China has announced their men’s Olympic hockey roster and four former BCHL players will represent the host nation.
Former Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Zimeng “Simon” Chen, Vernon Vipers alumnus Cory Kane, Victoria Grizzlies grad Juncheng “Eddie” Yan and Coquitlam Express alum Brandon Yip are all included on the roster for the 2022 Beijing games.
All players on China’s roster currently play for Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
Yip played two BCHL seasons for Coquitlam from 2003 to 2005, racking up 131 points in 99 regular-season games before heading off to Boston University where he played another four years. He played five seasons in the NHL, mostly with the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators. He eventually went to Germany for two years, then joined Kunlun in 2017-18 and has played there four of the past five seasons.
Kane played two productive seasons in the BCHL for the Vipers from 2008 to 2010, collecting 97 points in 119 career regular-season games. He went on to play four years at Ferris State University and another two in the American Hockey League. After a one-year stop in Czechia in 2016-17, he has played for Kunlun ever since.
Chen played with the Capitals from 2016 to 2018 and earned a scholarship to the University of Alabama-Huntsville. After one year, the 24-year-old defenceman began playing in China and is now in first year playing for Kunlun.
Yan played in the BCHL as recently as last year, finishing up his three-year career with Victoria with 40 points in 88 games. He is also in his first year with Kunlun this season.
China will play in Group A along with Canada, Germany and the United States. They begin play on Feb. 10 against the U.S.
This is the first time China will compete in men’s hockey at the Olympics.