A key member of the Surrey Eagles is among seven BC Hockey League players to have drawn the attention of NHL scouts so far this season.
Earlier this month, National Hockey League Central Scouting listed seven players, including Surrey forward Michael Abgrall, on its ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
In addition to Abgrall, Eli Barnet (Victoria Grizzlies), Ethan Bono (Alberni Valley Bulldogs), Emanuelson Charbonneau (Alberni Valley), Ryan Hopkins (Penticton Vees), Tyson Jugnauth (West Kelowna Warriors) and Joshua Niedermayer (Penticton) were listed.
All seven were deemed ‘C’ prospects by Central Scouting, which is defined as a potential fourth, fifth or sixth-round prospect.
Abgrall, a five-foot-10, 175-pound centre who turned 18 on Oct. 25, is in his second season with the Eagles; he was acquired from the Powell River Kings after the 2019-‘20 season. So far this sesaon, he has one goal and four assists in six games. During last spring’s ‘pod’ season, he scored eight goals and added eight asists in 18 games.
As a 16-year-old rookie with Powell River, he scored 13 goals and added 24 assists in 57 games, and added four points in five playoff games.
The BC Hockey League has had many players drafted by NHL clubs – many in the first round. In 2016, three BCHLers were selected in the first 20 picks, with Tyson Jost (Penticton) being selected by the Colorado Avalanche 10th overall, Dante Fabbro (Penticton) going to Nashville 17th overall and Dennis Cholowski (Chilliwack) picked by the Detroit Red Wings 20th.
Last summer, Kent Johnson was the fifth overall selection by the Columbus Blue Jackets and though he was playing for the University of Michigan at the time, he had played in the BCHL the year before, having led the league in scoring as a member of the Trail Smoke Eaters.