Alberni Valley Bulldogs Chilliwack Chiefs Coquitlam Express Cowichan Capitals Cranbrook Bucks Langley Rivermen Merritt Centennials Nanaimo Clippers Penticton Vees Powell River Kings Prince George Spruce Kings Salmon Arm Silverbacks Surrey Eagles Trail Smoke Eaters Vernon Vipers Victoria Grizzlies Wenatchee Wild West Kelowna Warriors
Team Sites
Follow the BCHL

BCHL Next Generation: Victoria Grizzlies

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. Last up is the Victoria Grizzlies.

+++

The Victoria Grizzlies were a middle-of-the-pack team in the Coastal Conference last year, finishing in fifth place in the standings with a 29-25-0-0 record. They faced off against the Langley Rivermen and were defeated in five games of the first round.

The team boasted one of the best offences in the BCHL IN 2021-22, led by rookie phenom and league leading scorer Matthew Wood, as well as second-year man Ellis Rickwood who finished just behind Wood in BCHL scoring. Neither player will be back this year, so the team’s new head coach and general manager Rylan Ferster has his work cut out for him to replace that offence in the lineup.

Ferster, who has over two decades of previous experience coaching in the league, including a previous stint in Victoria, inherits a team in transition, but has begun to put his stamp on the roster this offseason and will continue to do so throughout training camp. He walks us through the team’s new additions.

New recruits

Anthony Carone (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Previous team: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 18U (18U AAA)

Carone played in the Penguins system for the past three years. He was Pittsburgh’s top scorer in 2021-22, compiling 84 points in 74 games across all competition on 31 goals and 53 assists.

Ferster’s scouting report:

“He should be a skilled guy for us. He played with a couple other guys on our team previously, so there should be some familiarity for him right away.”

Ryan Watt (2004, F)

  • Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Vancouver North West Hawks U18 AAA (BCEHL U18)

Watt was the Hawks leading scorer last year, finishing his season with 53 points in 36 games. His 24 goals and 29 assists were also the most on the team. He played in one BCHL game last season as an affiliate with the Langley Rivermen.

Ferster’s scouting report:

“He was a high-end guy at the U18 level in B.C. We’re expecting some big things from him. I think he’s going to be a really good player in our league.”

Oliver Auyeung-Ashton (2005, G)

  • Hometown: Coquitlam, B.C.
  • Previous team: Vancouver Northeast Chiefs U18 AAA (BCEHL U18)

Auyeung-Ashton had a massive season for the Northeast Chiefs, posting a 2.36 goals-against average and two shutouts in 22 regular-season appearances and finishing his year with an 18-2-1 record. In the playoffs, he led the Chiefs to a provincial title and a spot in the national championship tournament, going 6-1 in the postseason with a 2.62 goals-against.

Ferster’s scouting report:

“He played for Jamie Jackson who I know very well from when we coached together in the past and he spoke really highly of him. He seemed to be the right fit for us at that backup goalie position this year.”

Masen Culley (2004, D)

  • Hometown: Ashton, Ont.
  • Previous team: Lake Forest Academy (USHS-Prep)

In his third season at Lake Forest in Illinois, Culley was his team’s top-scoring defenceman, finishing his year with 34 points in 34 games on 14 goals and 20 assists.

Ferster’s scouting report:

“He’s a very skilled, young defenceman. I hadn’t been on the job too long and I already had a college reaching out to me about him. I let them know that we liked him and thought he was going to be a really good player for us. I’m excited to see what he can do.”

Owen Hardy (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Stittsville, Ont.
  • Previous team: Lake Forest Academy (USHS-Prep)

A teammate of Culley’s at Lake Forest, Hardy produced 18 goals, 24 assists and 42 points in 36 games last year.

Ferster’s scouting report:

“I watched him on tape and he has nice size. He looks to me like he’s going to be a good player. For guys coming into the league for the first time, there’s generally a feeling-out process. I know that’s going to be the case, not only for the player, but for me as their new coach.”

Turner Richards (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Minocqua, Wis.
  • Previous team: The Winchendon School (USHS-Prep)

Richards was Winchendon’s leading scorer last year with 14 points in 24 games. He also played with the Neponset Valley River Rats 18U program and had eight points in 18 games.

Ferster’s scouting report:

“He’s another forward that’s coming from the east and did quite well out there. I’m anxious to see how he does with us this year.”

Zakery Anderson (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Kamloops, B.C.
  • Previous team: Kamloops Storm (KIJHL)

Anderson had an impressive season playing Junior B with Kamloops last year. He led the team in points with 40 in 40 games and also had the most goals with 22. He played in three games with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks as an affiliate and scored a goal.

Ferster’s scouting report:

“He was a big-time scorer in Junior B and played for Geoff Grimwood who is going to be helping us out here as an assistant coach. There might not be huge expectations because he’s a rookie coming in, but his numbers speak for themselves.”

Reegan Hiscock (2004, F)

  • Hometown: St. John’s, N.L.
  • Previous team: Pinnacle Growlers U18 AAA (NLU18MHL)

Hiscock played the past two seasons in Newfoundland with the Growlers. He led the team in scoring in 2021-22 with 51 points in 32 games. His 35 goals were also by far the most on the team.

Ferster’s scouting report:

“He’s a player that came across my desk fairly late in the offseason. He’s a really big forward who skates well. I’m really excited to see him when he gets here. He did really well out east last year.”

Photo credits: Dan Hickling (Carone, Richards), Kamloops Storm (Anderson)