BCHL Hockey Insight : Canada’s Hyper-Competitive Jr. A League

It can be debated, but no intelligent hockey observer would argue that the BCHL is among the top junior hockey leagues on the planet. Based in Western Canada, the BCHL has produced some great NHL’ers throughout the years. The best player in the history of the league is probably Brett Hull, who scored a record 105 goals in the 83′-84′ season. More recently the league has produced the likes of Paul Karyia , Jamie Benn, Willie Mitchell, Duncan Keith, Brandon Yip, David Jones, Beau Bennett, Justin Schultz, Tanner Glass and Kyle Turris.

Cornell's Mitch Gallam - Source : HockeyNow.Ca
Cornell’s Mitch Gallam – Source : HockeyNow.Ca

Some teams in the league average about 2,000 fans a night (Chilliwack & Pentiction) and others about a quarter of that (Powell River & Merritt). The organizations are serious, there are GM’s, advertising rights, team signage at the arenas, season ticket packages, the works. These teams represent their geographic areas and fans flock to see high-level Jr. A hockey at its best.

Today, there are 15 teams in 3 conferences in the BCHL.

Merritt Centennials
Penticon Vees
Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Vernon Vipers
Trail Smoke Eaters
West Kelowna Warriors

Chilliwack Chiefs
Coqtilam Express
Langley Rivermen
Surrey Eagles
Price George Spruce Kings

Alberni Valley Bulldogs
Cowichan Valley Capitals
Nanaimo Clippers
Victoria Grizzlies
Powell River Kings

Recent Champs (since 2000)

2014 — Coquitlam
2013 — Surrey
2012 — Penticton
2011 — Vernon
2010 — Vernon
2009 — Vernon
2008 — Penticton
2007 — Nanaimo
2006 — Burnaby
2005 — Surrey
2004 — Nanaimo
2003 — Vernon
2002 — Chilliwack
2001 — Victoria
2000 — Chilliwack

A few interesting facts on the league :

The Williams Lake Timberwolves were dropped from the league for basically not being good enough.
The Wenatachee Wild (NAHL) have applied twice to become members of the BCHL.

 

 

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