(Submitted by Alex Hoegler, BCHL communications)
It’s been a memorable season for two former BCHLers, who notched their first career NHL goals during the 2015-16 campaign.
Defenceman Josh Manson, the former Salmon Arm Silverbacks standout scored his first goal in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks in a Nov. 6 home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Former Penticton Vees blueliner Mike Reilly also scored his first career goal in a Feb. 13 game when the Minnesota Wild hosted the Boston Bruins.
Manson’s first goal, beating Blue Jackets’ goaltender Curtis McElhinney, came at the right time: at 8:46 of the third period which turned out to be the game-winner in a 4-2 Anaheim victory. Ducks’ superstars Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf drew the assists on the play.
The son of former NHL defenceman Dave Manson, Josh played the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with the Silverbacks. There, he scored 22 goals and 71 points in 111 games with the team before The Ducks drafted him 160th overall in 2011. He played three seasons at NCAA Div. I Northeastern before turning pro.
Through 55 games this season with the Ducks, Manson has four goals and 11 points. His contribution has helped the Ducks surge to the top of the Pacific Division standings after a slow start to the season.
For Reilly, his tally against the Bruins came with 37 seconds remaining in regulation on assists by Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker. The Wild lost the game 4-2.
Reilly played one season with the Penticton Vees, in 2011-12. He scored 24 goals and 83 points in 51 games that season, earning the Interior Conference’s Top Defenceman award. He helped the Vees to the 2012 RBC Cup national title before going on to play three years at the University of Minnesota.
Reilly has one goal and five points with the Wild in 19 games this season. He was drafted by the Blue Jackets 98th overall in 2011, but signed with Minnesota as a free agent in the summer of 2015.
The Wild, like Anaheim, had a slow start to the season but both teams managed to turn it around significantly. Minnesota holds the final playoff spot in the Western conference.