Coquitlam Express – Eligible Returnees and Graduating Players:

Coquitlam captain Luca Leone is a veteran of 112 BCHL games and 70 WHL games.
He led the Express with 36 points in 49 games.
Photo credit: Damon James (

Graduating Players
Luca Leone (aged out)
Erik Udahl (aged out)
Cameron Bertsch (aged out)
Lawson Fenton (aged out)
David Giunta (Bentley University)
Mitchell Newsome (Michigan Tech University)
Owen Stout (Rochester Polytechnic Institute)

Eligible Returnees
(* indicates an open spot – assuming the team goes with 13 forwards and 8 defencemen)

The Express have nine eligible returning defencemen, so it is technically at one player over the 23-man roster limit at this point.

Alex Ambrosio (97)
Hayden Knight (97)
Cal Babych (97)
William Lawrence (97)
Keegan Jones (97)
Jonathan Irving (97)
Sam Kozlowski (98)
Blake Hayward (98)
Christian Bosa (98)
Callum Cusinato (98)
Jake Toor (99)

Jake Brien (97)
Brandon Kennedy (97)
Domenic Masellis (97)
Cal Walker (97)
Troy Robillard (98)
Noah Turanski (98)
Devin Mussio (99)
Jordan Schulting (99)
Michael Sande (99)

Reid Cooper (98)

2016-17 Coquitlam Express Season Preview:

Coquitlam Express
Head Coach: Barry Wolff (4th year)
2015-16 record: 22-29-6-1, 51 points (4th in the Mainland Division)
2015-16 leading scorer: Colton Kerfoot (79 points)
2016-17 leading returning scorer: Owen Stout (39 points)
2016 playoffs: Lost in the Mainland Division Semi-Final to Chilliwack, 4 games to 0
2016-17 Division: Mainland
First regular season game: Friday, September 9 vs. Surrey
Home opener: Friday, October 7 vs. Langley
Twitter: @BCHLExpress

*Note that I did this interview with Barry Wolff prior to the Express trading Malik Kaila to Alberni Valley, so there’s a question in reference to Coquitlam acquiring Kaila from Merritt earlier this summer.

2015-16 BCHL Season Team Previews:

Since this is the eve of the 2015-16 BCHL season, I caught up with a member of the staff for each of the 17 teams to preview the upcoming year. Although a number of the questions I asked were similar, if not the same, it is interesting to hear each team’s perspective or philosophy when it came to the answers.

I also spoke with BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale, that interview will be posted in this space tomorrow.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Chilliwack Chiefs

Coquitlam Express

Cowichan Capitals

Langley Rivermen

Merritt Centennials

Nanaimo Clippers

Penticton Vees

Powell River Kings

Prince George Spruce Kings

Salmon Arm SilverBacks

Surrey Eagles

Trail Smoke Eaters

Vernon Vipers

Victoria Grizzlies

Wenatchee Wild

West Kelowna Warriors

Clippers Pick Up Coghlan and Send Green to Express, Capitals Move Milligan, Chiefs Add USHL Goaltender, 12 BCHL Players Named to CJHL Prospects Game:

The BCHL trade deadline arrives Saturday evening at 6 o’clock for transfers with other leagues, 8 o’clock for transfers among BCHL teams, and midnight for rosters to be set.

The Nanaimo Clippers made a change on their blueline on Thursday, acquiring the junior A rights to 19-year-old defenseman Ryan Coghlan from Cowichan for future considerations. The move coincided with Coghlan leaving the Saskatoon Blades to return to the BCHL.

The Nanaimo native was set to join Cowichan back in September after being released by Prince Albert, but before he played a game with the Capitals, Coghlan was grabbed by Saskatoon in exchange for a WHL Bantam Draft pick. He had four points (two goals, two assists) in 22 games with the Blades this season and no points in two games with the Raiders. Coghlan played a full season in the BCHL with Cowichan in 2012-13, posting five points (two goals, three assists) in 47 games.

Acquiring Coghlan put Nanaimo over in terms of roster numbers, so GM and Head Coach Mike Vandekamp moved 19-year-old defenseman Taylor Green to Coquitlam for future considerations.

