BC born players making NCAA impact

The BCHL is supplying NCAA hockey with a pipeline of BC born-and-raised talent.

College Hockey Inc., the official advocacy group of NCAA division-one hockey, paid a visit to the busy North Shore Winter Club July 23.

About 75 players, born in 1999 and 2000, laced up for exhibition games followed by an information session on the NCAA game and how to get there.

The BCHL has averaged 98 division-one scholarships per year over the last five seasons.

Last year, 108 British Columbia-born players suited up for division-one programs, making B.C. the greatest source of college hockey talent in the country.

“I think the BCHL’s track record speaks for itself,” said BCHL executive director Trevor Alto, who attended the event at North Shore Winter Club. “Every year, B.C.-born and trained hockey players choose the BCHL as a path to college hockey and we see increasing demand from across Canada and the United States to be in our league as a step to the next level.”

B.C. players highlighting the NCAA landscape last season included goalie Michael Garteig (Prince George) of Quinnipiac University, forward Scott Jacklin (Kimberley) of Robert Morris University, Connor and Kellen Jones (Montrose) of Quinnipiac University and Colton Beck (Langley) of the University of Alaska.

“NCAA coaches have known for years that the qualities they look for – specifically talent and intelligence – are abundant in British Columbia,” said College Hockey Inc. deputy executive director Nate Ewell. “Some of the best players to play at U.S. colleges have come from B.C. and the BCHL, and that’s something we expect will continue for years to come.”

The BCHL opens the 2014-15 season Sept. 19-21 at the annual Bauer BCHL Showcase happening at Prospera Place in Chilliwack.

All 16 BCHL teams will be under one roof with as many as 200 scouts from the college and professional levels taking in the action.

See bchl.ca