Thursday, September 6, 2012


With the Express ready to begin their 12th BCHL season tomorrow night in Chilliwack against Victoria to kick off the first annual BCHL Showcase. Here's a few things you need to know about this years team to help you get ready.

Here's a few notes about some of the new faces that will dress for the Express this season.

Defenceman Dillian Walker was acquired during the off-season from the Brantford Golden Eagles of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.

He scored 7 goals and 38 assists for 45 points in 48 games. Numbers that were good enough to rank him 4th among blueliners in scoring in the GOJHL. He was named the Midwestern Conference player of the month in December.

Speaking with Head Coach Jon Calvano about Dillian, he likes the grit on the backend and the leadership he will bring to the Express this season.

Making the transition from Ontario to BC for Dillian is a little easier when one of his good friends is on the team. Captain Mitch Nardi.

Entering this season, one area the Express wanted to address when building the team this season was to have a little more grit in the forward group. And not compromise the collection of skill up and down the lineup.

That is something they feel they've done a good job at with a number of the the players they brought in this season.

Sam Majka and Will Cook are two of those players Coach Calvano will rely on to play that grit role. To compliment Brady Shaw, Zach Pryzbek and Mitch Nardi.

Majka played high school hockey last year season where he was the captain of his Wayzata team. He scored 17 goals and 37 points in 27 games. 6 of those goals were game winners.

He was teammates with former Penticton Vee Mario Lucia during the 2010-11 season.

Coach Calvano likes the size he will bring up front at 6'1 and the heavy shot he possess.

18 year old Will Cook played for the Elmira Sugar Kings of the GOJHL last season where he put up 16 goals and 39 points in 51 games.

Cook participated at a tournament in the spring among Junior A players and didn't look out of place where he finished as the tournaments top scorer.

The Port Stanley Ontario native stands 6'1 and Coach Calvano likes the size he will bring, his work along the wall and his knack around the net.

And last, but certainly not least, here's one of the more intriguing story lines for the Express entering this weekend.

2011 WHL Bantam Draft 1st overall pick Matthew Barzal will dress for the Express this weekend as an Affiliate Player. Barzal is a pick of the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Barzal did get some National exposure earlier this summer when he played in the All State All Canadians Camp. If you aren't sure what that is, i'm sure you will remember the commercials for the event leading up to it that aired on TSN. Taylor Hall and John Tavares were guest coaches. And the final aired on TSN.

That event brings together some of the top bantam aged players in Canada.

Barzal is a Burnaby native that appears to be weighing his options when it comes to deciding if he wants to go to the College route or the Major Junior route. The showcase this weekend is an event that is designed for a player like Barzal who will strut his stuff in front of plenty of college scouts.

So there's a little more information about the 2012-13 Coquitlam Express. Lets drop the puck and hope to see you at the rink this weekend in Chilliwack. Or at the home opener next Friday vs. Langley.

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