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Getting Your Start In The BCHL

As a potential future BCHL player, the BCHL offers a first-class experience as you continue to develop as a player, a student and as a person.

The League

The BCHL is comprised of 18 teams covering most areas of the province of British Columbia and one club in Washington State. Since 1961-62, the BCHL has developed more players for the college system than any other league in Canada. The BCHL continuously sets the benchmark for college-committed players in Canada with by far the most alumni playing NCAA Division I hockey out of any junior league in the country.

The BCHL is a member of Hockey Canada and BC Hockey. The BCHL operates and is bound by the rules and regulations of Hockey Canada and BC Hockey. For more information regarding these organizations, please visit the following websites:

Hockey Canada
BC Hockey

Route to the college system

The BCHL is recognized as amateur hockey and, as such, BCHL players are eligible to participate in NCAA hockey. The league provides an excellent opportunity for players to move on to college and pursue an education while remaining a prospect for the NHL and other pro leagues. 380 BCHL alumni played NCAA Division I hockey last season.

Please visit the following websites for more information on NCAA eligibility:

NCAA
College Hockey Inc.

NCAA Men’s Hockey 
NCAA Eligibility Center

The NCAA route is not the only one supported by the BCHL. There are several opportunities available at Canadian universities and colleges as well:

U SPORTS
BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL)
Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC)

Route to pro hockey

The BCHL is heavily scouted by NHL teams and college programs and the league works closely with scouts from all levels to provide up-to-date information on current prospects. The NCAA is the number-one destination for BCHL players. Now days, NCAA alumni make up around 33 per cent of the NHL.

Every year, BCHL players are selected in the NHL Entry Draft and many other league graduates are signed out of college college after moving on from the BCHL.

In the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, 12 BCHL players were selected by NHL teams, highlighted by Alex Newhook who was chosen in the first round (16th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche. In 2016, three BCHL players were taken in the first round when Tyson Jost (Penticton) was taken 10th overall by Colorado, Dante Fabbro (Penticton) went 17th to the Nashville Predators and Dennis Cholowski (Chilliwack) was selected 20th overall by the Detroit Red Wings. Most recently, Kent Johnson was selected fifth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2021 draft.

Opportunities

Players from all over North America have the opportunity to join a BCHL team as the league sees a large turnover in players from season to season.

The BCHL has a roster limit of 23 active players, 20 of which are eligible to dress and participate in any regular season or playoff game. Teams must have minimum of four rookie players (those entering the season with less than 30 games in Junior A). These players regularly compete and attain appropriate playing time.

The BCHL does not operate with a protected list. This allows players entering the BCHL for the first time to have control over which club they’d like to play for. As the BCHL operates in many unique communities of varying size, potential players have options to consider in deciding which team best suites their individual needs. Once a player has signed a Hockey Canada playing card, players are bound by the regulations of Hockey Canada and movement to other teams is restricted.

Fees

BCHL teams may opt to charge a fee, those fees vary team to team ranging from no fees to billet fees. All information related to player fees and deliverables will be made available by each individual team. Refunds will be given to those who are transferred, released or who suffer a season ending injury based on a pro-rated basis.