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BCHL Next Generation: Cranbrook Bucks

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 will start with the Interior Conference. First up is the Cranbrook Bucks


In their first full season in the league, the Bucks announced their arrival in the BCHL in a major way. After getting their feet wet during the pod season, Cranbrook emerged as a true contender, finishing fifth in the always competitive Interior Conference last year with a 29-20-2-3 record and taking the Prince George Spruce Kings to six games in the first round of the BCHL playoffs.

The Bucks leaned on a young core last year, which included First-Team All-Star and Rookie of the Year finalist Tyson Dyck, who was recently selected by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL Entry Draft. Dyck is moving on to the University of Massachusetts in the fall, but the Bucks still have strong returning forwards like Noah Quinn, Kellan Hjartarson and Luke Pfoh to go along with a veteran defence corps and a solid goaltender in Nathan Airey who is fresh off being invited to Calgary Flames development camp.

Head coach Ryan Donald will attempt to blend that returning talent with a group of new recruits set to make their BCHL debut in the fall.

New recruits

Donovan Frias (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Hudson, Mass.
  • Previous team: St. George’s School (USHS-Prep)
  • College commitment: Yale University

Frias played at St. George’s School in Rhode Island two of the last three years, alongside his twin brother Julian who is also committed to the Bucks. He led his prep school in scoring last season with 35 points in 11 contests on 11 goals and a team-high 24 assists.

Donald’s scouting report:

“Donovan has a big body. He’s a good hockey player with a lot of skill. Him and his brother were two big pieces of the St. George’s team last year. He plays in the middle. He’s good offensively and can play 200 feet. He’s a player that we’re excited to have on board.”

Julian Frias (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Hudson, Mass.
  • Previous team: St. George’s School (USHS-Prep)
  • College commitment: Yale University

Like his brother, Julian Frias was also a standout at St. George’s last season. He wrapped up his final prep school season with 30 points in 24 games. His 13 goals were second most on the team, as were his 17 helpers.

Donald’s scouting report:

“He plays the wing and is a big strong kid like his brother. He enjoys playing at both ends of the rink. He enjoys being in the thick of the game and going into the hard areas. He’s not the same player as his brother, by any means. They have different skill sets and different abilities, but we are equally as excited to bring him in.”

Jaxon Fuder (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Cold Lake, Alta.
  • Previous team: West Van Academy U18 Prep (CSSHL U18)

Fuder was a top player for West Van Academy’s U18 team, despite spending the majority of the year as a 15-year-old. He produced 27 points in 35 games, good enough for fourth on the team, while his 14 goals were the second most. He also got into a pair of games with the Bucks last year as an affiliate.

Donald’s scouting report:

“As a 2006-born player, he’s our youngest recruit. He showed us in his time here in Cranbrook last season that he’s going to be a good hockey player in this league and a player who we thought was ready to come join us full time as a 16-year-old this season. He’s somebody we’re looking forward to helping with his development.”

Jack Henry (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Skaneateles, N.Y.
  • Previous team: Bishop Kearney Selects 18U AAA (18U AAA)
  • College commitment: Yale University

Henry was over a point per game in league play as a defenceman last year with Bishop Kearney in New York. He led all defencemen on his team and was the third highest scorer overall with 74 points in 72 games. He also had the second most assists with 58.

Donald’s scouting report:

“We think he can play a pretty big role for us on defence. He handles himself well in the defensive zone and he’s able to contribute in the offensive zone as well. He’s a good shooter and he sees the ice well when he has the puck on his stick. He’s a guy that we think can play some significant minutes for us.”

Cooper Boulanger (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Barre, Vt.
  • Previous team: Holderness School (USHS-Prep)

Boulanger played the past four years at Holderness and was the captain during his final season in 2021-22. He led his team in scoring by a wide margin last year, capping off his high school career with a 42-point season in just 27 games. His 29 assists were also the most on his team.

Donald’s scouting report:

“Cooper is an exciting player. We are happy to have him on board. He brings a lot of hockey IQ and a lot of smarts. He’s got good versatility as well. He’s a player we’re excited to bring into our organization.”

