Scouts flock to Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre for BCHL Showcase

National Hockey League and NCAA talent evaluators saw 17 BCHL teams in action twice last weekend.

A record number of college and professional scouts registered for this year’s Bauer BCHL Showcase.

There were well over 200 in attendance and they were treated to an excellent showing by all 17 BCHL clubs.

Eight games were decided by one goal and two games wound up tied after double-overtime.

All games were held on the main ice sheet at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre, made possible by adding an extra day to the proceedings.

“It was a five-day event this year, but to get all our teams on centre stage was invaluable for those watching,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale.

Each of the 31 National Hockey League clubs was represented.

At least 55 NCAA division one programs sent representatives.

“The BCHL is a league that we watch very closely and have to do a good job in,” said Eddie Olczyk Jr., assistant coach at Bemidji State University. “Some of our best players have come from the league, including NHLer Brad Hunt, who was a big part of the success we had getting to the Frozen Four in 2009.”

Evaluators from the NCAA’s division three ranks also attended along with reps from the BCIHL, a collegiate league that includes Simon Fraser University and Trinity Western U.

For scouts from the pro ranks, the chance to view all the league’s players in regular-season games is significant.

“The opportunity to see all of the BCHL players in meaningful games is hugely beneficial for NHL Central Scouting and the 31 NHL clubs,” said NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr. “Every year there is a great deal of young talent developed in the BCHL and this event raises awareness of prospects eligible for the 2018 and 2019 NHL drafts.”

Going into the Showcase, there were already 77 players committed to NCAA programs and four drafted by NHL clubs. Since the event wrapped up on Sunday, two more players have committed to NCAA programs.

Last year, the BCHL had a record 150 players commit to college programs.

See bchl.ca

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