Chilliwack Chiefs rookie Harrison Blaisdell impresses at BCHL Showcase

All 17 teams came to Chilliwack last week to play two games apiece at Prospera Centre.

During the BCHL hockey season Jacob Bestebroer writes a weekly column in the Chilliwack Progress sports section examining the Chilliwack Chiefs and goings-on around the junior A world.

Here are a few notes and observations from the Bauer BCHL Showcase that wrapped up Sunday in Chilliwack.

It was once again a great event and Chiefs forward Tommy Lee came out of it with a scholarship to RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in Troy, New York.

Lee, the ninth member of the Chiefs to secure an NCAA scholarship, was recruited by RPI assistant coach and Chiefs alum Nolan Graham.

Graham spent two seasons with the Chiefs, beginning in 1997, before playing four seasons at RPI himself.

He ranks 20th on the all time Chiefs scoring list with 63 goals and 149 points in 118 games.

Lee becomes the fourth Chief to graduate to RPI following Graham, Nathan Marsters and Kevin Broad.

The Penticton Vees continue to dominate the Showcase, winning both games to improve their record at this event to a perfect 12-0. After a not so Vees like performance in a 3-2 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Friday, they returned to form Saturday, knocking off the Chiefs 6-3.

Two of the 16 years olds I mentioned in last week’s column caught the eyes of National Hockey League scouts.

Victoria Grizzlies forward Alex Newhook showed that he is a first line player on any BCHL team, picking up three assists in each of the Grizzlies two games.

He now has a goal and nine assists in his first six BCHL games and you can look for him to lead the league in scoring next season. Chiefs forward Harrison Blaisdell picked up his first BCHL goal against Nanaimo before adding two assists Saturday against Penticton.

The NHL scouts I talked to were very impressed with both players and both are eligible for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

After visiting Trail and West Kelowna this weekend the Chiefs return to home ice Oct. 6 to take on the Wenatchee Wild.

On that night, one member each from the Chilliwack Fire Department, RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Service will receive the Matthew Hutchinson Emergency Services Memorial Award.

Hutchinson spent the 2011-12 season with the Chiefs before moving on to the State University of New York in Geneseo. He was a volunteer fireman who was killed in January of 2016.

On a ligher note, the Chiefs will also unveil their new mascot that night.

Chief Wannawin’s replacement will make his or her debut during the first intermission. A name the mascot contest will follow. and you can check out the Chiefs website at chilliwackchiefs.net for more details.

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net

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