BCHL unveils 60th Anniversary Team

The BC Hockey League has spent the season honouring the league’s 60th Anniversary by looking back on its six decades of existence. To finish off this year’s coverage of that milestone year, the league has sourced the opinions of three BCHL experts to determine the 60th Anniversary Team. A roster featuring the all-time greatest and most impactful players that have come through the BCHL.

These players were judged solely on their BCHL careers and not what they went on to do afterwards. Goals, points and shutouts are important, but this list is full of players who made a significant impact on the league during their time. The 60th Anniversary Team is composed of 12 forwards, six defencemen and two goalies.

The three experts that helped determine the roster are the BCHL’s official historian Fred Hume, managing editor and creator of the BCHL Network website Brian Wiebe and Paul Beugeling, creator of VernonJrAHockey.ca, a site dedicated to the history of the BCHL as well as the Vernon Vipers franchise.

Each person submitted their list of forwards, defencemen and goalies and the three were combined to determine one team. Tiebreakers were decided by the BCHL Office. The list is separated by position and in order of highest to lowest vote total.

Forwards

Shane Kuss

Shane Kuss (Surrey Eagles – 1993 to 1997)

The BCHL’s all-time leading scorer, this was a slam-dunk as the top forward choice for the 60th Anniversary Team and one of the few names to appear on all three submissions. Kuss played four years in the league, finishing his career with 418 points and 282 assists, both all-time best marks in a BCHL career. He capped off his four years in the league with a Fred Page Cup title in 1997.

Brett Hull (Penticton Knights – 1982 to 1984)

The man has a major BCHL award named after him, so naturally he appears high on the list. In 1983-84, Hull set the single-season mark with 82 goals and 188 points, a record that still stands today. He finished his two-year career with 192 points and 153 goals in just 106 games. He is the most successful BCHL alum at the NHL level, having won two Stanley Cups and one Hart Trophy for Most Valuable Player.

Gordie McKay (Penticton Broncos/Vees – 1973 to 1977)

Gordie McKay

McKay’s name is all over the BCHL record books. In his four seasons in the league, he finished with 208 goals, the most all-time and 376 points, second only to Kuss. He also posted the fourth-highest goal total in a single season with 79 during the 1976-77 campaign.

Paul Kariya (Penticton Panthers – 1990 to 1992)

One of the most recognizable alumni the league has ever produced, Kariya spent two years in the BCHL starting in his 16-year-old season. After 112 and 132-point seasons, both of which he was named Interior Conference Most Valuable Player, and a World Junior Championship experience, he solidified himself as a high-end NHL prospect. After a year at the University of Maine, Kariya was selected fourth overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He finished his BCHL career with 244 points in 95 games, a 2.57 points-per-game average.

John Newberry

John Newberry (Nanaimo Clippers – 1979 to 1980)

Newberry falls under the ‘here for a good time, not a long time’ category. The Port Alberni, B.C. product only played one year in the BCHL, but he made a huge impact. In his lone season in the league in 1979-80, Newberry put up 185 points, second most all-time in a single season and most ever by a BCHL rookie. He also notched 84 goals, second-most in a single season and most for a rookie, as well as 101 assists, fourth-most in a single season and two off the rookie record.

Kyle Greentree (Victoria Salsa – 1999 to 2004)

Greentree is the BCHL’s third all-time leading scorer with 375 points over his five-year career in Victoria. He is also the BCHL’s third-highest goal scorer with 183 and 10th in assists with 192. In his second year in the league, he led the BCHL Playoffs in scoring with 30 points in 24 games, guiding the Salsa to their first league championship in franchise history.

Robb Gordon (Powell River Paper Kings – 1992 to 1994)

Gordon had two highly productive seasons for Powell River in the early ’90s. His rookie year, he put up 93 points in 60 games and in his second, he had 158 points in 60 games, good enough for the seventh highest total in a single BCHL season. He finished his two-year career with 251 points in 120 games. He won the Vern Dye Memorial Trophy for Most Valuable Player in his final season.

John McNabb (South Surrey Eagles – 1997 to 1999)

Picking up where Shane Kuss left off in 1997, McNabb took over as the Eagles go-to weapon on offence, en route to the team’s second straight Fred Page Cup championship in 1998. McNabb finished second in league scoring his first year with 106 points and won the league scoring title the next year with 132 points. He won the league MVP in 1999.

Wayne Dye (Vernon Essos – 1967 to 1972)

Dye played four season in the BCHL, all with the Vernon Essos. He finished his career with 156 goals, which puts him in seventh on the all-time list. He also won two league championships with Vernon, once in 1970 and another to wrap up his career in 1972.

