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BCHL Next Generation: Powell River Kings

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 Powell River Kings.

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The Powell River Kings missed out on the postseason last year by just one point after finishing the regular season with a record of 13-32-7-2, so they are on a mission to redeem themselves and get back into the playoff picture in 2022-23.

Head coach and director of hockey operations Brock Sawyer is the one tasked with getting the Kings back to the postseason. Him and the rest of Powell River’s staff have been busy this offseason recruiting new players and swinging trades to bring in new talent. He broke down all of the team’s new additions.

New recruits

Caleb Bentham (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Victoria, B.C.
  • Previous team: South Island Royals U18 AAA (BCEHL U18)

In his 16-year-old season last year, Bentham was his U18 team’s top scoring defenceman with 22 points in 35 games after scoring five goals and adding 17 assists. He has yet to play a BCHL game, but does bring some Junior B experience, having played two affiliate games for the Westshore Wolves of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, including one playoff contest.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“He’s a smooth, puck-moving defenceman. We watched him closely last season and then he attended our spring camp and really stood out. He’s the one high-school aged player that we have on our roster right now. His development is going to be huge over the next few years. He’s a big piece for us moving forward.”

Jack Blanchett (2003, D)

  • Hometown: Munroe, Mich.
  • Previous team: Maryland Black Bears (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Lake Superior State University

Blanchett played in the North American Hockey League the past two seasons, first with the Wichita Falls Warriors and then with Maryland. He totaled 11 goals and 17 assists over his two seasons in the league for 28 points in 98 games.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“In talking with Lake Superior State, they were all for him moving to our league. We like his play and the way he can shoot and move the puck. To add a committed defenceman to our back end is a big boost for us. We expect him to play a steady two-way game.”

Anthony Yu (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Baldwin Park, Calif.
  • Previous team: Shattuck St. Mary’s 18U Prep (USHS-Prep)

Yu piled up 69 points in 55 games for Shattuck St. Mary’s last year to finish fourth in team scoring. His 23 goals were fourth on the team, while his 46 assists were third.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“He’s only about 5-foot-9, but he’s very quick and can make plays at high speeds. He put up some pretty impressive numbers last year, so we were pleased to add him to our team. We expect him to come in and just continue building off of what he’s accomplished in prep school and hopefully it translates to junior well.”

Will Jones (2004, D)

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

Jones was Shattuck St. Mary’s highest scoring blueliner in 2021-22, posting 34 points in 55 games, including 32 assists, which also the most among defencemen on the team.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“Will is an undersized defenceman who skates well and is good with the puck. What he gives up in size, he makes up for with smarts and a high compete level. We’re looking for guys who can move the puck, skate and think the game from the back end, so we’re pleased to add him.”

Marcus Dashevsky (2004, F)

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

Dashevsky played at nearly a point-per-game pace last season at St. George’s after piling up 33 points in 36 games to finish fourth in team scoring.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“We had him here at practice throughout the season, so we’re already familiar with him. He moves well, he’s big and he’s smart. He’s a student of the game. His former coaches raved about his character, so he’s just the type of player we were looking to bring into our program.”

Cameron Symons (2002, F)

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

Symons led his Junior B team in goals during the 2021-22 campaign with 28 in 45 games. His 59 points were the second most on the team.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“Cam is a bigger, heavier left winger. Being 20 years old and coming out of Junior B, he probably has something he feels he needs to prove and we want to give him an opportunity to do that. He’s not afraid to lay the body and get to the front of the net. We felt like we needed a little more beef up front and some speed and he fits that mold. We’re excited to add him and see what he can add to our lineup.”

Acquired via trade

Kyle Metson (2003, G)

  • Hometown: Belle River, Ont.
  • Previous team: Burlington Cougars (OJHL)

Metson posted great numbers in his rookie season in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. The 18-year-old finished the year with a .913 save percentage, a 2.63 goals-against average and one shutout in 27 games, while putting together a record of 21-5-1.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“Kyle is a goalie with experience. We needed to add a goalie here and, after talking to teams pretty much all over the country, we found out he was available. We did our homework on him, so we expect him to come in here, shut the door for us and give us opportunities to win every night. He had a great season last year in Burlington and he’ll look to continue that here in Powell River.”

Ryder Ringor (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Winnipeg, Man.
  • Previous team: Winnipeg Freeze (MJHL)

Ringor was Winnipeg’s second-leading scorer last year with 35 points in 48 games and his 22 assists were also second most on the team.

Sawyer’s scouting report:

“Ryder is a very skilled forward who can make plays off the rush and sees the ice really well. We thought we could get a little younger and add some experience with him having a year already in the MJHL. We’re looking for him to come in and contribute offensively, but also be responsible defensively up the middle. We’re expecting him to be a part of our program for the next two or three years.”

Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Yu, Jones), Dave Watling (Dashevsky), Ray MacAloney/OJHL Images (Metson)