One indication that might be the case is the commitment this week of Penticton Vees forward Cassidy Bowes to the Wolverines.
Michigan’s new head coach Mel Pearson, who assumed the role in the spring after the retirement of the legendary Red Berenson, and new assistant coach Bill Muckalt – a BCHL alum himself – were last together at Michigan Tech in 2014-15 and they recruited heavily from the BCHL.
Having set their sights on Bowes for next season, Pearson and Muckalt are betting the skilled young forward will become the point-producing player he proved himself to be while at the Pursuit of Excellence academy the last few seasons. Bowes joined the Vees full-time near the end of last season and contributed to the Vees 2017 BCHL Fred Page Cup league title.
So far this season, Bowes looks like he’ll make good. The Kelowna native has posted two goals and four helpers in seven games as the Vees have gone undefeated at 6-0-0-1.
At Michigan, Bowes will join a Wolverines program that competes in the NCAA’s Big 10 conference along with Ohio State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State and Minnesota.
BCHL alums on the Wolverines roster this season are Dexter Dancs and Dakota Raabe. Bowes’ Vees teammate Kenny Johnson is also committed to Michigan for next season.