BCHL Next Generation: Powell River Kings

All summer we’ll be going team-by-team to profile new players coming in for the 2019-20 season with recaps of offseason commits and acquisitions. We will also have interviews and scouting reports from the coaches.

Next up is the Powell River Kings.

Last season, Powell River finished only a handful of points out of the Island Division lead and forced the high-powered Victoria Grizzlies to Game 7 in their second-round playoff series. With a number of players from last year’s roster moving on, the Kings have hit the recruiting trail this summer and added some quality pieces ahead of this season.

With this in mind, head coach Tyler Kuntz is approaching this year’s training camp the same way he did a year ago in his first season behind the bench.

“For me last year, I was new,” said Kuntz. “I was with 23 players I’d never met. This year we’ve got more kids that I know now and the other thing is I recruited them all. I’ve kind of got to know them in the offseason here. We’ll just be patient. We’ll teach. Our number-one thing is development and we’re invested in that. I think it’s no different than last year. You’ve got a group of kids and you want to teach them and you want them to have the best experience possible.”

2019-20 commits

Dylan Finlay (2001, D)

  • Hometown: L’Île-Bizard, Que.
  • Previous team: Lac St-Louis Lions (QMAAA)
  • Commitment: University of Vermont (2020-21)

Finlay is an offensive defenceman who had 59 points combined in 82 games over his last two seasons in midget.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“We were on him really early. He’s had great coaching at Lac St-Louis. That’s arguably one of the best midget programs in Canada. We’re getting a kid that’s been well-coached and he’s an offensive player that was a captain on his team. He always wants to get better. He’s always asking questions and he studies the game. That’s someone we thought would be a really good fit for us.”

Michael Abgrall (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Richmond, B.C.
  • Previous team: Burnaby Winter Club Elite 15s (CSSHL E15)

The 15-year-old was his team’s leading goal scorer last year with 26 markers in 29 games and also finished the year with 48 points. He played in five games as an affiliate with Powell River last year, debuting as a 14-year-old due to his late birthday, and chipped in with a pair of assists.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s really intelligent. He’s a great skater, really light on his feet and he can really move. He’s got a great shot too. With a kid like Michael, he’s going to be highly sought-after by schools. It brings a little attention to the team. He’s a great kid with a great family. We look at him as someone who’s not just going to be a great player in our league, but he’s also a great human.”

Reilly Moran (2000, F)

  • Hometown: Milton, Mass.
  • Previous team: Thayer Academy (USHS-Prep)
  • Commitment: Army (U.S. Military Academy) (2020-21)

Moran played the last four years at Thayer Academy, putting up 25 points in 28 games in his most recent season.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s got a good offensive skillset. He’s quick and he’s got good hands. He’s also an extremely tireless worker. He’s just another kid that has really good character. In talking with Army, they feel he brings really good leadership qualities to our program and could one day be a captain.”

Davis Pennington (2001, D)

  • Hometown: Saline, Mich.
  • Previous team: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (NAHL)
  • Commitment: University of Nebraska-Omaha (2020-21)

The 18-year-old was his team’s second-leading scoring defenceman last season with 20 points in 52 games.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s a smart, intelligent player with a great shot. He’s a good skater and he’s got good offensive abilities. For us, that’s something that we really needed. When you’re losing kids like Jayden Lee, we needed to add some firepower on the backend and we think he’ll be a really good fit there.”

Hunter McCoy (2000, F)

  • Hometown: Newburyport, Mass.
  • Previous team: Islander Hockey Club (NCDC)

McCoy led his club in scoring and was second in the NCDC in points with 61 in 47 games last year.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“We lost a lot of players last year and we were looking for somebody that was a little bit older that had played junior hockey. We think he’ll be a really good player in our league. It might take him a couple of games to get going, but we think he’s a guy that adds some firepower. With his age and experience, he can help out our younger players.”

Jack Brackett (2000, F)

  • Hometown: Manassas, Va.
  • Previous team: Boston Jr. Bruins (NCDC)
  • Commitment: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) (2020-21)

The 18-year-old had 23 goals in 43 games last year to lead his team and also finished second in points with 37.

Dylan Hewlett (2002, F)

  • Hometown: Port Moody, B.C.
  • Previous team: Burnaby Winter Club Prep (CSSHL)

Hewlett played three games as an affiliate with the Kings last season. He had 16 points in 23 games for Burnaby Winter Club in 2018-19.

Ian Kern (2002, D)

  • Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Greater Vancouver Canadians (BCMML)

Another player to play as an affiliate with Powell River, Kern suited up for four BCHL contests. He led his major midget team in scoring from the backend with 14 points in 36 games and was an assistant captain.

Nicholas Porchetta (2002, F)

  • Hometown: Powell River, B.C.
  • Previous team: Delta Hockey Academy Prep (CSSHL)

Porchetta had nearly a point a game last year playing for Delta, registering 32 in 33 games. He also got in five games with Powell River as an affiliate and scored one goal.

Acquired via trade

Dawson McKay (2000, F)

  • Hometown: Houghton, Mich.
  • Previous team: Surrey Eagles

McKay started last season with the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) before joining Surrey midseason where he had 10 points in 21 games.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“We recruited him last year and his paperwork, for whatever reason, didn’t go through. After he joined Surrey, we played him in late January in Powell River and I thought that he was exactly what I thought he would be. You’re never sure, when a kid comes into the league, what he’s going to be. I thought, he’s going to be a good, big power forward that can skate and who’s hungry to get better.”