2023-24 BCEHL SEASON PREVIEW
For Immediate Release
September 14, 2023
Saanichton, B.C. - The 2023-24 British Columbia Elite Hockey League (BCEHL) season kicks-off this weekend with eight teams taking the ice throughout the province. A pair of matchups start off the U15 season, while the U18 and U17 seasons get going with a single matchup. Let's take a look at each league before things get underway.
Female U18 AAA
The Female U18 league kicks-off with a weekend series between the Thompson-Okanagan Lakers and Greater Vancouver Comets on September 23 and 24, while the remainder of the league gets going at the opening showcase of the season at Surrey Sport & Leisure Centre on September 29.
Seeking a threepeat in 2023-24, the two-time defending league champs, Fraser Valley Rush, enter the season with lots of fresh faces as only eight players will return from last year's squad that claimed a silver medal at the 2023 Esso Cup. With reigning BCEHL all-stars Leah Barnard, Aynsley D'Ottavio and Vienna Rubin all moving on to collegiate hockey, Fraser Valley will look for returning players Nahvin Bal, Emily Chan, Madeline Collins, Hannah Dods, Cassandra Kehler, Katherine Leroux, Anna McKee, and Rebecca Noble to lead the team this upcoming season. Fraser Valley begins their title defense on September 29 against the Northern Capitals at the Female AAA Showcase in Surrey.
The Thompson-Okanagan Lakers will be the host team for the 2024 Esso Cup in April of 2024, and will kick off their campaign on September 23 against the Vancouver Island Seals. With 15 players returning from last year's team that made it to the BCEHL Championship Final, the Lakers boast an experienced squad that features reigning BCEHL Female U18 AAA all-star Hannah Robertson, along with Alexandra Recsky, who finished second in team scoring last year with 19 points (6g-13a).
The full schedule for the 2023-24 Female U18 AAA league season can be found here.
The Okanagan Rockets and the Vancouver Island Royals will open up the U18 regular season in Kelowna on September 16 and 17. The following weekend will see a full-slate of action as nine teams will hit the ice on September 23 and 24.
Coming off a 2023 BCEHL Championship victory and an appearance at the Pacific Regional Championship, the Okanagan Rockets will look to carry last season's success into this coming season. There will be plenty of opportunity for new players to make an impact as the majority of last year's squad have moved forward in their hockey careers. The Rockets' lineup will receive a boost in the form of a trio of WHL Draft selections, Logan Jugnauth, the 125th-overall selection by the Prince George Cougars, Hayden Laing, the 191st-overall selection by the Tri City Americans and Kylen Martens, the 189th-overall selection by the Tri City Americans, all coming up from the U15 Rockets squad.
The Valley West Giants will look to make strides this season with a mix of seven returning players from last year's U18 Giants squad, along with nine players coming up from the U17 team. Among the returning skaters are Landon Jassman (4g-11a) and Jordan Wales (7g-8a), who each put up 15 points last season, while the incoming players include Avery Lowe (16g-24a) and Ryder Marks (19g-26a), who were the leading scorers for the U17 Giants last season.
The full schedule for the 2023-24 U18 AAA league season can be found here.
After claiming the BCEHL U17 AAA Championship last season, all teams will be aiming to knock off the Okanagan Rockets from the top of the mountain.
The U17 Greater Vancouver Canadians will add 11 players from the U15 Canadians squad that hoisted the BCEHL U15 AAA Championship trophy last season. Among the incoming players are Nishaan Gill (11g-21a) and Sorash Ramlal (14g-15a), who were the team's leading scorers last season. They'll also welcome the goaltending tandem of Liam Leslie and Alan Peregyrm, who split the net with the U15 squad last season. Kendric Liu and Josh Mantle will provide some experience, returning from last year's U17 Canadians. Liu registered 21 points (11g-10a) in 32 games, while Mantle had 17 points (4g-13a) in 35 games.
With 12 players incoming from the U15 squad, the Vancouver NE Chiefs will look to make some noise with many new faces in the lineup. Among them are forward Rylan Osmack, who finished tied for fifth in U15 league scoring with 38 points (17g-21a) in 28 games, and defender Brett Tomlin, who totaled 17 points (2g-15a) in 28 games, claiming January's BCEHL U15 Player of the Month.
The full schedule for the 2023-24 U17 AAA league season can be found here.
The U15 AAA league gets going on September 16-17 with a pair of matchups as the Okanagan Rockets and Vancouver Island Royals square off, and the Cariboo Cougars and Vancouver NE Chiefs do battle. The following weekend, all nine teams will gather at Langley Twin Rinks from September 22-24 for the first of two showcases on the season.
A new season in the U15 league means a fresh crop of talented players, along with a number of new coaches behind the bench.
There are three squads in the U15 league that have new head coaches. Cody Campbell will step behind the bench for the Thompson Blazers, the Valley West Giants welcome Chris Rengert as head coach, and Reid Robertson assumes head coaching duties for the Vancouver NW Hawks.
The full schedule for the 2023-24 U15 AAA league season can be found here.
If you can’t make it out the games you can stream all BCEHL games live at: www.playfullscreen.com.
To stay up to date on everything going on in the BCEHL visit the website to view schedules, standings, stats, and scores: BCEHL.net, follow @BCEHL on X, @BCEHL_AAA on Instagram, and join the conversation by using #BCEHLAAAHOCKEY