Column: Jacob Bestebroer’s ones to watch at BCHL Showcase

Column: Jacob Bestebroer’s ones to watch at BCHL Showcase

Chilliwack’s Harrison Blaisdell, 16, is one of the young guns vying for the attention of scouts.

The sixth edition of the BCHL Bauer Showcase is underway this weekend at Prospera Centre. All 17 BCHL teams are in town to play two games in front of more than 100 National Hockey League and NCAA Scouts.

Each year at the Showcase, there are top-end young players that will be showing their stuff to all the scouts.

One player to watch is Victoria Grizzlies forward Alex Newhook. The 16 year old from St. John’s, NL has already accepted a scholarship to Boston College and is one of the top 16 year olds in the country.

Without a junior A league in his home branch and having family in Victoria, he was allowed by Hockey Canada to make the move to the BCHL. Under normal circumstances players cannot move out of branch to play junior A until they are 18 years old.

Last season he played Midget AAA hockey in Ontario where, as a 15 year old, he led the league in scoring with 74 points in 33 games.

It’s early, and things can change, but right now he is expected to be a first round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

The Grizzlies take on the Prince George Spruce Kings Saturday at 4 p.m. and the Coquitlam Express Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

The Penticton Vees, the only team to have a perfect 10-0 record through the first five editions of the BCHL Showcase, have a pair of highly touted 16 year olds on their roster.

Chiefs fans who watched last year’s finals would have already seen forward Massimo Rizzo. The Burnaby Winter Club product has started the season on the injured list but may be ready for this weekend.

Luke Reid, a 16 year old defenseman from Warman, SK., has also been allowed by Hockey Canada to move out of branch and is with the Vees this season. Penticton plays the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Friday at 4 p.m. before taking on Chilliwack Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

The Chiefs will, of course, have a highly regarded 16 year old of their own in the lineup.

Forward Harrison Blaisdell is expected to play two seasons here before moving on the University of North Dakota.

Blaisdell has two assists through the first four games of the season, playing a regular shift on the team’s second line as well as seeing regular work on both the power play and penalty kill units. He’s another player that could hear his name called early in the 2019 NHL entry draft.

The Chiefs take on the Nanaimo Clippers tonight (Friday) and the Penticton Vees Saturday. Both games are 7:30 p.m. starts. All schedule and ticket information can be found on the Chiefs website at chilliwackchiefs.net.

Day passes are available at just $17 for adults and $10 for youths.

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net