Green joined the Clippers in mid-December and put up one assist in seven games. He played ten games in the WHL this season, four with Brandon and six with Moose Jaw, putting up a goal and two assists, before leaving the Warriors in early October. After a brief time-out from hockey, he signed with Nanaimo.

Now Green experiences a homecoming of sorts in joining the Express as he’s from Port Coquitlam. It’s the first time Green’s played close to home since he was a member of the BC Major Midget League’s Vancouver NE Chiefs in 2010-11.

Nanaimo and Coquitlam sit at the BCHL roster limit of 22 after today’s moves.

Cowichan is one player under the roster limit after moving 18-year-old forward Keegan Milligan to Melville of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for future considerations.

Milligan, who’s from Emerald Park, SK, had three assists in 33 games as a rookie with the Capitals this season. He was recruited from the Notre Dame Argos Midget AAA team after putting up 104 points (45 goals, 59 assists) in three seasons in the Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League.

According to his Twitter account, 20-year-old goaltender David Jacobson left the United States Hockey League’s Bloomington Thunder to join the Chilliwack Chiefs. On Thursday afternoon, the Calabasas, California product tweeted this:
// is a veteran of 63 USHL games and he has 6-8-2 record, a 3.07 goals-against-average and an .890 save percentage in 19 games with the Thunder this year. 
There’s no official release from the Chiefs as of yet, but no doubt this move will mean something’s gotta give with incumbents Aidan Pelino and David Poirier.


Here’s a list of trades since the December 1st roster deadline:

08-Jan-15: Nanaimo trades D Taylor Green (95) to Coquitlam for future considerations

08-Jan-15: Cowichan trades F Keegan Milligan (96) to Melville for future considerations

08-Jan-15: Nanaimo acquires D Ryan Coghlan (95) from Cowichan for future considerations

07-Jan-15: Merritt acquires F Zak Bowles (95) from Alberni Valley for F Luke Bertolucci (95) and future considerations

07-Jan-15: Cowichan acquires D Connor Russell (96) from Penticton for future considerations

02-Jan-15: West Kelowna acquires D Braeden Jones (94) from Grande Prairie for future considerations

01-Jan-15: West Kelowna trades F Michael Buonincontri (94) and D Greydon Robinson (96) to Prince George for D Tyler Kunz (94)

01-Jan-15: Salmon Arm trades D Cole McCaskill (96) to Prince George for future considerations

16-Dec-14: Powell River trades D Jordan Burns (95) to Salmon Arm for future considerations

11-Dec-14: Alberni Valley trades D Jeff Rose (96) and future considerations to Drayton Valley for F Eric Therrien (94)

11-Dec-14: Trail trades D Sheldon Hubbard (95) to Grande Prairie for future considerations

02-Dec-14: Trail trades D Viktor Dombrovskiy (96) to Prince George for D Stephen Penner (95) and F Cooper Leitch (96)

02-Dec-14: Prince George trades D Taylor Allan (95) and future considerations to Lloydminster for D Tyler Kunz (94)

01-Dec-14: Vernon trades F Branden Wagner (96) to Salmon Arm for future considerations

Trades Made: 14
Trades Made Within BCHL: 9

Trades Made With Teams Outside BC: 5
Players: 21
Future Considerations: 12

The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced the rosters for its annual Prospects Game, which is in Oakville, ON this year. A total of 12 BCHL players are featured on Team West for the game. Players are selected with consultation from the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting. Team West also includes 5 players from the AJHL, two from the MJHL and one from the SJHL.

Team West features Langley goaltender Bo Didur and forward Marcus Vela, Powell River defenseman Carmine Buono and netminder Stefan Wornig, Penticton forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage, along with Vees defensemen Gabe Bast and Jarrod Hilderman, Merritt forward Brandon Duhaime, Chilliwack defenseman Vincent Desharnais and forward Jordan Kawaguchi, Prince George forward Brogan O’Brien, and Cowichan forward Darien Craighead.

The game goes on Tuesday, January 20.

