BCHL, Smoke Eaters, commit record number

The BCHL saw a record number of players commit to NCAA and USports hockey this season

For the sixth year in a row, the BCHL 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.

Related read: Smoke Eaters forward commits to Northern Michigan

In all, the Trail Smoke Eaters contributed in a big way to that total, committing a dozen players to NCAA and USports programs, compared to nine in 2018-19, and eight in 2017-18.

The Chilliwack Chiefs committed 18 players, the Coquitlam Express 16, and the Penticton Vees will send 15 to University.

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 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.

Trail Smoke Eaters committments include:

  • Kent Johnson, University of Michigan (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21
  • Philippe Lapointe, University of Michigan (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21
  • Mike Colella,Northern Michigan (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21
  • Carson Briere Mercyhurst (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21

  • Powell Connor Michigan State (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21

  • Braden Costello North Dakota (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21

  • Diarmad DiMurro RIT (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21

  • Tyler Ghirardosi Quinnipiac (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21

  • Matthew Osadick Maine (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21

  • Owen Ozar Denver (NCAA Div. I) 2021-22

  • Cody Schiavon Yale (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21

  • Connor Sweeney New Hampshire (NCAA Div. I) 2020-21


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