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Next Generation: Langley Rivermen

Presented by Chevrolet.

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2023-24 season, we will go team-by-team to profile new players entering the league for the upcoming season, including scouting reports from the coaches.

This year, we will go in reverse order of how the teams finished last season, starting with the two clubs that missed the playoffs and ending with the two league finalists. Next up is the Langley Rivermen.


The Langley Rivermen finished the 2022-23 campaign with a 16-33-2-3 record and earned the final playoff spot in the Coastal Conference. Despite facing the top-seeded Nanaimo Clippers in the first round, they gave them all they could handle, but ultimately fell in six games.

This year, the team has added a large crop of new players through recruiting and a number of offseason trades. While doing this, the Rivermen have maintained their focus of adding homegrown talent with 13 new players from B.C. alone.

We caught up with Langley’s general manager and associate coach Tyler Kuntz, who is in his first year with the team after previously coaching at a number of different levels, including two years with the Powell River Kings from 2018 to 2020. He gives us the scouting report on all the new additions.

New recruits

Ryder McIntosh (2005 ,F)

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

McIntosh spent the past two seasons at BWC and was the team’s leading scorer in 2022-23, finishing his year with 45 points in 31 games, including a team-best 30 assists.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s an excellent young player that has the ability to play fast, produce offence and play extremely hard. Playing at BWC the last two years, I was always impressed with his competitiveness and ability. He plays with an edge and is a good, young, local player that will grow and develop within our program. We believe he will become an elite BCHL player and earn an NCAA scholarship.”

Max Beckford (2003, G)

  • Hometown: London, Ont.
  • Previous team: Wisconsin Windigo (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Michigan Tech University

Beckford was one of the top goaltenders in the North American Hockey League last year, posting a .923 save percentage, a 2.60 goals-against average and two shutouts, while going 18-11-1 in 30 regular-season games. He was even better in the postseason with his .942 save percentage and 1.87 goals-against. The year prior, he played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League and split time between the Spruce Grove Saints and Brooks Bandits, where he won a league championship as well as a national title.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Max has a championship pedigree from playing in Brooks. Physically, he is very gifted and has developed over the years into an NCAA-calibre goalie. He will provide stability, leadership and mentorship to our our younger goalies and our team as a whole. He’s a tremendous young man, driven to be a great player and we are excited to have him join our group.”

Grayden Daul (2003, D)

  • Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
  • Previous team: Janesville Jets (NAHL)
  • College commitment: University of Wisconsin

Daul split last season between Janesville of the North American Hockey League and the Sioux City Musketeers of the US Hockey League. In 2021-22, he had a huge offensive year in Janesville, piling up 39 points in 56 regular-season contests.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s smart, extremely mobile and an excellent puck mover. He has plenty of offensive upside, so we will put him in situations where he can be successful offensively. In addition, he will be a good leader and mentor for our younger players. He’s very hungry to learn and develop.”

Morgan Brady (2005, D)

  • Hometown: Woking, Alta.
  • Previous team: Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
  • College commitment: Arizona State University

Brady had a strong rookie season last year in Spruce Grove. He put up six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 44 regular-season games.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s really physical, but he’s smart about it. He keeps guys honest that way. We think offensively, he’s a play driver. He drives breakouts with his feet. He can transport pucks through the neutral zone and off the rush. He’s got a really good shot on the power play. He’s got a great one-timer and he likes to use it. He’s got great character as well. He’ll be a leader for us even though he’s a 2005-born player.”

Cole Balkovec (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Cloverdale, B.C.
  • Previous team: RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna (CSSHL U18)

Balkovec was one of the top scorers on his U18 team last year. He put up 79 points in 81 games across all competition, including a team-best 62 assists. He has one game of BCHL experience as an affiliate with the Penticton Vees last season. He is the son of Maco Balkovec who is a well-known youth coach in B.C. and also spent time behind the bench at Bowling Green State University.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Cole had a strong season last year and was relied on in all roles for his team. His development has been steady throughout his time spent in different programs in both the USA and Canada. Cole is also an elite baseball player, participating in the 2018 Little League World Series for Whalley Little League and representing U16 Team BC in 2022. He’s a big, strong forward that can play both centre and wing, so he adds versatility and depth to our group of forwards.”

Liam Hallett (2005, G)

  • Hometown: Victoria, B,C.
  • Previous team: St. George’s School Prep (CSSHL U18)

Hallett’s .930 save percentage last year was tied for third best in all of the CSSHL. He also had a 2.57 goals-against average and a record of 8-4-1 with one shutout.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s a young developing goalie with size. We like his competitiveness and willingness to learn, which will give him an edge for his development over the course of his junior career. He comes from an athletic family as his dad Todd was a three-time Olympic rower. Liam is a winner with a proven track record and championship pedigree from his time at the Burnaby Winter Club.”