Kerfoot and Mackie Commit to NCAA Schools, CJHL Top 20 Released, Express Deal Veteran:

Coquitlam Express F Colton Kerfoot (96) is off to the same school his brother, Alex, attends. Kerfoot committed to Harvard University starting in September 2016.

Alex Kerfoot, who’s also a former Express, is in his second season at Harvard after posting 14 points (8-6-14) in 25 games as a freshman in 2013-14. 

Colton has seven points (4-3-7) in 15 games with Coquitlam this season. He had 86 points (38-48-86) in just 40 games with the Vancouver NW Giants of the BC Major Midget League last season. Express play-by-play man Eddie Gregory has more on his blog here.

Victoria Grizzlies F Jay Mackie (95) committed to Holy Cross for next fall. Mackie is third in Grizzlies scoring this season with 13 points (5-8-13) in 14 games.

The 19-year-old from Kingston, Ontario, notched 28 points (9-19-28) in 57 games as a rookie in Victoria last season.

More on Mackie’s commitment to the College of the Holy Cross is available from Jeff Cox on the SB Nation College Hockey Blog here.

The BCHL released its player of the week late Monday night, bestowing the honour on West Kelowna Warriors F Jonathan Desbiens. The 18-year-old had five points in three games for the Warriors. The BCHL’s release is here.

As for the rationale behind putting out a media release on a Monday night at 9:30, I’ll leave that to Penticton play-by-play announcer Fraser Rodgers, who posted the following on Twitter and actually got a retweet from the league!

The BCHL has suspended Surrey Eagles D Nicholas Beck (95) for what appears to be two games for abuse of an official.

I haven’t seen video of what happened, but on the box score for the Eagles 8-2 loss to Nanaimo on Sunday, Beck was assessed a game misconduct, which one can only deduce was the penalty that triggered the suspension.

Under the league’s discipline on the BCHL website, it states the following: 

Surrey Eagles Nicholas Beck is suspended 1 game for receiving a game misconduct abuse of an official

Surrey Eagles Nicholas Beck is suspended 1 game for abuse of an official

Not sure if it’s just a double post, or if Beck is actually out for two games.

The Canadian Junior Hockey League released its weekly Top 20 rankings on Monday morning and three BCHL teams are represented.

The Penticton Vees are the top ranked BCHL team in third (up one spot from last week). Nanaimo is up three spots from 17 to 14 since last week while Chilliwack drops from 11th to 16th. Check out the release from the CJHL on the Top 20 Rankings here.

There’s a new blog on the BCHL scene as Victoria Grizzlies broadcasters Tyler Bennett and Clay Cochrane have jumped into the fray. Check out the blog right here.

The Coquitlam Express continues to tinker with its roster as it looks to gain ground in the Mainland Division. Express GM and Head Coach Barry Wolff sent veteran D Austen Bietenbeck (95) to the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Bietenbeck, who’s from Langley, has one assist in 11 games this season with Coquitlam. Overall, he’s tallied four assists in 67 career BCHL games.

The Surrey Eagles made more changes with their roster, this time signing former West Kelowna Warriors F Cole Plotnikoff (97) as a free agent.

Plotnikoff spent five games this season with the Warriors before being released earlier this month. He had one goal with West Kelowna. The Valley West Hawks alum joined Surrey just before its three game set this past weekend and has one goal thus far with the Eagles.

Plotnikoff’s career stats are available here.

The Anaheim Ducks recalled D Josh Manson (Salmon Arm, 2009-11) from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League on Monday.

Manson has one assist through seven games with Norfolk this season. He’s never played in an NHL game. Anaheim’s release on Manson’s call-up is here.

The AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps inked F Brodie Reid (Surrey, Burnaby, Penticton, 2005-09) to a try-out. The 25-year-old was loaned to the injury-depleted IceCaps by the Elmira Jackals of the East Coast Hockey League, where Reid has four points (1-3-4) in seven games in 2014-15. 
He spent the last three seasons with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL.

The BC Intercollegiate Hockey League announced its player of the week on Monday and University of Victoria F Adam Klein received the honours.

