CJHL League of the Week: BCHL

CALGARY, Alta. With the game on hiatus for the foreseeable future, the Canadian Junior Hockey League is offering a league-by-league look at the 10 that comprise the CJHL.

The initial CJHL League of the Week features the BCHL.

Commissioner: Chris Hebb

Website: bchl.ca

Twitter: @GoBCHL

REGULAR SEASON: The 2019-20 campaign saw the Coquitlam Express finish on top in the 17-team BCHL with a league-best 47-9-1-1 record, ending up six points clear of the second place Penticton Vees.

The 96 points the Express posted was the most registered in the BCHL since the Vees racked up 101 back in 2015-16.

Coquitlam led the BCHL in goals scored with 227 and allowed the fewest tallies against at 127.

TOP SCORERS: Kent Johnson of the Trail Smoke Eaters was the runaway scoring leader in the BCHL this season, surpassing the century mark with 101, on 41 goals and 60 assists, in just 52 games.

Johnson paced all skaters in markers, helpers, power play markers (14), man advantage assists (25) and point-per-game average (1.94).

The University of Michigan NCAA D-I commit also tied for second in game-winning goals, with eight.

Ending up a distant second in BCHL offensive production was Surrey Eagles forward Christophe Tellier.

Tellier, who is heading to Quinnipiac on NCAA scholarship, registered 71 points by scoring 28 times and helping set-up 43 others.

Trail’s Michael Colella and Owen Ozar were third and tied for fourth in league numbers with 68 and 66 points respectively while Penticton’s Jay O’Brien joined Ozar for a share of fifth in scoring.

On the blueliner, veteran defenceman Akito Hirose of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, led all BCHL rearguards in with 51 points.

Heading to Minnesota State-Mankato to attend school and play NCAA hockey, Hirose finished two points clear of Jake Livingstone of the Langley Rivermen with Dimitri Mikrogiannakis sitting third among D-men with 46.

TOP TENDERS: Clay Stevenson of the league-leading Express, led all BCHL netminders in both goals-against average (1.77) and save percentage (.936).

He tied for the league-lead in wins on the year with Jordan Naylor of the Nanaimo Clippers as the duo both posted 30 victories in 2019-20.

Naylor was second in GAA (2.02) and save mark (.935) and registered a BCHL-high six shutouts.

Yaniv Perets of Penticton finished third in average at 2.19 and was second in shutouts with five.

BCHL BITS: The Penticton Vees are scheduled to host the 2021 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons. … The Chilliwack Chiefs, under head coach and general manager Brian Maloney, led the league in power play proficiency at 26.4%. … Jason Fortier’s Coquitlam side were tops on the penalty kill at 89.5%. … The Surrey Eagles tandem of Christophe Tellier and Hudson Schandor both posted BCHL-high 15-game point streaks this season. … The Express boasted an impressive 17-game winning streak from November 15 through January 5. … BCHL Award Winners: MVP: Kent Johnson (Trail); Rookie: Logan Terness (Trail); Top Defenceman: Akito Hirose (Salmon Arm); Top Goaltender: Clay Stevenson (Coquitlam); Most Sportsmanlike: Kent Johnson (Trail); Coach of the Year: Jason Fortier (Coquitlam); Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy – Regular Season champion: Coquitlam Express.

With files from Jesse Adamson, Coordinator, Content Services (BCHL)