BCHL Leaves Hockey Canada, Smokies Sign another US Recruit


The British Columbia Hockey League has cut all ties with Hockey Canada.

This gives the Trail Smoke Eaters and the 17 other teams in the Jr-A loop the opportunity to recruit any junior player from across North America and Europe beginning June 1.

The league broke away from the Canadian Junior Hockey League just before completing the 2020-21 (COVID pod) season.

The BCHL and CJHL were at odds over the inability to recruit players who are under 18-years old from outside the province.

It played last season and the 2022-23 campaign under the umbrella of Hockey Canada, but the same recruiting rules still applied.

Earlier this week, the league’s teams voted to severe its relationship with Hockey Canada and operate on its own.

The Trail Smoke Eaters have signed another American recruit.

Patrick Reilly was an assistant captain for his high school team at the Christian Brothers Academy and was named conference MVP for the USHS league in New Jersey.   

The 6’ 1” right-shot defenseman also suited up for the U-18 New Jersey Rockets and Sioux City Musketeers in the Jr-A USHL.

The 18-year-old rearguard from Avon, NJ. has already made an NCAA commitment to Princeton University.