The BCHL season is finally in top gear and we’ve had many surprises so far throughout the early portion of the season. The 21-player card roster change has taken a tole on a few teams early in the season after some unforeseen transactions, but overall, most of the league’s minor rule changes have gone off without a hitch.
Early Season Surprises
Today we’ll take a look at a few Coastal Conference players who have made an early impact on the BCHL.
F Kyle Kramer ’92 – Nanaimo Clippers
A hard-nosed, agitator who has come to the rink everyday with a scoring touch for the clippers. Known before as an aggressive in-your-face type player, Kramer is now in his third year and proving that he is not just content with being a grinding third line checker in the BCHL. He’s positioning himself for a potential future in professional hockey and hopefully a scholarship, which he has yet to secure.
G Jamie Phillips ’93 – Powell River Kings
Phillips was a late summer addition, coming over from the RBC champ Pembroke Lumber Kings just before training camp kicked off for the River Kings. Phillips is a large goalie who has solid fluid movements, stays square to shooters, and flat out stops pucks. He has really stepped up in the Powell River crease and showed that he can compete with the top goaltenders in the BCHL. Phillips is a former 4th-round pick of the Sarnia Sting back in 2009 who elected to bypass the OHL route in pursuit of a Division 1 NCAA scholarship. Phillips is now fortunate enough to showcase his skills with one of the top development teams in the BCHL – and thus far he has proven to be a reliable goaltender as he leads the BCHL in every major statistical category for goaltenders.
F Alex Kerfoot ’94 – Coquitlam Express
After making headlines in Vancouver last season after break Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scoring records in the BC Major midget league, Kerfoot has not slowed his pace now that he has made the step to Jr A. An adept player who has some of the nicest hands and hockey vision i’ve seen in a long time. The 17-year-old center already is among the league’s top scorers with 13 points through his first 8 games.
16-year-old’s Make Early Impact
The BCHL has also implemented a new 16-year-old player rule for the 2011-12 season. Every team in the league must card at least 1 16-year-old player on their roster, with a few of those players already making noticeable impacts on the league.
F Brendan Taylor ’95 – Nanaimo Clippers
Brendan hasn’t been in the lineup every night, but when he has been in he definitely has not looked out of place. With only 1 point in 5 games, Taylor needs to get stronger like almost every 16-year-old, but if his body continues to mature, he has the ability to make small plays that many fans don’t notice but hockey scouts and coaches drool over. His strong hockey sense is allowing him to play at this level already and should help him become a great offensive player as he continues to refine his game.
C Evan Tironese ’95 – Alberni Valley Bulldogs
Tironese came to the Bulldogs from the prestigious Notre Dame Hounds program in Saskatchewan. So far the 5-foot-8 center doesn’t look out of place at all with a pretty strong group of forwards on the team. Tironese is a smooth skater who has handled the increase pace of the league quite well, also finding some early chemistry with his linemates. With 4 points through his first 7 BCHL games, Tironese looks to be a player who can have a legitimate offensive role at this point of his career and a player who will surely continue to find the scoresheet moving forward.