This weekend in Penticton, B.C., the BCHL will be celebrating players of past and present, hosting a top prospects game, alumni game, and all-star tournament.
Forty of the BCHL’s top NHL draft-eligible players will showcase their talents Friday in front of fans, pro scouts, and NCAA coaches in the league’s 2023 top prospects game.
The game is one part of the BCHL’s 60th anniversary all-star weekend.
The prospects game has split players between Team East and Team West. The rosters consist of players chosen for the all-star tournament, and selections by NHL Central Scouting and B.C.-based NHL scouts.
Team East features 20 players from across the Interior division. Six Penticton Vees players were named to the roster, including the league’s top three scorers. Bradly Nadeau and Josh Nadeau, at 69 and 68 points respectively, and Aydar Suniev, who isn’t trailing far behind at 56 points.
The West Kelowna Warriors will have two players lace up their skates for the prospect game: forward Jaiden Moriello and goaltender Justin Katz.
The Vernon Vipers will send left-wing Reagan Milburn and defenceman Dylan Compton.
Three players from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks will also travel down to Penticton, forwards Nathan Mackie and Owen Beckner, and goaltender Carter Richardson.
Team West will have the BCHL’s fourth-leading scorer, Kai Daniells as well as goaltender Oliver Auyeung-Ashton, who is currently second in the league for wins, at 12.
The team will also feature two skaters listed on October’s NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch list, forward AJ Lacroix and defenceman Hoyt Stanley.
The prospect’s game will also feature some NHL talent — behind the bench.
Three-time Stanley Cup champion Duncan Keith will man the Team East bench alongside Penticton Vees head coach Fred Harbinson.
Keith played two seasons for the Penticton Panthers from 1999 to 2001.
Team West will be coached by Nanaimo Clippers bench boss Colin Birkas and 14-year NHL veteran Kyle Turris.
Before Turris was drafted third overall in 2007, he played two seasons with the Burnaby Express from 2005 to 2007.
As part of the 60th-anniversary celebration, the BCHL is hosting an alumni and friends game on Saturday, Jan. 21.
The game includes Stanley Cup champions, players featured in the Hockey Hall of Fame and NHL veterans.
Among the players includes four-time Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Scott Niedermayer. Also present will be 15-year NHL veteran Brenden Morrison, who played nine seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.
Letterkenny actor Tyler Johnston and NHL veterans Kyle Turris, Geoff Courtnall and Garry Valk will also be in attendance.
The weekend festivities also include a skills competition and an all-star tournament Saturday afternoon. The full list of details is available on BCHL’s website and will be broadcasted on BCHL TV.