Kyle Turris

Kyle Turris (Burnaby Express – 2005 to 2007)

Turris belongs on this list for the fact that he is the league’s highest ever selection in the NHL Entry Draft, going third overall to the Phoenix Coyotes in 2007, but his numbers make a strong case for him as well. After putting up 72 points as a 16-year-old in 2005-06, Turris established him self as a bona fide NHL top prospect the following year when he led the BCHL with 121 points and 66 goals and was named Coastal Conference Most Valuable Player. He currently plays in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers.

Alex Newhook (Victoria Grizzlies – 2017 to 2019)

After winning the BCHL’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2017-18, Newhook became the first player in three years to crack the 100-point milestone in his second campaign when he led the league in scoring with 102 points in 53 games. He also won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award that season and was selected 16th overall in the NHL draft by the Colorado Avalanche. He totaled 168 points in 98 regular-season games over his career. After two years at Boston College, he is now a regular in the Avalanche lineup.

Joe Potskin (Chilliwack Chiefs – 1990 to 1991)

Potskin was not in the league for long, but made a major impact. The Prince George, B.C. native racked up 60 goals and 86 assists for 146 points in 57 regular-season games. He also added another 16 points in 12 playoff games.

Defencemen

Campbell Blair (Shuswap Totems/Summerland Buckaroos/Vernon Lakers – 1983 to 1987)

Blair holds multiple records for offensive defencemen. In the 1986-87 season with the Lakers, Blair set the BCHL’s single-season record for goals by a defenceman with 38 and points by a blueliner with 109. The dual Scottish and Canadian citizen also has the career records for assists and points by defencemen with 169 and 274 respectively.

Ian Kidd (Penticton Knights – 1983 to 1985)

Kidd had an incredible three-year career with Penticton in the ’80s, totaling 235 points in 143 games. During his final season in the league, he tied the mark for most assists by a defenceman in a single season with 77, en route to a 108-point campaign.

Tom Serviss (Vernon Essos – 1967 to 1968)

Serviss has the distinction of being the only defenceman ever to lead the BCHL in scoring when he racked up 90 points in his lone season in the league on 25 goals and 65 assists.

Scott Frizzell (Delta Flyers/Powell River Paper Kings – 1987 to 1989)

Frizzell is another BCHL blueliner who cracked the 100-point milestone when he racked up 120 points in his second year in the league with Powell River. Between his season with the Paper Kings and his first year with the Delta Flyers, he notched 175 career points in 105 games.

Mike Reilly (Penticton Vees – 2011 to 2012)

Reilly entered the BCHL having already been drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the fourth round the previous summer. He did not disappoint in his one season in the league, leading all defencemen in scoring with 83 points in 51 games and quarterbacking the power play of a Vees team that set a record for consecutive wins by any Junior A team in Canada with 42 straight. He was named the Interior Conference Top Defenceman and his team won the Fred Page Cup, as well as a national championship. He currently plays for the Boston Bruins.

Dante Fabbro

Dante Fabbro (Penticton Vees – 2014 to 2016)

Fabbro played two years with the Vees, notching 100 points in 91 regular-season games and another 23 in 32 postseason games. In his second year, he led all BCHL defencemen with 67 points and was named the league’s Top Defenceman. That summer, he was drafted 17th overall by the Nashville Predators, in a draft that saw three BCHL players taken in the first round. After playing three years at Boston University, he has been with the Predators ever since.

Goaltenders

Michael Garteig

Michael Garteig (Powell River Kings/Penticton Vees – 2009 to 2012)

After his three-year career, Garteig would own most BCHL goaltending records. His 92 career wins and 12 career shutouts are the most all time. His 1.69 goals-against average in 2010-11 with Powell River is the best mark in a single season and his seven shutouts that year are also tied for the most. He actually appears twice on both of those single-season record lists, posting a 1.93 goals-against the next year with Penticton, good enough for ninth best, as well as five shutouts, tied for seventh. His .934 save percentage in 2010-11 is the fourth highest all time. He finished his BCHL career with a 92-23-3 record, a .921 save percentage and a 2.07 goals-against average. He was named the league’s Top Goaltender in both of his final two seasons. Garteig currently plays for HIFK in Finland.

Hunter Miska (Penticton Vees – 2013 to 2015)

Miska is another Vees goalie whose name is plastered all over the BCHL goaltending records. His 1.88 goals-against in 2014-15 is sixth best for a single season and his .931 save percentage that year is tied for ninth highest. He also had five shutouts that season, tying him for seventh most in one campaign. He went 53-21-5 over his career, ending his time in the league with a .924 save percentage, a 2.03 goals-against and seven shutouts. He won the league’s Top Goaltender award in 2015. Miska is a member of the Colorado Eagles AHL team, the affiliate of the NHL’s Avalanche.

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A big thank you to the three experts that helped us out with this project. For more work from Brian Wiebe, visit the BCHL Network website. For more work from Paul Beugeling, visit VernonJrAHockey.ca.