BCHL Next Generation: Prince George Spruce 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 Prince George Kings.

PG was a force in the pod last year. The Spruce Kings finished with an impressive plus-37 goal differential on their way to a 14-5-0-1 record and eventually took top spot in the Chilliwack Pod standings after beating the hometown Chiefs in their last game of the season.

The Spruce Kings have several players returning from that group and will attempt to carry over that positive experience into the 2021-22 campaign. On top of the returnees, the team also made several additions to the team via trades and recruitment. We caught up with Alex Evin to go over each addition as he prepares for his third year as the team’s head coach.

New recruits

Jimmy Doyle (2002, F)

  • Hometown: Plainfield, Ill.
  • Previous team: Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL)
  • College commitment: St. Lawrence University (2022-23)

Doyle spent the past two seasons playing in the North American Hockey League for the Minnesota Magicians and then the Bismarck Bobcats, chipping in with 23 points in 64 games.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We had a pretty speedy forward group last year, but this offseason, we thought we needed to add some size. Jimmy is a bigger forward who can skate pretty well too. He gives us some depth on the wing. We tried to get him up here a couple years ago, but it didn’t work out. It worked out this time and we’re excited about it.”

Dylan Schives (2001, D)

  • Hometown: Tilbury, Ont.
  • Previous team: Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Schives spent the last three years in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, mostly with the Quebec Remparts, but was traded to Baie-Comeau during the 2020-21 season. He chipped in with 18 points in 128 career regular-season games in the league.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We think he can play in all situations. He has experience in a very good league in the QMJHL. He’s a solid team guy who I think is going to be a good piece for us. We’re excited to get him out here and he should be a big part of our team.

Evan Fedele (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Coquitlam, B.C.
  • Previous team: Burnaby Winter Club Prep (CSSHL U18)

Fedele’s last full season came in 2019-20 when he suited up for BWC’s Elite 15s program. That year, he had 28 points in 33 games. Last year, in a shortened season, he contributed a goal and an assist in four games with the U18 team.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We believe he has a really bright future, not just in our league, but in the game overall. He has the size, skating ability and skill set to make an impact every night. Once he gets some experience in the league, he could be a really fun player to watch. We’re excited to have him develop in our program.”

Nicholas Athanasakos (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Unionville, Ont.
  • Previous: Ridley College (CISAA)

Athanasako most recently played for Ridley College during the 2019-20 season where he totaled 23 points in 29 games.

Evin’s scouting report:

“Nicholas is a strong skater with good hockey instincts. He has the potential to develop into a really good BCHL forward in the future who can make an impact on both sides of the puck.”

Acquired via trade

Brody Gagno (2002, D)

  • Hometown: Surrey, B.C.
  • Previous team: Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
  • College commitment: Quinnipiac University (2022-23)

Gagno has two years of BCHL experience from his time in Chilliwack from 2018 to 2020. He has 14 career points in 105 regular-season games. He also had four points for the Chiefs in eight games during the extended training camp season last fall.

Evin’s scouting report:

“We lost a few defencemen who aged out — guys like Mason Waite and Tanner Main, so we thought Brody would be a good addition to our group. He plays hard. He’s a smart player. He has experience in the league and he has some leadership ability as well. He’ll add a lot of depth to our group and we’re looking forward to having him here.”

Austin Fraser (2003, F)

  • Hometown: West Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Coquitlam Express (BCHL)

Fraser was a solid point producer for the Express during his rookie season. He had four goals, six assists and 10 points in 20 games in the Coquitlam Pod.

Evin’s scouting report:

“He’s a player who we were familiar with already. We wanted to be selective with the players we added to our group and Austin fit what we needed. He brings a lot of size and a power-forward game. He’ll definitely be a good addition.”

Ian Kern (2002, D)

  • Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Surrey Eagles (BCHL)

Kern is heading into his third year in the BCHL. He played last season with Surrey where he had four assists in 13 games in the Coquitlam Pod. He played the 2019-20 campaign with the Powell River Kings and had five points in 54 contests.

Evin’s scouting report:

“He’s played in the league now for a few years and proven that he can play a steady 200-foot game. We really like his stick, his compete level and his willingness to get better. He’s an intelligent person and should be a great addition to the group.”

Ty Gagno (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Surrey, B.C.
  • Previous team: Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)

The brother of Brody Gagno, Ty also last played for Chilliwack. He participated in the team’s extended exhibition season last year and had one assist in eight games.

Evin’s scouting report:

“He has a really high ceiling with a lot of potential. Both brothers are great human beings. They’ll fit in well with our group. We see Ty as someone who will just continue to get better the more he’s in our program and in our league. We’re really excited to work with those two.”

Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Doyle, Schives, Athanasakos), Garrett James Photography (B. Gagno, Fraser, Kern), Darren Francis (T. Gagno)