Giant steps for Upland’s Bigos

I spoke with Vernon Vipers defenseman Kyle Bigos of Upland earlier this week about his BCHL team’s recently completete season.

Bigos was selected the MVP and Top Defensive Player of the RBC Cup (Canadian Jr. A hockey’s championship series). This is quite an accomplishment for the 6-5, 230-pound blueliner who barely played AAA hockey in Southern California.

Bigos left home before his sophomore year in high school to attend Notre Dame Prep School in Saskatchewan. From there, he played the past two seasons in Vernon. This season he led all Vipers defenseman in points, and Vernon captured the league’s Doyle Cup en route to taking the RBC Cup.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Bigos recently accepted a scholarship offer to play collegiately at Merrimack College in Massachusetts.

All in all, not a bad month. And it could get better. Bigos has been getting feelers from NHL teams for that league’s upcoming Entry Draft. Unpicked in his first season of eligibility, there is a good change he’ll go this time around.

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California hockey alumni report

My latest alumni report on California hockey players is posted on http://www.calirubber.com

Click here to go right to the story.

Among the highlights:

California players – particularly Vancouver defenseman Jonathon Blum and Kelowna center Colin Long – continue to dominate in the WHL. And those two and others, such as Spokane’s Mitch Wahl, Kamloops’ CJ Stretch and Everett’s Shane Harper, have some company. Rookie Tyler Maxwell is scoring at almost a point-per-game clip.

Bobby Ryan’s return to the NHL has been very solid, and read how Richard Park helped sink the Canadiens.

Matt Ford got his first AHL goal last week.

All this and more … in one place!