The former Port Moody Black Panthers forward had two goals and two assists in the Vikes 8-3 romp over SFU on Friday and also had a goal in UVIC’s 6-5 loss to Trinity Western University on Saturday. He now has 11 points (7-4-11) in six games.

The BCIHL’s release on the Player of the Week is here.

Vees Boss Fred Harbinson Hits 300 Wins, Caps and Rivermen Make Big Trade:

My apologies for the lack of posts here on the blog in the last little while. With all that I’m juggling professionally, plus family life, it makes it difficult to find time to post, although I hope to be more consistent.

You’ll also notice a bit of a new format on the blog as I try to summarize the goings on in the BCHL and BC Intercollegiate Hockey League each day. I’ll definitely still have the odd post focused on one topic, but I thought I’d give this a try as there are a number of sports blogs I like which follow a similar format. I also hope that creating content this way will help provide you with a hub for the news I usually provide and more.

As usual, for the most update info, please follow me on Twitter (@Brian_Wiebe), and thanks so much for reading.

Penticton GM and Head Coach Fred Harbinson reached the 300 win plateau in the BCHL with the Vees 1-0 win over Vernon on Saturday night. Dante Fabbro had the lone goal for Penticton while Hunter Miska made 29 saves. It’s the Vees ninth straight win. As for Harbinson, his record since joining Penticton prior to the 2007-08 season is now 300-93-7-26.

The Vees official write up on the game is available here.

The Langley Rivermen nabbed F Colton Kehler (97) and re-acquired D Charlie Pelnik (94) from the Cowichan Capitals on Friday in exchange for F Darian Craighead (97) and F Brendan Gulka (94).

Craighead was suspended by the Rivermen earlier this month for leaving the team and had an immediate impact in Cowichan, scoring twice in his debut in a 3-2 loss to Alberni Valley. He also had a goal in Saturday’s 6-5 overtime win against West Kelowna. Gulka should add some solid leadership and secondary scoring to the Capitals.

Pelnik returns to Langley after playing only 13 games with the Capitals. The 19-year-old from Cary, NC, was traded to Cowichan back in August by the Rivermen. Kehler, who holds the BC Major Midget League record for goals in a season, could wind up being a key offensive catalyst for Langley as he gains more experience in the BCHL.

The Rivermen media release on the trade is here and the Capitals take on the deal is here.

The Coquitlam Express signed D Cole Bevan (96) after he was released by the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. Bevan, who’s from Surrey, was acquired by the Blades from the Swift Current Broncos back on September 30th, but only played one game with Saskatoon.

Meanwhile, former Express G Pierce Dushenko (95) has shown up on the roster of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Whitecourt Wolverines. Neither the BCHL nor the AJHL websites show that Dushenko was traded. Either he was released by Coquitlam and signed by the Wolverines or a trade occurred that hasn’t been reported.

F Alex Jackstadt (94) is no longer on the roster of the Powell River Kings. He had a goal and an assist in six games with the Kings this season after being recruited from the USHL’s Fargo Force. 

Jackstadt has re-joined the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League, where he played during the 2012-13 season. He has an assist through two games with Kenai River thus far this season.

D James Isaacs (Powell River, 2007-08) has signed with the Dundee Stars (EIHL) for the remainder of the 2014-15 season. He had a goal and four assists in 16 games with Dundee last season. Isaacs signed with the Kalamazoo Wings back in July, but was released a week and a half ago.

BCHL Well Represented at 2014 NHL Entry Draft:

(Martin Gendron photo credit: Senators Twitter Account)

The BCHL once again had a red letter day in terms of representation at the NHL Entry Draft, with five players selected who played in the league last season, two who will play in the league this season, one who was a stalwart in the league before moving on to play college hockey, and one who used the league as a springboard to a three year WHL career.

