A pair of former Trail Smoke Eaters earned the Vancouver Canucks scholarship for the upcoming year.
Jeremy Lucchini from Trail and Montrose native Spencer McLean were two of seven former BCHL players selected for the scholarship.
Since 1987, the BCHL and the Canucks Alumni have provided scholarships to players who have graduated from the BCHL with the goal of continuing their academic careers. The recipients of the scholarships are determined by a selection committee from the BCHL and are based on the individual’s academics, hockey and community service.
“Not only are our current players important to us, but so are the young men that graduate from our league and go on to do great things in life, whether it’s in hockey or elsewhere,” said BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb in a release. “This scholarship program is an essential part of us recognizing those former players in the league and helping them achieve their education goals.”
The 22-year-old McLean, a skilled and relentless forward, tallied 76 points and played in 214 games for the Smoke Eaters over four seasons (2015-19), and attended Grant McEwan University this year, playing in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
Lucchini also skated in four seasons as a defenceman with the Smoke Eaters (2014-18), scoring 75 points in 175 games. The 23-year-old led all defencemen in points in his second year at York University.
Both players also played a season for the BC Major Midget Kootenay Ice and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, with Lucchini raising a Cyclone Taylor and Keystone Cup with the KIJHL Nitehawks in 2014.
This year’s recipients will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship to a Canadian post-secondary institution.
The Canucks Alumni have been providing scholarships to former BCHL players for the past 33 years.
“Led by the Board of Directors and the Scholarship Committee, the Board has always viewed awarding hockey scholarships as one of their primary benefits for the youth of British Columbia – combining education and athletics with the hopeful goal of developing future business leaders,” said Bob Murray, President of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni.
As one of the league’s Founding Partners, this is the first season that LNG Canada has been involved with the Scholarship Program.
“One of the main reasons we wanted to partner with the BCHL is that their key pillars align with ours and this is a perfect example of that,” said Susannah Pierce, Director of Corporate Affairs for LNG Canada. “Promoting education is of the utmost importance to us and being able to partner with the league and the Canucks Alumni on this scholarship initiative was a great fit.”
Other scholarship recipients include:
Trevor Esau – Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (Prince George Spruce Kings – 159 GP)
Vincent Millette – University of Moncton (Nanaimo Clippers/Cowichan Valley Capitals – 130 GP)
Eric Margo – Queen’s University (Coquitlam Express/Nanaimo Clippers/Alberni Valley Bulldogs – 160 GP)
Marcus Tesink – Concordia University (Chilliwack Chiefs – 86 GP)
Callum Volpe – University of Victoria (Vernon Vipers/Powell River Kings/Chilliwack Chiefs – 137 GP)
As part of previously-awarded scholarships, the BCHL and Canucks Alumni will also continue to provide financial support to:
Jaime Bourbonnais – Cornell University (granddaughter of alum Roger Bourbonnais)
Domenic Masellis – Simon Fraser University (Surrey Eagles/Langley Rivermen/Penticton Vees/Coquitlam Express – 214 GP)
Skylar Pacheco – Brock University (Prince George Spruce Kings/Cowichan Valley Capitals – 221 GP)