So far in the 2015-16 hockey season, 38 former BCHLers have played at least one NHL game. Of those, three have made their NHL debut, three have been involved in blockbuster trades and a few others are knocking on the door of the top league in the world.
The 2012 Interior Conference Top Defenceman Mike Reilly debuted with the Minnesota Wild and scored his first NHL goal on Feb. 13 against Jonas Gustavsson in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Jujhar Khaira, the former Prince George Spruce Kings standout and two-time BCHL academic all-star, made his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers and has appeared in 12 games, picking up two assists. He is currently in AHL Bakersfield.
The third NHL debut by a BCHL alum this season belongs to Dan Carr, the former Powell River Kings forward, who scored in his first game on his first shift with the Montreal Canadiens. He is currently on the injured list.
On the trade front, one-time Penticton Vees forward Ryan Johansen was sent from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Nashville Predators straight up for defenceman Seth Jones. It was one of the biggest swaps in recent seasons and both players have done well for their new clubs with Jones putting up 10 assists in 18 games with CBJ while Johansen has 4-12-16 in 17 games in Music City.
Another mega-monster deal, the Dion Phaneuf trade from Toronto to Ottawa, had the collateral damage of sending former Alberni Valley Bulldogs star Casey Bailey from the Toronto organization to Ottawa while Nanaimo Clippers grad Colin Greening went the other way and is doing well with a goal and an assist while going +2 in four games with the Leafs.
Making a solid transition from the NCAA to pro hockey is former West Kelowna Warriors standout Grayson Downing. After signing with the Minnesota Wild last summer, he’s reported to AHL Iowa and has 15-16-31 in 35 games played. Also showing well in the AHL is 2011 Interior Conference MVP and Top Defenceman Joey LaLeggia. Playing forward nowadays, the Burnaby, B.C. native has 7-16-23 in 41 games while posting a +12 rating.
Though he made his NHL debut last season, its been a memorable year for Salmon Arm Silverbacks grad Josh Manson who scored his first NHL goal Nov. 6, the game-winner in a 4-2 Anaheim Ducks victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Among the other BCHL alums, three are captains in Andrew Ladd (Winnipeg), Willie Mitchell (Florida) and Jamie Benn (Dallas).