Good afternoon folks! It’s Mat here in gorgeous Langley BC, we are in the middle of a heat advisory so I’m writing from the safety of our porch. I’ve been covering hockey in some form or fashion for over a decade, my main passion is the old Roller Hockey International league, I have a major passion for the inline game and a very healthy respect for ice hockey as well.
Last year I covered the Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League in Manitoba, specifically the Lorette JR Comets. This year I’ll be covering the inline scene, the BCHL, the Lacombe Generals ( monster piece coming soon to you from Kyle Sheen’s side of the “controversial Ryan Smyth hit”) . But let’s get to the first task at hand…
The BCHL season is almost here. I’ll be covering all the teams this year but with a heavy focus on my hometown team the Langley Rivermen.
Last season saw the Wentachee Wild win the Fred Page Cup over the Prince George Spruce Kings in a best of five series. They also lay claim to the Doyle Cup too over the reigning Alberta Champions the Spruce Grove Saints.
In the end, the Chilliwack Chiefs won the most important trophy of them all the RBC Cup.
At the NHL Draft in Dallas the BCHL saw seven players called up to the podium, the highest off of the board was Penticton Vees defenceman Jonny Tychonick who was selected 48th overall by the much troubled Ottawa Senators.
Trail Smoke Eaters ( awesome name! ) defenceman Seth Barton went 81st overall to the newly rebuilding Detroit Red Wings.
The Vegas Golden Knights came calling for yet another BCHL defenceman in Wentachee Wild player Slava Demin who went “Gretzky” ( 99th ) overall.
The Wild had another talent selected this time by the San Jose Sharks at 102nd overall, Jasper Weatherby who had a monster season earning the title of BCHL MVP due to his scoring prowess.
The Langley Rivermen saw forward Angus Crookshank get taken 126th overall as the Senators once again dipped into the BCHL talent pool.
The Vernon Vipers saw Brent Stapley get selected by the Montreal Canadians while the final BCHL alumni to be selected was goalkeeper Ty Taylor who will add some good depth for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Seventeen teams in total are roughly 30 days away from the start of their seasons with the annually held BCHL Showcase being hosted in Chilliwack from Sept 20-22nd.
This weekend I will start our indepth look at the Langley Rivermen and their path to the RBC Cup.
Be sure to check in with us at Bus League Hockey for updates, transactions & more for the BCHL.