Forty of the BCHL’s brightest stars will skate in the 2022 Top Prospects Game in Penticton.
A showcase event for players who are eligible to be drafted by National Hockey League teams, the game will take place Jan. 14 as part of the league’s 60th Anniversary All-Star Weekend. A full 60-minute match, it will see 20 Coastal Conference representatives take on 20 from the Interior Conference. While the rosters are almost evenly split between the two conferences, some 19-year-old players will play outside their conference to make the numbers work.
On the Coastal Conference side, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs lead the way with five selections. They are goaltender Hobie Hedquist, defenceman Braden Blace and Emanuelson Charbonneau and forwards Ethan Bono and Mirko Buttazzoni.
The Victoria Grizzlies supply goalie Kyle Kelsey along with defenceman Eli Barnett and forwards Ellis Rickwood and Matthew Wood.
Other players on the Coastal Conference roster are blueliners Matthew Campbell (Coquitlam), Abram Wiebe (Chilliwack) and Talon Zakall (Vernon), joined by forwards Michael Abgrall (Surrey), John Herrington (Prince George), Cameron Johnson (Chilliwack), Simon Labelle (Prince George), AJ Lacroix (Chilliwack), Karter McNarland (Powell River), Nick Rheaume (Prince George) and Grayden Slipec (Surrey).
The Interior Conference will be backstopped by a pair of Coastal goalies, Chilliwack’s Grant Riley and Langley’s Ajeet Gundarah.
The All-Star hosting Penticton Vees supply defender Ryan Hopkins and Joshua Niedermayer and forwards Bradley Nadeau, Joshua Nadeau and Fin Williams.
Other players on the Interior Conference roster are defencemen Tristan Allen (Merritt), Jacob Dewitt (Merritt), Tyson Jugnauth (Salmon Arm) and Lucas Matta (Salmon Arm), joined by forwards Tyson Dyck (Cranbrook), Cade Littler (Wenatchee), Cam MacDonald (Vernon), Zach Michaelis (Trail), Davide Patella (Merritt), Luke Pfoh (Cranbrook), Noah Serdachny (Salmon Arm) and Felix Trudeau (West Kelowna).
The two coaches come from the teams currently leading the two conferences.
Burt Henderson of the Langley Rivermen will guide the Coastal Conference while Penticton Vee’s hockey boss Fred Harbinson coaches the Interior.