Six of the seven BCHL players selected at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas play for Interior Division clubs.
Penticton Vees defenceman Johnny Tychonick was picked 48th overall by the Ottawa Senators.
The Detroit Red Wings selected Trail Smoke Eaters defenceman Seth Barton 81st.
League champion Wenatchee Wild had two players drafted 3 picks apart; Defenceman Slava Demin at 99th to the Vegas Golden Knights, and BCHL MVP Jasper Weatherby to the San Jose Sharks at 102nd.
Two Vernon Vipers were also selected; Forward Brett Stapley went 190th overall to the Montreal Canadiens, and Ty Taylor was chosen 214th by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The only non-Interior Division player selected was Langley Rivermen Forward Angus Crookshank, picked 126th by Ottawa.
Seven BCHLers selected in one NHL Entry Draft ties a league record.
After 3 rounds of NHL playoff action, it's down to 3 Q101 listeners for the game-worn Merritt Centennials jersey.
At the start of the playoffs, we asked listeners to fill a Stanley Cup playoffs bracket, picking winners all the way to the Cup Final.
Courtney, Richard, and Debbie can now get their hands on the jersey, but we'll still need a tie-breaker after the Cup is awarded to either Vegas or Washington!
The offseason has begun in earnest and the Merritt Centennials will host their first camp of the year with 80 invitees who will split into 4 teams.
There will be some locals who have a chance to make the squad: Defenseman Atrayu Johnny, Goaltender Colton Macauley, and Forwards Anthony Tulliani and Liam Kelly all hail from the Merritt Midget program. Other locals who have gone abroad for their midget years include: Goaltender Brendan Culbertson from Atlanta in the USPHL (United States Premier Hockey League), Defenseman Talon Zakall from Yale Elite Prep, and Holden King from Niagara in the GMHL (Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League).
Also of interest there will be two younger brothers of current Centennials who will get a chance to crack the roster. Garrett Wicks younger brother of Nick Wicks has impressed with the Greater Vancouver Canadians this past season putting up 41 points in 40 games. Then there's the possibility of having a trio of brothers on the team with local Joshua Van Unen trying out to join twins Rylan and Michael. Joshua registered 40 points in 34 games with Shawnigan Lake last season.
Among the 80 players, there will also be two Affiliate Players who got action with the Centennials this season: Frazer Dodd and Yewta Plamendon. Dodd contributed 4 points over 7 games for the Cents, and 47 points over 40 games for the 100 Mile Wranglers of the KIJHL. Plamendon got into two games this season with the Cents against the Wenatchee Wild, but was unable to find the scoresheet, but with the Kamloops Storm he was able to add 23 goals and 40 points.
Spring Camp will start this Friday with fitness testing, small area games and scrimmages before wrapping up on Sunday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Dane Birks to a two-year, entry level contract.
A Merritt Native, Birks spent time with the Merritt Centennials from 2012-2014, but has spent the last 4 years at Michigan Tech playing for the Huskies, and has shown steady improvement throughout his years. This season he finished with five goals, 13 assists and was a plus 10 in 44 games.
In 112 BCHL games, Birks had 41 points (9 goals and 32 assists), and was named Merritt's Rookie of the Year in 2012-13, and Merritt's Defenseman of the Year in 2013-14.
He will report this week to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on an amateur tryout contract before his deal begins for the 2018-19 campaign.