Incoming Penticton Vees D Miles Gendron
Selected in the 3rd round, 70th overall by Ottawa 
Former Surrey Eagles D Devon Toews
Selected in the 4th round, 108th overall by New York Islanders 
Incoming Salmon Arm SilverBacks F Sam Lafferty
Selected in the 4th round, 112th overall by Pittsburgh 
Surrey Eagles F Danton Heinen
Selected in the 4th round, 116th overall by Boston 
Vernon Vipers F Liam Coughlin
Selected in the 5th round, 130th overall by Edmonton Grizzlies G Alec Dillon
Selected in the 5th round, 150th overall by Los Angeles 
Former Coquitlam Express F Austin Carroll
Selected in the 7th round, 184th overall by Calgary Rivermen F Matt Ustaski
Selected in the 7th round, 192nd overall by Winnipeg Vees F Jack Ramsey
Selected in the 7th round, 208th overall by Chicago

Coquitlam Moves Forward Nicolas Beaudin East to Gloucester:

Not one day after posting that things were slow on the trade front heading into the December 1st roster deadline, four deals happened in a span of 36 hours.

The Coquitlam Express appear to be in a position of adding players to their roster as they traded 18-year-old Nicolas Beaudin to the Gloucester Rangers of the Central Canada Hockey League for future considerations.

It’s the second deal in the last three weeks which sees the Express subtract from their roster without adding as back on November 12th, Coquitlam Head Coach Barry Wolff moved forward Adam Smith to the SIJHL’s Dryden Ice Dogs for future considerations. The Express now only have 20 players on their roster, meaning they could add two without removing anyone else.

Meanwhile, Beaudin, who was ranked 167th on the NHL Central Scouting Final Prospect list for this past June’s draft, only had one assist in 19 games with the Express this season after joining them from Stanstead College.

To Gloucester Rangers:
F Nicolas Beaudin (95) Coquitlam Express:
Future Considerations 

Neither team has posted anything about the trade, but it is listed under “Transactions” on the BCHL website.

Coquitlam Express Trade Cal Hofford to Cornwall Colts, Add Former WHL Defenseman Zach Hodder:

The Coquitlam Express added former Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman Zach Hodder (93) to their roster prior to tonight’s game against Surrey, which meant Barry Wolff’s club was one over the roster limit allowed in the BCHL.

As a result, Wolff brokered a trade with the Cornwall Colts of the Central Canada Hockey League, sending blueliner Cal Hofford (94) east in exchange for future considerations.

For Hofford, it’s a chance to play closer to home as it’s just over four hours between Cornwall and his hometown of Woodbridge.

Hodder was a member of the Express during the 2011-12 season, posting 33 points in 43 games before resuming his WHL career during the 2012-13 season and the start of this season before Moose Jaw released him last week.

To Cornwall Colts:
D Cal Hofford (94) Coquitlam Express:
Future Considerations

Nothing from the Express on their website, by play-by-play man Eddie Gregory posted this on his Coquitlam Expressions blog:

The Coquitlam Express got a boost to the blueline by bringing back a familiar face Wednesday.

They have re-acquired defenceman Zach Hodder from the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.

The 20 year old Delta native played 43 games with the Express during the 2011-12 season. In those 43 games, Hodder was very productive piling up 12 goals and added 21 assists for 31 points.

The 12 goals he scored that season is the second highest total in a season by an Express defenceman.

He returned to the WHL last season where he split the season with Prince Albert Raiders and Medicine Hat Tigers. In 60 games he had 3 goals and 13 assists for 16 points.

This season he played 6 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors and had picked up 1 assist. He has 128 career WHL games with Vancouver, Saskatoon, Price Albert, Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw registering 8 goals and 30 assists for 38 points.

Hodder will make his Express re-debut tonight vs. the Surrey Eagles and will wear #2.

Coquitlam Express – Trade Deadline:

The Coquitlam Express had the busiest trade deadline of Jon Calvano’s tenure in the Tri-Cities, making four very significant moves that will impact the franchise not only this season, but could pay big dividends in seasons to come.

The Express shipped out their top three scorers, but also picked up three players plus future considerations.

First, Coquitlam moved 20-year-old forward and leading scorer John Siemer to the Penticton Vees for futures. Then as mentioned during the Chiefs post, the Express acquired 17-year-old Garrett Forster, 18-year-old Ben Israel and futures from Chilliwack for 19-year-old Philip Zielonka. Also, as was included in the Alberni Valley thread, Coquitlam picked up 20-year-old forward Lars Hepso and the CJHL rights to 19-year-old Adam Rossignol (who was cut earlier in the day by the WHL’s Regina Pats) for future considerations. Lastly, the Express sent 19-year-old captain Mitch Nardi to the West Kelowna Warriors for futures.

