Photo credit: Garrett James Photography (Stanley, Nadeau, Beckner, Suniev)
LANGLEY, B.C. – Six current BCHL players, two alumni in the NCAA and three others committed to BCHL teams next year were listed by NHL Central Scouting on their Midterm Rankings ahead of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft in June.
The list is headlined by University of Connecticut forward and Victoria Grizzlies alumnus Matthew Wood, who is listed in the top-10 among North American skaters, as well as the BCHL’s leading scorer, Bradly Nadeau of the Penticton Vees, who made the top-20.
#8 North American Skater
Matthew Wood (F) – University of Connecticut (Victoria Grizzlies)
Wood is the youngest player in college hockey, having received early eligibility to play in the NCAA as a 17-year-old. Through 22 games at UConn this year, he has eight goals, nine assists and 17 points.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 193 pounds, Wood tore up the BCHL last year, leading the league in scoring in his 16-year-old season with 85 points in 46 games, including a BCHL best 45 goals. He was named a First-Team All-Star, a member of the All-Rookie Team and the winner of the Bruce Allison Trophy as the league’s Rookie of the Year.
#19 North American Skater
Bradly Nadeau (F) – Penticton Vees
Nadeau has continuously raised his draft stock this year, piling up the points night after night. He started the year on a 17-game point streak and currently leads the BCHL in scoring with 64 points in 33 games, including a league-best 27 goals.
He has multiple points in 22 of his games played so far this year, including a season-best six points in a win on Dec. 30.
Nadeau is committed to the University of Maine.
#35 North American Skater
Aydar Suniev (F) – Penticton Vees
Suniev joined the Vees midseason in 2021-22 and took no time at all to get himself acclimated to the BCHL. He put up 20 points in 17 regular-season games down the stretch last year and picked up right where he left off in his sophomore season in the league. He sits third in BCHL scoring with 52 points in 29 games and his 23 goals are second most in the league.
He is committed to the University of Massachusetts.
#77 North American Skater
Hoyt Stanley (D) – Victoria Grizzlies
Stanley is the top BCHL defenceman on the list at number 77. After missing most of last year with an injury, he is back healthy again and contributing on the Grizzlies blueline. In 32 games this year, the 2005-born product of West Vancouver, B.C. has one goal and 20 assists for 21 points, which puts him in the top-15 in points by BCHL defencemen.
Stanley announced his commitment to Cornell University earlier this year.
#128 North American Skater
Owen Beckner (F) – Salmon Arm Silverbacks
After getting his feet wet in the BCHL last year, putting up 10 points in 42 games as a 16-year-old, Beckner leads the Silverbacks in scoring this season with 29 points in 32 games on 12 goals and 17 assists.
Prior to joining Salmon Arm last year, the Victoria, B.C. product played at St. George’s School in Vancouver.
He has a scholarship to Colorado College.
#196 North American Skater
Ryan Hopkins (D) – Penticton Vees
In his second season in the league, Hopkins has taken a step forward with his offensive game. Despite putting up solid number in 2021-22 with 31 points in 47 games, he has almost already matched that this year with 25 points in 20 less games played.
The 18-year-old also showed his ability to be clutch last year during the postseason where he contributed six points in 12 playoff games, including four in the finals alone as he helped the Vees to a Fred Page Cup championship.
He will play his college hockey at the University of Maine.
#199 North American Skater
Charles-Alexis Legault (D) – Quinnipiac University (West Kelowna Warriors)
Legault is in his freshman season at Quinnipiac where he has totaled a goal and five assists through 21 games.
Last year, he played his lone season in the BCHL with the Warriors and put up 18 points in 36 regular-season games. He was even more impressive in the postseason where he averaged a point per game with two goals and nine assists in 11 contests.
#200 North American Skater
AJ Lacroix (F) – Chilliwack Chiefs
Lacroix is in his second year with the Chiefs after racking up an impressive 40 points in 53 games in his rookie year as a 16-year-old.
This year, the 2004-born forward is second in team scoring with 26 points in 31 games, second in goals with 10 and tied for second with 16 assists.
He is committed to Michigan State University.
There are also three players committed to BCHL teams next year that were listed by Central Scouting:
- #106 North American Skater: Francesco Dell’Elce – St. Andrew’s College (Penticton Vees)
- #107 North American Skater: Larry Keenan – Culver Military Academy (Penticton Vees)
- #135 North American Skater: Jonathan Castagna – St. Andrew’s College (Penticton Vees)
About the BCHL:
Sending more players on to Division I college hockey every season than any other hockey league in Canada, the BCHL has established itself as a national leader in the development of young student athletes. Considering approximately a third of today’s NHL is made up of NCAA alumni, the BCHL has become a breeding ground for some the sport’s most elite and successful players. In 2021-22 alone, there were 196 BCHL players who received scholarships to top schools in the U.S. and Canada, including 173 with NCAA Division I commitments. The BCHL is also a leader in player safety, with a full-time Department of Player Safety, the toughest rules on fighting in North American junior hockey, as well as a league-wide independent Safe Sport Officer and an individual Athlete Advocate assigned to all 18 teams.
The BCHL is: Modern Hockey.