Langley product Brendan Budy plays junior A hockey for his hometown Rivermen. He is among the three finalists for BCHL Rookie of the year.

Rivermen’s Budy up for BCHL top rookie; Payne nets scholarship with RPI

Langley junior A team has been busy on and off the ice as BCHL season winds down

Langley Rivermen forward Brendan Budy is in the running for the B.C. Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year award.

After the first round of voting by coaches, the finalists from each of the BCHL’s three divisions have been determined for the annual league awards.

Another round of coaches voting will decide the winner for each trophy and the results will be announced next week before the playoffs begin.

Budy, 16, is the lone Rivermen to be up for an award, and is the Mainland Division’s representative for Rookie of the Year (Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy).

He is up against forward Cam Donaldson from the Powell River Kings (Island Division) and forward Zach Risteau from the Merritt Centennials (Interior Division).

The 5’11” 170-pound Budy is fifth in team scoring with 15 goals and 29 assists for 44 points in 54 games played. He is already committed to play at Denver (NCAA Div. 1) in 2019/20.

Going into the season, Budy knew graduating to the BCHL level would be an adjustment.

“I knew it was going to be faster coming into the season,” Budy told the Times in November. “It took me a couple of games to get going but I feel like I’ve adjusted my game well and I’m playing at a good pace. I feel comfortable with the league, right now.”

Payne bound for RPI

In other Rivermen news, forward Gavin Payne has a future hockey home, and it’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), which has secured his services for their NCAA Div. I program for next season.

The 6’2” 200-poundPayne has posted 16 goals and 21 assists in 54 games so far this season while getting ice time in all situations for the Rivermen.

This will be Payne’s lone BCHL campaign after spending last year in the North American Hockey League.

At RPI, the native of Minnetonka, Minn. will join an Engineers program that competes in the NCAA’s ECAC Hockey conference along with Harvard, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Princeton, Colgate, Yale, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth and Union.

Rivermen looking for redemption

The Rivermen have two games left in their regular season, the first of which is tonight (Friday) at the George Preston Recreation Centre against the Wenatchee Wild.

This is the second of back-to-back games between the teams, with the Wild doubling the Rivermen 4-2 last night (Thursday) at the GPRC.

The Rivermen are looking to hit the 30-win mark. They are 29-1-6-2 going into tonight’s game, that has a 7:15 p.m. start time.

– Files from the BCHL website (bchl.ca)