The 2021 National Hockey League playoffs got underway Saturday and there is a long list of BCHL alums competing for hockey’s holy grail. Twenty-two grads are chasing the Stanley Cup, 10 more than there were in last year’s playoffs.
Twelve of the 16 teams have at least one former BCHLer on the roster, led by the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators, who have three piece.
The Avs, one of the favourites to win it all, feature Norris Trophy contender Devon Toews (Surrey Eagles 2011-13) on defence and have Tyson Jost (Penticton Vees 2014-16) and Alex Newhook (Victoria Grizzlies 2017-19) at forward. Newhook is just six games into his NHL career after leaving the NCAA’s Boston College Eagles.
The Nashville Predators have a pair of Penticton Vees on the roster, defenceman Dante Fabbro (2014-16) and forward Ryan Johansen (2008-09) along with Westside Warriors alum Colton Sissons (2009-10).
The Edmonton Oilers go into battle with Jujhar Khaira (Prince George 2010-12) and Kyle Turris (Burnaby Express 2005-07), facing off against the Winnipeg Jets with Jordie Benn (Victoria 2005-08) and Laurent Brossoit (Cowichan Valley 2009-10).
The Toronto Maple Leafs with Alex Kerfoot (Coquitlam Express 2011-13) and Riley Nash (Salmon Arm Silverbacks 2006-07) take on the Montreal Canadiens with goaltender Carey Price, who played for the BCHL’s Quesnel Millionaires way back in 2002-03.
Other BCHLers in the NHL playoffs include Boston’s Mike Reilly (Penticton 2011-12), Minnesota’s Brad Hunt (Burnaby Express 2006-08) and Andrew Hammond (Surrey/Vernon 2007-09), the New York Islanders’ Andrew Ladd (Coquitlam 2002-03) and Travis Zajac (Salmon Arm 2002-04), Pittsburgh’s Brandon Tanev (Surrey 2011-12), St. Louis’s Tyler Bozak (Victoria 2004-07) and Washington’s Daniel Carr (Powell River 2009-10) and Justin Schultz (Westside 2007-09).