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BCHL Next Generation: Powell River Kings

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2021-22 regular 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.

Next up is the Powell River Kings.

The Kings finished second in the Coquitlam Pod last year with a record of 7-11-1-1 as one of a handful of teams across the league who spent all five weeks in a hotel.

Brock Sawyer is back for his second season as the team’s head coach after serving as an assistant for the Kings since 2014-15. He gives us the goods on all the team’s new acquisitions and commitments heading into the new season.

New recruits

Mark D’Agostino (2001, F)

  • Hometown: North Branford, Conn.
  • Previous team: Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks (NAHL)
  • College commitment: University of Connecticut (2022-23)

D’agostino finished in a tie for third in team scoring with Danbury last season and tied for first on the team with 16 goals. In 2019-20, he played his fourth and final season with The Gunnery prep school and was the team’s second-leading scorer with 55 points in 35 contests.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“We had some 20-year-old room and we figured we needed to add a guy into our lineup who could score. He’s proven that, so we’re hoping his game can translate over to the BCHL from the North American Hockey League and he can come in and provide some veteran leadership as well as some goal-scoring ability for us.”

Zak Brice (2003, G)

  • Hometown: Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Previous team: Aberdeen Wings (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Arizona State University (2022-23)

Brice only played one game last year for Aberdeen, but the year prior, he had a .924 save percentage and a 2.09 goals-against average in 18 appearances for Kimball Union Academy prep school.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“We needed a goalie to come in and compliment Thomas Wardle and push him every day. Zak was a guy who was looking for an opportunity. He didn’t play much last year with so few jobs available. We reached out to him and he was interested. He’s going to come in and provide steady support for Thomas and push him daily and prove to himself that he can play at the Junior A level before he heads off to Arizona State.”

Casey Aman (2003, D)

  • Hometown: Johnstown, Penn.
  • Previous team: Shattuck St. Mary’s 18U Prep (USHS-Prep)

Aman played the last three years in the Shattuck St. Mary’s program. Last year, he contributed 13 points in 36 games in his first year with the 18U team.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“He’s a steady, puck-moving defenceman who can come in and compliment our defensive core. We’re looking for him to get his feet wet in junior hockey and build on the strong season he had last year with Shattuck.”

Anthony Lucarelli (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Chatham, Ont.
  • Previous team: Chatham Maroons (GOJHL)

Lucarelli was poised to play for his hometown Maroons last year, but did not get into any action due to COVID shutdowns. In 2019-20, he had 39 points in 35 games for the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs U18 team to lead them in scoring.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“He’s a big power forward. We committed to him early. He didn’t get to play last year, but he was working away on the ice out in Ontario when he could. Chatham’s coach contacted us and put us in touch with him. We’re excited to add him to our group. He’s a player who would have had a solid season last year in the GOJHL. We’re excited to get him out here and help him in his development and get him some college interest.”

Acquired via trade

Karter McNarland (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Saskatoon, Sask.
  • Previous team: South Shore Kings (NCDC)
  • College commitment: University of Vermont (2022-23)

McNarland played for three different teams last year. He started with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL, then the Bismarck Bobacts of the North American Hockey League and finished with the South Shore Kings of the NCDC. He had five points in five games once he joined the Kings. He has previous Canadian Junior A experience when he played the 2019-20 season with the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and piled up 50 points in 57 contests to finish third in team scoring.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

Obviously, it was a different year for him last year, starting in the USHL, going to the NAHL and then ending up in the NCDC. It was a bit of a whirlwind for him trying to get in some games, but he’s a guy who we are going to rely on to come in and produce offensively and work on his two-way game. He’s a big centreman who can get up and down the sheet easily and we’re excited to add him via trade.”

Olivier Lépine (2001, D)

  • Hometown: Montreal, Que.
  • Previous team: Miramichi Timberwolves (MHL)

Lépine was acquired by the team last year, but was dealt to Miramichi at the trade deadline before he could get into any game action with the BCHL season in limbo at the time. He had two assists in 11 games with the Timberwolves last year. In 2019-20, Lépine played for the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and had 20 points in 44 games. The Kings have re-acquired his rights for the 2021-22 season.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“He was here all year with us last year, but at the deadline, he had something setup with his advisor to go out to the Maritime league. He’s been in the program. He knows what we expect. He just hasn’t played a game with us yet. We’re excited to have him back and work with him for his final year of junior.”

Kaleb Nelson (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Keswick, Ont.
  • Previous team: Islanders Hockey Club (NCDC)
  • College commitment: Providence College (2022-23)

Nelson played six games with the Islanders last year and had a goal and an assist. He was set to play for the Ottawa Jr. Senators of the Central Canada Hockey League as well as Cushing Academy prep school, but did not play due to shutdowns. In 2019-20, he was a rookie with the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and had 24 points in 50 games.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“He bounced around a bit last year trying to get in some games. He’s a good player – a good, young prospect. He’s a little raw in terms of a full 200-foot game, but we’re excited to work with him and get him in here and add him to our group. We think we have a lot of depth up front, which all these guys are going to help compliment.”

Hunter Andrew (2002, F)

  • Hometown: Virden, Man.
  • Previous team: Charlotte Rush (USPHL Premier)

Andrew played parts of two seasons with his hometown team, the Virden Oil Capitals of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). During his time there, he notched 34 points in 66 games. Last year, when the MJHL shut down due to COVID restrictions, he headed down south to play for Charlotte where he had four points in four regular-season games and participated in seven playoff contests.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“We were targeting him. It was obviously a different year for him last year, playing in the MJHL and then taking off to the U.S. He’s a guy who has proven he can score at the Junior A level and somebody we felt like we needed to add into our forward group to add some depth and some scoring touch to our group. He’ll compliment our other 2002-born players who are already in our program.”

Nathan Small (2002, D)

  • Hometown: Dorchester, Ont.
  • Previous team: Navan Grads (CCHL)

Small did not get into any game action with Navan last year. He most recently played the 2019-20 season in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, splitting time with the London Nationals and the St. Mary’s Lincolns. He led St. Mary’s in scoring by defencemen with 38 points in 47 games.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“He’s a big, mobile defenceman who we heard became available out of Ontario. He is a puck-mover who has good offensive instincts. We are pleased to add him to our depth on the back end.”

Photo credits: Dan Hickling (D’Agostino, Brice, Aman), Notre Dame Hounds (Lépine)