BCHL Players to watch in 2002

By Glenn Fugate

Nathan Schwartzbauer: This Quesnel Millionaire defenseman is one of the biggest in the league at 6’5 210 lbs. Schwartzbauer (82) is reputed to be the fastest skater on the Mills up and down the ice. For a player this size that`s not a easy task. If this big d-man can work on his lateral movement and anticipation he should be a big influence on the Millionaires and the BCHL next year. This Alaskan has alot of size and teams are looking for that on defense. Look for Nathan to take a step up if the rest of his game does. Players will not find it pleasant in front of the Millionaires net next season, when Nathan is on the ice.


Alex Nikiforuk:
Alex plays right wing for the Burnaby Bulldogs of the BCHL. Not many rookies can rack up over a point a game in the BCHL but this native of Kelowna did. Not big at 5’8 165 Alex relies more on speed and smarts to make his game talk. Nikiforuk( 83) was one of the top point getters on Burnaby this season and should have a even bigger role next season. As in most BCHLers a scholarship is his goal and this should not be a problem. A season near 100 points could be in the future for this smart player.


Rod Pelley:
Rod Pelley had a great first year in the BCHL. This player at only 16 years old played a regular shift on the Prince George Spruce Kings. Pelley (84) is listed by the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL and will have to make the decision whether to play in the Dub or pursue a scholarship. This kid from Kitimat B.C. is a strong skater and has pretty good size for a 16-year-old at 6’0 180. Rod played well all year including a trip to the World under-17 tournament. He could become a very good BCHLer if he sticks around. Scoring shouldn`t be a problem and with maturity he could become a bit of a banger. Hopefully for the P.G. Spruce Kings he will go the scholarship route and stay in the BCHL. This center has a bright future.