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Victoria Grizzlies reload with a pair of high-scoring forwards from Ontario

Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
MAY 7, 2019 10:03 PM

With B.C. Hockey League scoring leader Alex Newhook and New York Rangers draft pick Riley Hughes moving on to NCAA hockey in the fall, the Victoria Grizzlies, the highest-scoring team in the league last season, are losing a lot of their arsenal up front.

So Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon has been scouring the country looking for some high-powered weapons for the 2019-20 season.

He looks to have found them in a pair of 18-year-olds from Ontario.

Brendan Bowie of Burlington and Cody Monds of Brockville are coming off high-scoring seasons — Bowie at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ont., and Monds with Northwood Prep School in Lake Placid, New York — and both have already earned NCAA scholarships to St. Lawrence University for the fall of 2021.

“Both players come from quality hockey programs,” Didmon said.

“Brendan led his team in scoring and has a great hockey sense and can make something out of nothing. Cody also led his team in scoring and is lightning quick and creative as well. They’re both good character kids who will fit perfectly into the brand of hockey we like to play.”

Bowie, who turned 18 last month, lit up the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association to the tune of 54 goals, 60 assists for 114 points in 66 games. He also led the St. Andrew’s Saints to the playoff title, potting three goals and three assists in four post-season games.

And he’s well aware he’s coming to an offensive league.

“I chose the Grizzlies because I think their style of play suits my game and they always seem to have good teams, are always contenders,” said the five-foot-10, 175-pound Bowie, who can play both centre and wing.

“The BCHL is known for its speed and skill game and the league is known to be the best Junior A league in preparing players for the NCAA so I jumped at the chance to sign with the Grizzlies.”

Bowie, who was selected by the Sudbury Wolves in the 2017 Ontario Hockey League draft, visited Victoria in March and got to watch Grizzlies’ playoff games against Powell River.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Bowie. “The arena was great, the city was awesome and everyone I met was super nice so I can’t wait to get out there.”

Playing in the top prep school league in Ontario, Bowie has faced top competition, including going up against his soon-to-be teammate Monds, as well as a pair of brothers he’ll soon be getting to know better.

“I don’t them too well but I played against [Alex and Charlie] the Campbells a few times over the years and they’re both great players.”

Bowie is also familiar with a St. Andrew’s College alumnus whose name will be called early in next month’s NHL draft in Vancouver.

“Actually, I just missed playing with Alex [Newhook],” he added. “I was arriving just as he was leaving but I did get one practice in with him. Nice guy, great player, obviously.”

When the puck drops on the BCHL season in September, it won’t be the first taste of Junior A hockey for Bowie. He was called up by Aurora for three games and tallied two goals.

“I think I held my own in those games. The pace was a lot quicker and the players a little bigger but I was happy with the way I played.”

The speedy Monds led his Northwood team to the national championship tournament in Michigan where they made the semifinals. The five-foot-10, 170-pounder put up 39 goals and 55 assists in 66 games.

bdrewry@timescolonist.com

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