The National Hockey League (NHL) has opened their training camps for the 2021 season, featuring a total of 48 BC Hockey League alumni and 12 former Vees hitting the ice.
Each of the NHL’s 31 teams has begun their training camps in anticipation of a Wednesday, January 13th opening night. Four of the forty-eight BCHL alumni will all suit up in training camp on the same squad as the Detroit Red Wings have Troy Stecher, Kevin Boyle, Taro Hirose and Dennis Cholowski are all competing for a spot.
The 12 Vees alumni that have hit the ice for NHL camps are as follows:
F Zac Dalpe (Columbus Blue Jackets)
F Steven Fogarty (Buffalo Sabres)
F Ryan Johansen (Nashville Predators)
F Tyson Jost (Colorado Avalanche)
F Curtis McKenzie (St. Louis Blues)
D Dante Fabbro (Nashville Predators)
D Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)
D Colton Poolman (Calgary Flames)
D Mike Reilly (Ottawa Senators)
D Troy Stecher (Detroit Red Wings)
G Hunter Miska (Colorado Avalanche)
G Brad Theissen (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Johansen and Jost were mainstays on their NHL rosters last season, playing in key situations while Fogarty joins the Sabres after four seasons with the New York Rangers organization. Dalpe and McKenzie played last season in the American Hockey League (AHL) and will look to try and crack their way onto an NHL roster.
The blue liners have seen a substantial amount of time playing at the highest level as Fabbro, Keith, Reilly and Stecher will come into the 2021 season with spots in the NHL. Poolman signed a late contact with the Flames after his four-year collegiate career at the University of North Dakota came to an end and will try to push for some NHL ice time this season.
The two goaltenders in camps this season are on the opposite ends of their playing careers with Miska entering his fourth season of pro hockey and joined the Avalanche for their playoff run in the bubble in Edmonton last season. Theissen, on the other hand, is making his way into his 11th season in pro hockey and has played the last three years with Columbus’ farm team as a player/coach and will continue that role this season.