Simon Chen helps kill a penalty during a game between the Cowichan Valley Capitals and Alberni Valley Bulldogs in January. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Capitals’ Chen gets Div. I deal

Defenceman headed to Alabama Huntsville

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Simon Chen has committed to an NCAA Div. 1 program for the 2018-19 season.

The son of Capitals owner Ray Zhang, Chen will head south to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he will skate for the Chargers.

Chen recently aged out of junior hockey after spending the last two seasons with the Caps.

“I am extremely appreciative for all the teammates I have had at Cowichan and for the coaching staffs and their endless support throughout the two years I’ve spent at Cowichan,” Chen said from Beijing in a press release issued by the team last week. “I feel greatly honoured to be receiving this opportunity to play college hockey at the University of Alabama Huntsville.”

Zhang is thrilled to see his son moving on after wrapping up his junior career.

“This is great news and a great moment for Simon and our family,” he said. “After hard work and a ‘never give up’ attitude, Simon made it happen. This is just the first goal of many to come. I believe Simon will reach his dream to play at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing on China’s national team. Thank you to all of the people who have supported Simon over the years on the Capitals and in the Cowichan Valley.”

Prior to joining the Caps, Chen played minor hockey in his hometown of Beijing and high school hockey in the U.S., and played for China at the 2015 World U18 Championship Div. IIB.

Chen played 52 games in both of his seasons with the Capitals. As a rookie in 2016-17, he scored one goal and added two assists, and posted 16 penalty minutes. In 2017-18 he scored twice and set up nine other goals, and spent 25 minutes in the penalty box. He was an alternate captain and a member of the powerplay and penalty kill units.

Last summer, Chen took part in the Vancouver Canucks Development Camp.

“We are very happy to have Simon Chen commit to a D1 scholarship at the University of Alabama Huntsville,” Capitals head coach Brian Passmore said. “This has been a goal for Simon and he has worked very hard to accomplish this. Simon worked hard both on and off the ice to improve his game. Simon is a very smart kid and excellent student. This past season he was able to play in all situations and gain valuable experience. Simon is a team player and we wish him all the best with his collegiate academics and athletics.”

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Taking cyclists seriously

This officer must have missed some important reading in their copy of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association’s $20K grant will help kids keep riding

Approximately 85-90 per cent of CTRA’s clients are children under the age of 18.

Robert Barron column: Elk poachers should be punished

I could only imagine the fate of these bozos if those east coast hunters ever got hold of them.

Cowichan Capitals fall to last in Island Division

Battle for fourth place goes to Alberni Valley

VIDEO: Christmas arrives in Cowichan with Celtic Rhythms, Summit Dance show

Bright costumes, seasonal music, happy faces: it was all there for everyone to enjoy

Coming up in Cowichan: From a kitchen party to a live nativity play

Stroke Recovery branch hosting an Open House Nova Scotia Kitchen Party The… Continue reading

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

Most Read