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BCHL Next Generation: Cowichan Valley Capitals

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2022-23 season, we will be going team-by-team to profile new players coming in for the upcoming year. This will include recaps of offseason commitments and acquisitions, as well as scouting reports from the coaches.

We have moved into the Coastal Conference. Next up is the Cowichan Valley Capitals.


The Cowichan Valley Capitals picked up the final playoff spot in 2021-22, but were swept by the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the first round.

Offensively, the Caps were led by David Jacobs and Luke Haymes who finished one, two in team scoring. Both players are moving on to college this year, so they will rely on their new recruits and acquisitions, along with returning players, to fill that void.

Head coach and general manager Brian Passmore has put together a list of new recruits and also swung multiple trades this offseason with the hope of improving on last year’s campaign. He goes into detail on the new additions to the roster.

New recruits

Jacob Ierfino (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Châteauguay, Que.
  • Previous team: Portsmouth Abbey School (USHS-Prep)

Ierfino put up huge numbers for Portsmouth Abbey last year. He led the team with 24 goals in 26 games and added 19 assists to get to 43 points, also the most on the team.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“Jacob is going to be relied upon for some goal scoring. He has a great shot and he competes extremely hard. He’ll win a lot of foot races and get into the dirty areas to score goals. He loves to score. He had a great year at his prep school and put up a lot of points. He’s working really hard to come into our league and do the same.”

Kai Dunits (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Kanata, Ont.
  • Previous team: Ridley College (CPSHA)

Dunits was the leading scorer at Ridley in 2021-22, piling up 26 points in 20 games, including a team-best 11 goals.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“Kai can play centre or wing. He can make plays off the rush, he’s got good playmaking ability and he can finish. He was well-coached during his time at Ridley College. We hope he can be what Luke Haymes was for us last year.”

Greye Rampton (2004. F)

  • Hometown: Chilliwack, B.C.
  • Previous team: Yale Hockey Academy U18 Prep (CSSHL U18)

Rampton scored the second most goals on his team last year with 20 in 35 games. He added 13 assists to finish 2021-22 with 33 points.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“Greye is very skilled and great on his edges. He has good creativity as well. He can play centre or wing. He had a strong year with Yale last year, so we feel he’s ready to step in and play some minutes for us in key situations.”

Connor Brazil (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Previous team: Avon Old Farms School (USHS-Prep)

Brazil had eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points in 22 games last year for Avon.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“Connor is a crafty forward who is good on his edges and has great creativity. He also has a good shot. He’s able to make plays in tight spaces and has a high-level skillset.”

Andrew Haxton (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Wakefield, R.I.
  • Previous team: Noble & Greenough School (USHS-Prep)

Haxton tied for the second most goals on his prep school team last year with 11 in 26 games. He added six assists to give himself 17 points in 26 contests.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“Andrew is a very speedy right-shot player who likes to get in on the forecheck. He can play a bit of power play with his playmaking ability. He’s just a hard player to play against.”

Oliver Salo (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Kaarina, Finland
  • Previous team: Rothesay Netherwood School (U18 AAA)

Salo led his team scoring in 2021-22, piling up 68 points in 41 games. He is the son of former NHL defenceman Sami Salo.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“He’s a highly skilled, creative player with great poise and vision. He possesses and excellent shot and combines all of that with good size.”

Dawson Lukey (2004, F)

  • Hometown: St. Catharine’s, Ont.
  • Previous team: Gilmour Academy (USHS-Prep)

Lukey put up 46 points in 67 games for Gilmour Academy in Ohio last year on 20 goals and 26 assists.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“He’s another speedy forward that plays an aggressive style. He will take a little time to adjust after making the jump to the BCHL, but we feel like he’s a player that will make an impact down the road.”

Brandon Clarke (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Sydney, N.S.
  • Previous team: Rothesay Netherwood School (U18 AAA)

Clarke was the second-leading scorer at Rothesay Netherwood in New Brunswick last year, finishing his season with 51 points in 45 games across all competition. His 34 goals were the most on the team.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“Brandon is an energetic player. He plays a complete 200-foot game. He’s responsible in all three zones. He has an aggressive style and he hounds the puck.”

Saxen Robertson (2004, D)

  • Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
  • Previous team: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 18U (18U AAA)

Robertson played last season with the Penguins program as well as Selects Academy in Connecticut. He put up 17 points in 50 games with Pittsburgh.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“He’s a smooth-skating defenceman who plays a simple game. He’ll be able to contribute a bit offensively and help with our transition game. He’s really smooth on breakouts as well.”

Dimitri-Alexander Tzaferis (2003, D)

  • Hometown: Montreal, Que.
  • Previous team: Choate Rosemary Hall (USHS-Prep)

Tzaferis was the captain of his prep school team in Connecticut last year. He had a goal and four assists in 24 games.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“He’s an aggressive defenceman. He likes to finish every check and he can really move pucks quickly. He likes to pick his spots and skate the puck when he can. He should be a hard player to play against.”

Acquired via trade

Aaron Brown (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Belleville, Ont.
  • Previous team: Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
  • College commitment: Quinnipiac University

Brown split the 2021-22 season between the Wellington Dukes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and Green Bay of the USHL. He had seven assists in 27 games with Wellington and one assist in 21 games with Green Bay. Cowichan acquired his rights in a deal with Wellington just this week.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“He’s a puck-moving defenceman who skates well and plays an aggressive style. He will bring a lot of physicality. He has good size and range, makes a great first pass and has a high-level hockey IQ. He can make the right play under pressure and has high offensive upside.”

Jacob Gendron (2002, D)

  • Hometown: Prince George, B.C.
  • Previous team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)

Gendron did not play last year, but suited up for Vancouver of the Western Hockey League the previous two seasons. During his two years with the Giants, the 20-year-old appeared in 78 games. The Capitals acquired his rights from the Prince George Spruce Kings last week.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“Even though he didn’t play last year, he’ll come in and have a huge role on our team this year. As a 20-year-old, he brings a lot of experience. He should be a cornerstone of our blueline.”

Luke Busby (2002, D)

  • Hometown: Eden Prairie, Minn.
  • Previous team: Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL)

Busby had two goals and one assist last year in 51 games with Lloydminster of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He should be familiar with the BCHL as he played with the Coquitlam Express during the 2020 fall exhibition season. Another recent acquisition by the Capitals, they traded for his rights last week.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“He’s a nice skating defenceman that will help with his speed in transition. He has a great first pass, but his speed is where he well really help out our back end with breakouts and joining the rush.

Adam Leitch (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Maple Ridge, B.C.
  • Previous team: Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL)

Leitch played for three different teams last year, starting in Junior B with the Ridge Meadows Flames of the PJHL, then making the jump to the BCHL with the Victoria Grizzlies before finishing off with Prince George. He had 16 points in 19 games with Ridge Meadows and one assist in 18 BCHL contests. Cowichan traded for his rights earlier this month.

Passmore’s scouting report:

“He didn’t play much last year, but we feel he can come in and add depth to our team.”

Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Brazil, Haxton, Lukey), Joe Sargent (Robertson)