For the sixth year in a row, the B.C. Hockey League has set a new record for committed players to NCAA or Canadian University programs.
After a surge of players announced their commitments over the last week, that brings the league’s total to 172 for the 2019-20 season, surpassing last season’s high mark of 169.
The league has also passed its previous best mark of players committed to NCAA Division I programs with 166, compared to last year’s 151.
The list includes nine members of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks: Grant Adams (St. Lawrence, NCAA Div. 1, 2020-21); Antonio Andreozzi (Brown, NCAA Div. 1, 2020-21); Jeremy Gervais (Lake Superior State, NCAA Div. 1, 2020-21); Akito Hirose (Minnesota State, NCAA Div. 1, 2020-21); Ethan Langenegger (Lake Superior State, NCAA Div. 1, 2020-21); Luke Mylymok (Minnesota-Duluth, NCAA Div. 1, 2020-21); William Poirier (McGill, Canada U-SPORTS, 2020-21); Daniel Rybarik (Alaska-Anchorage, NCAA Div. 1, 2020-21); Nick Unruh (Dartmouth, NCAA Div. 1, 2020-21).
These numbers will only grow in the coming weeks as more and more players decide their college hockey future.
“The BCHL prides itself on moving players up to the NCAA ranks,” said BCHL executive director Steven Cocker. “Our alumni aren’t just surviving, but thriving in college, as leaders and captains of their respective schools.
“Whether it’s seeing former BCHL players in the NHL, or moving on to become CEOs, lawyers or doctors, we are incredibly proud to call them our alumni. We are thrilled to hit this milestone, however, there is more to come.”
The Chilliwack Chiefs led all BCHL teams with 18 commitments while the Penticton Vees and Coquitlam Express each have 16 players agreeing to scholarships.
The BCHL has seen a steady rise in college-committed players since the early 2000s. In 2003-04, the league had 71 player commitments, but by the 2008-09 season, the number had grown to 111 and has been climbing ever since.