Three graduating BCHL skaters have committed to post secondary hockey programs over the last few weeks.
Former Prince George Spruce King captain Trevor Esau is the latest, signing on with the Simon Fraser University Clansmen. SFU plays in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) alongside the Eastern Washington Eagles, Selkirk Saints, Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack, Trinity Western Spartans and Victoria Vikes.
Esau, a hard-nosed six-foot-four defenceman, played three seasons with the Sprucies, racking 42 points and 290 penalty minutes in 159 games.
“Any time you can add a big defenseman and former captain to the lineup, you’re in good shape,” said SFU head coach Mark Coletta. “Trevor will be looked upon to step in and bring a physical presence that we have lacked in the last couple seasons.”
Graduating Surrey Eagles forward Trevor Cameron is joining to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Trojans, a Calgary-based school playing in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
Penticton Vee Ryan Gropp has an NCAA commitment in his back pocket as he returns for his second BCHL season.
Last season’s Interior conference rookie of the year will join the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux for the 2014-15 campaign.
The Kamloops native was the youngest BCHL skater in 2012-13, potting 12 goals and 31 points in 50 games. The 16-year-old added another nine points in 15 games as his Vees advanced to the BCHL final against Surrey. He will eventually join one of the most storied programs in NCAA hockey, one with 27 NCAA tournament and 19 Frozen Four appearances, plus seven division-one championships. North Dakota is set to play in the newly created National Collegiate Hockey Conference this fall.