Lincoln Hjelm (2006, F)

  • Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
  • Previous team: Northstar Christian Academy (16U AAA)
  • College commitment: University of Nebraska-Omaha

Hjelm tied for the Northstar team lead in assists last year with 31 and was their second-leading scorer with 51 points in 46 games.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Lincoln is a solid two-way forward with a high compete level and skating ability. He’s a natural centre that wins draws and loves to put defencemen on their heels with intense forechecking. He possesses a quick release and can make plays. He’s also a leader as was the captain of his team last year.”

Oskar Komarov (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
  • Previous team: HIFK (U20 SM-sarja)

Playing alongside multiple NHL draft picks, Komarov was the third-leading scorer on his HIFK team last year in the Finnish junior league with 33 points in 39 games. He is the younger brother of Leo Komarov who played over 500 NHL games and represented Finland at multiple international tournaments

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Oskar’s work ethic and competitiveness, combined with his development over the past few years have been impressive. He is also well-educated and fluent in five languages. He comes from an excellent program with a high level of coaching that has allowed him the time to grow and develop into an elite hockey player that is ready to play in the BCHL.”

Carsten Kayter (2006, D)

  • Hometown: Warman, Sask.
  • Previous team: Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)
  • College commitment: University of Nebraska-Omaha

As a rookie with Humboldt last season, Kayter was one of their top defencemen, finishing his first year of junior with 29 points in 52 games, earning the team’s Rookie of the Year award.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He comes to us very well-coached and from a great program in Humboldt. He possesses excellent feet, vision and smarts. Carsten has the ability to run a power play with tremendous offensive upside and can close on opponents fast as a defender. He is hard-working and hungry to prove himself at the BCHL level and beyond.”

Brendan Dunphy (2006, D)

  • Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
  • Previous team: Anaheim Jr. Ducks (16U AAA)

Dunphy was a high scoring blueliner with his 16U team last year in Anaheim. He had 22 goals, 37 assists and 59 points across all competition. He also spent time playing high school hockey for La Jolla Country Day School. He already has close ties to B.C. as his mother is from Vancouver Island and his grandparents live in Chilliwack.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“His Ducks team last year was very good and deep on talented defencemen. Brenden has great size, is very mobile and is an excellent puck-mover. He had a great camp for USA Hockey at the BioSteel camp, finishing second place for the Pacific District. He is young, so he offers us a player that will grow through our program and become prepared for the challenges of NCAA hockey.”

Adyn Merrick (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Saline, Mich.
  • Previous team: Springfield Junior Blues (NAHL)
  • College commitment: Northern Michigan University

Merrick had 10 goals and eight assists in 40 games for Springfield last season. His grandfather Wayne played in the NHL for 12 years and won four Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders, while his father Andrew played four years at the University of Michigan and was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Adyn is a big and crafty forward that adds offence, competitiveness and versatility to our group. He played in a very competitive league as a 16-year-old for half of last season and had a very strong finish. He is a good young player that will grow and develop within our program.”

Aaron Reierson (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Moorhead, Minn.
  • Previous team: Moorhead High (USHS-MN)

Reierson led his high school team in points last year with 51 in 30 games, including a team-best 35 goals.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s a good young player with offensive upside. We are excited to see him grow and develop within our program and earn an NCAA scholarship. Aaron really turned the corner last season and developed his craft at Moorhead. He’s an elite athlete that excels in every sport he plays. His size, willingness to take pucks to the net and offensive contributions last season are indicative of his potential.”

McCarthy Richardson (2006, F)

  • Hometown: New Westminster, B.C.
  • Previous team: Valley West Giants AAA (BCEHL U18)

Richardson tied for third in team scoring with Valley West last season, finishing his campaign with 46 points in 36 games on 23 goals and 23 assists. He also played in a pair of regular-season games last year for the Rivermen as an affiliate, as well as five of the team’s six postseason contests.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Mac is a good young player and a product of a well-established Semiahmoo minor hockey program that is known for its elite development. He’s got size, plays hard and, as a young player, will grow and develop within our program and earn an NCAA scholarship. We’re eager to see the competitive edge he will bring to our program on a consistent basis.”

Liam Hoff (2006, D)

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

Hoff put up two goals and 17 assists in 33 games for Burnaby Winter Club last year. The year prior, he suited up for the Vancouver North West Hawks under-17 team and was the highest scoring defenceman with 46 points in 36 contests.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Liam is a young, developing defencemen that will grow in our program. He possesses offensive upside and a great shot, but he is also hard-working and competitive. He’s very eager to learn and become an elite BCHL defensemen and eventually earn an NCAA Division I scholarship.”

Noah Macdonald (2006, F)

  • Hometown: New Westminster, B.C.
  • Previous team: Delta Hockey Academy Prep (CSSHL U18)

Macdonald had six goals and six assists in 24 games for Delta last year and also got into a trio of BCHL games as an affiliate with the Chilliwack Chiefs. He is the son of Doug Macdonald who played over 600 NHL games.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Noah is a very good young prospect that we have added to our group. He’s a skilled, smart and competitive hockey player that is passionate about hockey and learning. He’s eager to prove himself in the BCHL and earn an NCAA scholarship. We are excited to watch him grow and develop within our program.”

