Victoria Grizzlies' Ellis Rickwood off to hot start in BCHL

The guy can certainly find the net. Ellis Rickwood showed why NHL teams are interested in him for the 2021 draft and why he has so many U.S. collegiate NCAA teams courting him.

The Victoria Grizzlies forward scored five goals in two games as the B.C. Hockey League Island Division season opened with the Grizzlies splitting with a 6-5 shootout victory Friday over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and 4-3 loss Saturday to the Nanaimo Clippers.

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Rickwood had four goals against the Bulldogs and one against the Clippers.

“[Rickwood] has such great skills. That’s why NHL teams are watching him and he has so many NCAA offers,” said Grizzlies GM and coach Craig Didmon. “But he shrugs off the pressure and is so calm, cool and collected.”

Rickwood, from Brantford, Ont., was third in BCHL scoring during the extended pre-season Island Cup in the fall with nine goals and 21 points in 15 games.

“He just picked up where he left off in the fall,” said Didmon.

Veteran Henri Schreifels also got off to a quick start for the Grizzlies with two goals and two assists over the weekend and added the shootout winner against the Bulldogs.

The three stars Saturday were Thomas Maia of Nanaimo with a goal, Devon deVries of the Grizzlies with a goal and goaltender Jordan Naylor of the Clippers with 42 saves.

Each team is playing 20 games, all in the Port Alberni hub at Weyerhaeuser Arena. The host Bulldogs and Cowichan Valley Capitals were playing in a late-finishing game Saturday night. Nanaimo plays Cowichan Valley today while the Grizzlies meet the Bulldogs on Monday.

ICE CHIPS: Eight BCHL alumni, four undrafted, signed NHL contracts over the past week out of the NCAA — Alex Newhook (Grizzlies, Boston College, Colorado Avalanche); Mike Hardman (West Kelowna, Boston College, Chicago Blackhawks); Jordan Kawaguchi (Chilliwack, North Dakota, Dallas Stars); Layton Ahac (Prince George, Ohio State, Las Vegas Golden Knights); Odeen Tufto (Vernon, Quinnipiac, Tampa Bay Lightning); Seth Barton (Trail, UMass-Lowell, Detroit Red Wings); Adam Scheel (Penticton, North Dakota, Dallas); Angus Crookshank (Langley, New Hampshire, Ottawa Senators).

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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