The B.C. Hockey League launched its regular season this weekend with plenty of Delta flavour — including a pair of captains.
Forwards Nicholas Wicks (Merritt) and Calvin Tilsley (West Kelowna) are leading their respective teams in their final season of junior hockey.
Tilsley is a four-year veteran, having split time between the Warriors and the Prince George Spruce Kings. He is coming off a campaign that saw him produce 26 points in 54 games, including eight goals.
Wicks is in his third season in Merritt and is looking to build off his 2017-18 season that saw him produce 46 points in 54 games, including a team-leading 34 assists. That earned him a scholarship deal for Alaska-Anchorage in September 2019.
Meanwhile, Riley Hayles is getting to finish his junior career close to home. The 20-year-old from Ladner was traded on Friday from the Powell River Kings to the Surrey Eagles.
Hayles had played the past two seasons with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. It was part of an extended stint in the Interior that also included three years at the Okanagan Hockey Academy.
He is the second South Delta blueliner to be traded in the past couple of weeks.
Jordan Dawson was dealt from Langley to Nanaimo where the Clippers soon after named him an alternate captain.
The 20-year-old came to the BCHL last year after three seasons in the Western Hockey League with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Dawson is part of a significant local flavour with the Clippers who are guided by former Delta Ice Hawks GM and head coach Darren Naylor.
Nanaimo’s opening night roster in a 6-2 win over Cowichan Valley featured five former Hawks — forwards Blake Bonnar, Jonathan Stein; defencemen Aiden Hansen Bukuta and Isiah Hendricks, along with goaltender Jordan Naylor. D-man Gabriel LeBlanc is also with the organization.
Tsawwassen’s Hansen-Bukuta had a pair of assists in his BCHL debut.
Another former Hawk and South Delta product getting a fresh start this season is forward Sam Kozlowski who was traded to Prince George from Coquitlam. The 20-year-old had a pair of goals in wins over Chilliwack this weekend. He is headed to RIT next season on a scholarship.
Here is a rundown of Delta players currently on BCHL rosters:
Pearce Messer, forward (2000).
Wyatt Elmer, forward (1999)
Nicholas Wicks, forward (1998)
Jordan Dawson, defenceman (1998), Aiden Hansen Bukuta defenceman (1999), Jonathan Stein forward, (1999).
Trevor Isakkson defenceman (2000).
Nathan Kelly, defenceman (2000)
Sam Kozlowski forward (2000).
Riley Hayles defenceman (1998)
Kieran O’Hearn defenceman (2000)
Cavin Tilsley forward (1998).