty at the NCAA Frozen Four over the weekend, as the title was taken out by Providence. The Friars defeated Boston University in the final 4-3. Nogard, Rideout and Nebraska-Omaha were bounced by the Friars in the semi-final on Thursday night.

 


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The Kings would like to thank, and wish good luck to outgoing Associate Head Coach and Assistant General Manager Chad Van Diemen, who has taken up the position of Head Coach for the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings.

The move ends a 6-year tenure with the Kings for Van Diemen. “Chad’s been a crucial part of our staff for a long time now” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “He’s been excellent especially with the college aspect of the game, communicating with schools and ensuring our guys are getting a good look.”

Van Diemen is spending the weekend looking over Spruce Kings prospects, and then will return to Powell River and begin the process of moving up to BC’s Northern capital. “We’re going to miss Chad, his wife Laura and their two sons Dallas and Kyle” says Lewis. “We as a team and I wish them nothing but the best up north.”

In turn with van Diemen’s departure, the Kings have hired Brock Sawyer as a full-time Assistant Coach. Sawyer played with the club for 1 and a half seasons between 2007 and 2008 and joined the team as an Assistant Coach last season after a successful college career at Elmira University and pro-hockey afterwards.

Here is the release from the Prince George Spruce Kings:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are very excited to announce the hiring of Chad van Diemen as the team’s new head coach.

The 33-year-old van Diemen joins the Spruce Kings after having spent the last six seasons with the Powell River Kings, most in an associate head coach/general manager role.

During his time in Powell River the team compiled an impressive 205 – 122 – 35 record for a .632 win percentage. Other achievements in Powell River include 2010-11 BCHL regular season championship with 46-11-3 record, 46-36 Playoff record for .561 win percentage, 2010-11 BCHL single season record for least GA (115 GA in 60 GP), three-time Coastal Conference champions.

Chad played four seasons as a defenceman in the BCHL from 1998 to 2002 including stops in Nanaimo, Powell River and Quesnel. In 2001-02 he tallied 53 points in 56 games played for The Quesnel Millionaires. He then went on and played four seasons of NCAA hockey with Iona College and Manhattanville College, graduating from Manhattanville with a degree in business management.

“I’m very excited that we are able to bring in a young, energetic coach like Chad,” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “I have known Chad for a number of years and have always respected the way in which he helped build very good teams in Powell River and the way that he got the most out of his players.

“There are many parallels between our organization and Powell River’s organization. I think this will help with the transition and will allow us to hit the ground running and work towards building next year’s team.”

Chad is married to wife Laura and they have two young boys, Dallas (2) and Kyle (1). They are excited about the move to Prince George and look forward to becoming part of the Prince George community and culture.


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It’s semi-final day for Brian Rideout, Luke Nogard and their University of Nebraska Omaha team mates in Boston as the NCAA’s Frozen Four gets set this weekend. A sold out TD Garden (home of the Bruins) is guaranteed for UNO’s first trip to the National Championship tournament in program history.

UNO have been taking in the atmosphere since earlier in the week, and a handful of buses have made the long trek from campus to Boston featuring the school’s band, mascot and other students ready to cheer their school on.

As mention, former Kings Brian Rideout and Luke Nogard feature as freshmen on the team. I’ve been talking on and off with them over the last few weeks and Luke was kind enough to send through the above photo of he and Brian at the legendary Fenway. He commented “It (the Frozen Four) is an amazing opportunity, a dream come true. We’ve had police escorts to and from the rink, being treated like celebrities and playing in a sold out NHL building.”

The game will be broadcast live on TSN2 in Canada beginning at 2:00pm Pacific time (5:00pm eastern). I imagine it’s also available on ESPN down in the states for our out of town readers. To get you there, here’s a few bits of light reading. First, Sean Leahy from Puck Daddy has profiled the school’s run this season. Also, all four schools (U. North Dakota, Boston University and UNO’s opponent Providence) took part in practice earlier this week in Boston, that photo gallery is here. Finally, Hockey’s Future has a preview of the game.

Good luck Rides and Nogie!


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The Powell River Kings are proud to announce the commitment of local player Rylan Ball for the 2015/2016 season.

Ball, 20, is entering his final year of Junior eligibility, however comes with plenty of experience. In 2013/14, he played 30 games for the Cowichan Valley Capitals and registered 3 assists. This past season, he joined the Kings as an affiliate player from the VIJHL’s Westshore Wolves, putting up 2 goals and 5 assists in 16 regular season and playoff games in addition to the 12-19-31 in 28 games he recorded with Westshore.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to play Junior A hockey” says Ball. “I had a brief stint with the Capitals and now this coming season I’m looking forward to having a good year and build on what I did last season in Powell River with a great bunch of guys.”

“Rylan is a player we’re obviously very familiar with being a local kid, and last season as well” says Kings Head Coach and General Manager Kent Lewis. “He came in last year and filled a role for us down the stretch last season, playing some big minutes and contributing along the way. Because of that, he earned a spot on our team this year.”

The 6’0, 185lb mobile defenceman bought versatility to the Kings lineup last season as Ball has played both forward and defenceman at the Junior level, but it’s the simplicity of his game that shone through. “Moving up from Junior B to the BCHL there’s a lot more skill, but it’s the pace of the game that’s the biggest difference” says Ball on the challenge of moving up. “You have to think and react a lot faster, you can’t play the puck too much, you almost have to dumb down your game and just make the simple play because mistakes get converted more in the BCHL.”

“He gives us a lot of options both up front and on the blue line” says Lewis. “He came in down the stretch and into playoffs, and did really well. He went on the powerplay, he’s a good skater and will generate some good scoring opportunities from the point.” That post season experience is a big boost ahead of the 2015/ 2016 season according to Ball. “Playoffs was a bonus, playing 2 series with Westshore then getting to play in Powell River. It was a huge confidence booster coming into the end of the season, and I was excited to play with a great group of guys (in Powell River) and it’s a shame we didn’t go further.”

In preparation for the new season, Ball is taking a step back for the time being, before moving into full training ahead of camp in August and the season in September. “I’m enjoying time away from hockey for now” says Ball. “Between Westshore and Powell River last year, it was a lot of hockey and some big minutes, so I’m taking a short break before getting into my regular off-season program, training hard and getting ready for another tough season.”

The Kings will hold a pair of Spring Identification Camps in late May, one in Comox and the other in Kamloops. Main camp in Powell River will be at the end of August before the season begins again early September.


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The NHL’s Central Scouting Service has included Kings defenceman Carmine Buono in their final draft rankings for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, at 188th place out of the top 211.

The 1st year defenceman out of the lower mainland led all Kings rookies in scoring with 2 goals and 29 assists in 61 regular season and playoff games. Those numbers also placed the 6’1, 190lb blue liner in a tie for all defenceman with Jeremy LeClerc. In addition to his exploits in Powell River, Buono represented Canada West (with Kurt Keats) at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge in December.

Buono was one of just 5 BCHL’ers named to the list, ranked 2nd out of the 5. Langley’s Marcus Vela led the way at 131st, then Thomas Aldworth (Vernon – 195th), Liam Finlay (Vernon – 199th), and Vincent Desharnais (Chilliwack – 209th). Kings goaltender Stefan Wornig had been included on earlier versions of the rankings, but did not make the final edition.

The rankings were topped unsurprisingly by Erie Otters centreman Connor McDavid, followed by Boston University’s Jack Eichel. The draft takes place in Sunrise, Florida, June 26th and 27th.

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