The 2015-16 BCHL season was notable for many things including an RBC Cup national title for the West Kelowna Warriors and three first-round selections at the NHL Entry Draft.
But the number 148 will stand out as among the best things achieved during the last campaign. That’s the number of college commitments for players in the BCHL in 2015-16, the highest number in any single season in league history.
“Our league slogan is ‘Smart Hockey’ and it’s clear the development and exposure our players receive in the BCHL is preparing them to succeed at the next level and in life,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “Offering a chance at an education while pursuing a career in hockey is a fabulous combination and one we are proud to offer to so many players and their families.”
Of the 148 college commitments from 2015-16, there were 123 to NCAA Div. I programs, nine to Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), 11 to NCAA Div. III, three to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC), one to the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) and one to the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
The majority of the 148 college commitments were earned straight from the BCHL while a number of the scholarships were accepted by players prior to coming to the league.
“College programs that want their recruits to develop in our league before going to school are making an extremely strong endorsement of the opportunity we offer,” said BCHL communications director Brent Mutis. “The skill development and maturity that come with BCHL experience give coaches at the next level confidence that our graduates can step into their roster and contribute right away.”
Each of the 17 BCHL franchises had multiple college-committed players on their roster last season.
Several Div. I-committed players are returning for the 2016-17 season. (CLICK HERE to view the full lists for 2016-17 and for 2015-16).