BCHL sets record for college commitments

The BCHL's 2015-16 season featured a national championship, three NHL draft picks and a record of college commitments

The British Columbia Hockey League.

The British Columbia Hockey League.

The 2015-16 BCHL season was capped off by the West Kelowna Warriors winning their first RBC Cup national championship and three NHL draft picks.

The league achieved another big milestone — the highest number of college commitments with 148 in any season.

“Our league slogan is ‘Smart Hockey’ and it’s clear the development and exposure our players receive in the BCHL is preparing them to succeed at the next level and in life,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale in a press release. “Offering a chance at an education while pursuing a career in hockey is a fabulous combination and one we are proud to offer to so many players and their families.”

Of the 148 college commitments from 2015-16, there were 123 to National Collegiate Athletic Association Div. I programs, nine to Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), 11 to NCAA Div. III, three to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC), one to the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) and one to the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).

The majority of the commitments were earned straight from the BCHL, while a number of the scholarships were accepted by players prior to coming to the league.

“College programs that want their recruits to develop in our league before going to school are making an extremely strong endorsement of the opportunity we offer,” said BCHL communications director Brent Mutis. “The skill development and maturity that come with BCHL experience give coaches at the next level confidence that our graduates can step into their roster and contribute right away.”

Each of the 17 BCHL franchises had multiple college-committed players on their roster last season.