Hockey season is back, and so is Jacob Bestebroer.
The local hockey guru returns with his weekly column, with thoughts on the Chilliwack Chiefs and goings on around the BCHL.
This week, he muses about the just completed Showcase and this weekend’s official home opener at Prospera Centre.
Some random thoughts from the BCHL Showcase held at Prospera Centre this past weekend and the start of the normal part of the regular season on Friday
It was quite something to see so many American university coaches/scouts and National Hockey League Scouts at Prospera Centre last weekend. Each NHL team had a minimum of three scouts there and the total number of talent evaluators was upwards of 160.
The number of great hockey stories told by these guys had to top 10,000. I wish I’d been able to hear them all.
NHL Central Scouting was also there, measuring and weighing the players.
Chiefs defenseman Cooper Rush is the tallest player in the league at six-foot-seven (and a half). Penticton Vees forward Cody Depourcq is the shortest at five-foot-four. The Vees have him listed as five-foot-six.
Chiefs volunteers were amazing.
Long days were put in by a lot of people and you were a key part of the success of the event. Much appreciated.
The Chiefs split their two games, losing 2-1 to Penticton and defeating Nanaimo 2-1.
Overall I thought they played well, but a better presence by forwards in front of the opposing net is going to be needed going forward. I’ve watched Harvey Smyl coach for long enough to know that that part of the Chiefs game will improve.
Chiefs goaltender Mitch Gillam was at his best and looks like a lock to get his name on the Chiefs MVP trophy again this season. Last year he shared it with Malcolm Gould.
The Chiefs are in a more geographically friendly division this season with Langley, Coquitlam, Surrey and Prince George.
Wait. Did I say geographically friendly?
There is not a weak team in this group but one of them will miss the playoffs. One thing Chiefs fans should hope for is for games involving those other teams to not to be decided in overtime. In that situation three points will be given out, two to the winner and one to the loser. Only two points get given out in games decided in regulation or that end in a tie.
Chilliwack starts the season with two 16 year olds on their roster. Mitch Skapski and Matt Revel both made the team. Both are from Abbotsford and have played together for a long time.
The first 1,000 fans through the doors at Saturday’s official home opener versus Surrey will receive free magnet schedules.
The Chiefs are now accepting requests for ‘Read with the Chiefs’ visits from elementary schools.
This popular program fills up quickly, so send your request to email@example.com or call 604-392-4433.
Also returning is the Great Canadian Oil Change 7th man program. Kids get to skate out with the Chiefs players and line up beside them for the National Anthem. They also receive four tickets for the game. You can enter at either location of Great Canadian Oil Change.