Charlie Tritt (2005, G)

  • Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: North Vancouver Wolf Pack (PJHL)

Tritt had an 11-9-1 record playing Junior B for North Vancouver last year. He also played in four regular-season games for the Rivermen as an affiliate and another one in the playoffs. In 2021-22, he was a teammate of fellow Rivermen goalie Liam Hallett at BWC where they won a championship together.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Charlie has championship pedigree, is athletic, competitive and hard-working. He’s invested in his development and we are excited to watch him compete with our goalie team this season in Langley.”

Hunter Curtis (2005, D)

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

Curtis started and finished his 2022-23 season in the BCHL with the Chilliwack Chiefs last year and played in 31 games. In between, he played Junior B in Abbotsford and had three goals and six assists in 13 games.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s a big, strong powerful skater that defends hard. Hunter is competitive, hard working and eager to prove himself at the BCHL level. We look forward to working with him and developing his game.”

Acquired via trade

Gabriel Guilbault (2006, D)

  • Hometown: Burnaby, B.C.
  • Previous team: Penticton Vees (BCHL)

Guilbault won a BCHL championship last year with Penticton. He suited up for 33 regular-season games and had a goal and five assists. He also played in 14 of his team’s 17 playoff games. Last year, he also had the opportunity to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and also played in the BCHL’s Top Prospects Game.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He possesses the qualities to be an elite player in the BCHL and beyond. He’s a strong skater with lots of offensive upside. His work ethic and dedication to his craft are second to none. Gabe is extremely hungry to prove himself at the BCHL level and earn an NCAA commitment.”

Luke Ashton (2005, D)

  • Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Vernon Vipers (BCHL)

Ashton spent the past two seasons in Vernon, suiting up for 81 regular-season games and another 13 in the playoffs. He has two goals and seven assists in his career.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“We believe that Luke will be an elite player for us. He’s a proven BCHL player that had a very good playoff last year in Vernon. He has tons of upside and both sides feel very confident that we can tap into that and grow his game to be more complete both offensively and defensively. He is very hungry to grow his game and prove himself.”

Conner Schneider (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Madison, Wis.
  • Previous team: Surrey Eagles (BCHL)
  • College commitment: University of Nebraska-Omaha

Schneider joined the Eagles halfway through the 2022-23 season after spending the previous season-and-a-half in the USHL. In Surrey, he had 14 points in 32 regular-season games and another eight in 12 postseason contests.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Conner is a very skilled and smart player that will bring offensive production to the program. When given the opportunity in Surrey last year towards the end of the season and in playoffs, he excelled. We are excited to have him in Langley.”

Thomas Tien (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Richmond, B.C.
  • Previous team: Vernon Vipers (BCHL)

Tien started last season with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League before joining the Vipers in November. He had 20 points in 32 games for Vernon, plus three goals in nine postseason contests.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“I coached Thomas at St. George’s in 2020-21 and was extremely impressed with him as a player and a person. His attitude and energy are infectious. He brings great passion to everything he does. He’s relentless on the forecheck and plays extremely hard. We think Thomas will be an excellent player for us and be able to play in all situations. We’ll also count on him for leadership and to mentor our younger players.”

Ewan Rennie (2005, F)

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

In his first BCHL season last year, Rennie scored four goals to go along with six assists in 36 regular-season games.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“Ewan’s former coach in Surrey Cam Keith raves about his hockey sense, skill and work ethic, and we agree with his assessment. Given the opportunity to play higher in the lineup, we feel he can be counted on to generate offence for us. He has great character and passion for the game. He’s a young player with a year under his belt and, given time to grow and develop within our program, will generate plenty of interest from NCAA schools.”

Max Borovinskiy (2004, F)

  • Hometown: West Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Vernon Vipers (BCHL)

Borovinskiy is entering his fourth season in the BCHL after spending time with the Prince George Spruce Kings and Vernon Vipers the past three years. In 2022-23, he scored three goals and added six assists in 50 regular-season games for Vernon.

Kuntz’s scouting report:

“He’s a big, strong, reliable forward that we feel can provide our group with stability. With the amount of games he’s played in this league, we are relying on his experience, but with more of an opportunity, we feel he can generate more offence than he has in the past. He’s hard-working, passionate and wants to prove himself and earn an NCAA scholarship.”

Photo credits: CSSHL (McIntosh, Balkovec, Hoff, Macdonald), Dan Hickling/USHL (Daul), Dan Hickling (Dunphy, Reierson), Garrett James Photography (Curtis, Guilbault, Ashton, Rennie, Borovinskiy), Lisa Mazurek (Tien)