Photo credits: Darren Francis (Martino), Garrett James Photography (Johnson), Jack Murray (Bar)
Even though the 2020 NHL Draft took place earlier this month, NHL Central Scouting has already released its initial Players to Watch list for the 2021 draft and there are eight BCHL players named.
The list is separated into three categories, with A Prospects considered potential first-round picks, B Prospects projected to go in the second or third round and C Prospects in the fourth round or later.
Kent Johnson (F) – Trail Smoke Eaters (University of Michigan)
Johnson led the BCHL with 101 points in 2019-20. His 41 goals and 60 assists were also tops in the league. He was awarded the Vern Dye Memorial trophy as the BCHL’s Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the season. He also took home the Johnson took home national honours as well when he was named the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Top Forward.
Over his two seasons in the BCHL, Johnson amassed 147 points in 112 regular-season games.
Johnson is projected by many to be a top-10 pick and some even have him as a top-five pick in the draft.
He is currently awaiting the start of his freshman season at the University of Michigan.
Jack Bar (D) – Penticton Vees
Bar is in his first BCHL season with the Vees. So far, through nine preseason games, he has two goals and three assists.
The Newmarket, Ont. native comes to the BCHL after spending two full seasons at St. Andrew’s College. He was named assistant captain last year in his final season with the team, while leading them in scoring from the blueline last year with 52 points in 49 games.
Bar has a scholarship to Harvard University.
Ayrton Matino (F) – Chilliwack Chiefs
The 18-year-old currently leads the Chiefs in scoring with seven points in six preseason contests. All seven of his points are assists, which also leads the team.
Martino previously played for the St. Michael’s Buzzers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), where he spent two seasons. Last year, he led his team and finished third in all of the OJHL with 79 points in 48 games. He was also named a Second-Team All-Star.
He is committed to Clarkson University next season.
Charles-Alexis Legault (D) – West Kelowna Warriors
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Legault has one goal and three assists for four points so far in five preseason games for West Kelowna.
The Kelowna, B.C. native played his youth hockey for the Lac St-Louis Lions program in Quebec. He captained his midget team in his final year in 2019-20 and finished with eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points in 29 games.
He is committed to play at Boston University next season.
Jason Marsella (D) – Penticton Vees
Marsella, from Greenwich, Conn., has played in six preseason contests for the Vees so far in 2020-21 and has one goal.
Prior to joining the Vees this past offseason, the 17-year-old defenceman played at Avon Old Farms School last year. He was the team’s second-highest scoring defenceman with 16 points in 27 games. He also spent time with the North Jersey Avalanche 16U and 18U programs the last several years.
Marsella has a scholarship to Yale University starting next season.
Owen Murray (D) – Penticton Vees
Murray leads his team and is tied for the league lead in points by a defenceman this preseason with seven in 10 games.
From Decker, Man., Murray played the last two years with the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). He put up 41 points in 55 games in his rookie season in 2018-19 to lead the Terriers in points from the blueline. That year, he was a finalist for the MJHL’s Rookie of the Year and made the All-Rookie Team. The Terriers also captured an MJHL championship and made an appearance in the National Junior A Championship tournament.
The 17-year-old is committed to the University of Massachusetts next season.
Sasha Teleguine (F) – Chilliwack Chiefs
The Chiefs made Teleguine one of their first acquisitions this offseason when they announced he had committed to the team back in March.
The 18-year-old from North Attleboro, Mass. played the previous three season at Thayer Academy. In his final year with the team in 2019-20, he led them in goals with 21, assists with 31 and points with 52. He finished his prep school career with 89 points in 83 games over three years.
He is committed to Northeastern University next year.
Finlay Williams (F) – Penticton Vees
The BCHL veteran has three goals and four assists in nine preseason games during the 2020-21 extended training camp.
Williams spent last season with the Prince George Spruce Kings where he had 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 40 regular-season games. The North Vancouver, B.C. native broke into the league as a 15-year-old affiliate with Prince George during the 2018-19 season, but he announced his arrival during the 2019 Fred Page Cup championship series when he scored the game-winning goal in a 4-1 Game 2 victory against the Vernon Vipers.
Williams in committed to play at the University of Michigan starting next season.