To Coquitlam Express:
Future Considerations

To Penticton Vees:
F John Siemer (92)

To Coquitlam Express:
F Garrett Forster (95) Ben Israel (94) Future Considerations

To Chilliwack Chiefs:
F Philip Zielonka (93)———————————————

To Coquitlam Express:
F Lars Hepso (92) Adam Rossignol (93) Alberni Valley Bulldogs:
Future Considerations


To Coquitlam Express:
Future Considerations

To West Kelowna Warriors:
F Mitch Nardi (93) The Express haven’t released anything on their website, but play-by-play man Eddie Gregory posted the following on his blog: 

The Coquitlam Express were very busy Thursday leading up to the BCHL trade deadline which officially came at 8PM.

The Express made a number of moves that saw three significant pieces of their roster moved on to other clubs.


And the Express brought in 4 players that can help them now along with a number of future considerations that can help them going forward for the rest of this season and beyond.

Here’s what went down yesterday.

The Express traded 20 year old veteran and leading scorer John Siemer to the Penticton Vees in exchange for future considerations. The Glendora California native was second among BCHL scorers at the time of the trade with 20 goals and 49 points in 37 games this season.

The dazzling forward with some of the best hands I’ve ever seen in the BCHL scored 48 goals and 60 assists for 108 points in 87 career games spanning two seasons with the Express. 

Earlier this season he secured a scholarship to Northern Michigan University for next season.

Captain Mitch Nardi was traded to the West Kelowna Warriors in exchange for future considerations. Nardi was given the captaincy prior to this season assuming the role from graduating forward Alex Petan.

The Hamilton Ontario native spent two seasons with the Express. He scored 19 goals and 50 assists for 69 points in 91 career games with the Express. It was a struggle for Mitch to find his offensive touch this season scoring just 5 goals and 20 assists for 25 points in 35 games.

Prior to the season Nardi secured a scholarship to Lake Superior University for next season.

And the Express traded forward Phil Zielonka to the Chilliwack Chiefs in exchange for defenceman Ben Isreal (94), forward Garrett Forster (95) and future considerations.

Zielonka joined the Express mid-season from the Omaha Lancers of the USHL in October. After getting his feet wet in the BCHL and not registering a point in his first game with Express, Zielonka went on a tear scoring 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points in 24 games. In those 24 games he dressed for the Express, Zielonka didn’t register a point in only two of those contests. For a player that didn’t spend a lot of time in an Express uniform, his impact will always be remembered. He will be attending Harvard University next fall.

Defenceman Ben Israel is in his first season in the BCHL. The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native scored 2 goals and 11 assists for 13 points in 30 games with the Chilliwack Chiefs this season. He’s listed at 5’10, 180 pounds.

Forward Garrett Forster is in his second season in the BCHL. This season the Delta, BC native had 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in Chilliwack. Last season he registered 6 goals and 14 assists for 20 points in 53 games.

20 year old forward Lars Hepso was acquired by the Express from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in exchange for future considerations. The 6 foot Penticton native has 11 goals and 8 assists for 19 points in 34 games this season with Alberni Valley. In September, Hepso earned a BCHL player of the week honor. He’s a 3 year veteran of the BCHL with 34 goals and 30 assists for 64 points in 138 career games all with Alberni Valley.

The Express have also added 19 year old forward Adam Rossignol. The 6 foot 184 pound Surrey native has  175 career games of WHL experience with the Kootenay Ice, Swift Current Broncos and Regina Pats. This season in Regina he had 9 goals and 5 assists for 14 points in 44 games.

The Express would like to thank Mitch, Phil and John for their contributions to the Express. And wish them the best of luck with their new clubs this year and next year in college and beyond.

And they would like to welcome Ben, Garrett, Lars and Adam to the club. 

Trades Made: 23
Trades Made Within BCHL: 13
Trades Made With Teams Outside BC: 10
Players: 30
Future Considerations: 22