Carter Capton (2005, G)

  • Hometown: Lethbridge, Alta.
  • Previous team: Yale Hockey Academy U18 Prep (CSSHL U18)

Capton played at Yale Academy the past three years, backstopping the U18 squad last season with a 12-4-0 record, .916 save percentage and a 2.35 goals-against average. The 17-year-old also got his first taste of BCHL action as an affiliate with Cranbrook last year and he made the most of his opportunity, posting a shutout in his first and only start in a 4-0 Bucks win on Feb. 18 against the Merritt Centennials.

Donald’s scouting report:

“He’s somebody we think has a lot of upside as a goaltender, so we want to give him a chance to begin his career with us in the BCHL. He’s a younger goalie that can work in behind [starter] Nathan [Airey] and hopefully learn a lot from that experience.”

Jack Silich (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Long Grove, Ill.
  • Previous team: Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
  • College commitment: Quinnipiac University

Silich brings two years of experience playing in the USHL where he played for the Youngstown Phantoms, Lincoln Stars and Sioux Falls Stampede. He also has an additional year of junior hockey under his belt, playing for the Boston Jr. Bruins of the NCDC. He had 12 goals, 14 points and 26 assists in 108 USHL games over the past three years.

Donald’s scouting report:

“He’s a player that I’ve known for a few years and watched from afar. He’s excited to come to our league and get a bit of a change of scenery, as well as a new opportunity. We think he can score at this level. He’s played a lot of junior hockey, so he will bring experience and leadership to our group. We think he can contribute in a lot of different ways for us.”

Bryce Sookro (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Nelson, B.C.
  • Previous team: Nelson Leafs (KIJHL)

Sookro led his Junior B team in points from the back end last year with 29 in 41 games, which led all rookie blueliners in the KIJHL. He also registered 22 assists, which was the second most overall on his team. Sookro played two games as an affiliate for Cranbrook last season.

Donald’s scouting report:

“He’s another Kootenay kid that we’re excited to have with us. He had a really good year in the KIJHL last year with his overall growth and development. We saw the trajectory he was on, which included a strong playoff run with his team. He got some accolades for his performance over the season. We think he’s ready to take the next step.”

Markus Yim (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: St. George’s School U18 Prep (CSSHL U18)

Not be confused with St. George’s School in Rhode Island where the Frias twins played last year, Yim played at St. George’s in Vancouver where he had a goal and 13 assists for 14 points in 31 contests. He played four games for Cranbrook in 2021-22 as an affiliate and registered his first two BCHL points, both assists, in a Dec. 11 road win over the Prince George Spruce Kings.

Donald’s scouting report:

“Markus is probably the player that’s been around our team the longest. He’s been to our camps since we’ve been up and running in Cranbrook. He’s very familiar with our program and affiliated with us last season. He spotted into a few games and showed really well. At about midseason, we realized we were comfortable bringing him in for this year, just based off of his performance and what he was able to do and show at the BCHL level. He’s a really good skater. He defends with his feet really well. He’s capable with the puck on his stick. He’s not afraid to get the puck moving north, both by passing and with his feet. He’s someone that can be pretty active on our blueline and play the way we want to play.”

Willem Terwood (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Salmo, B.C.
  • Previous team: Rink Hockey Academy Kelowna U18 (CSSHL U18)

Terwood produced 19 points in 32 games last year, tying him for second in defencemen scoring on his U18 team.

Donald’s scouting report:

“He’s another Kootenay product that we’re excited to have here in Cranbrook. He’s a big kid. He came in and earned a spot through our camp process. He came out and skated with us last year, so we got to know him a little bit. He’s got a lot of potential for a 17-year-old coming in. He’s hard-working. He plays heavy with a hard, physical game, but he’s no slouch when he has the puck. He’s able to keep it moving and get the game going north in transition for us. We’re excited to have him with us this season and to continue to help in grow and develop in Cranbrook.”

Photo credits: Louis Walker Photography (Donovan & Julian Frias), Dan Hickling (Henry, Silich), Jennifer Small (Sookro), Dave Watling (Yim)