Chloe Primerano is shifting columns on the Vancouver Giants’ protected list.
Giants general manager Barclay Parneta says the team is moving Primerano to the college committed section from the main 50-player grouping thanks to the 16-year-old defender from North Vancouver recently committing to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s team for the 2025-26 NCAA campaign.
The Giants made Primerano the first female skater ever picked in any of the three major junior hockey drafts when they selected her in the 13th round of the 2022 WHL Draft. She went to her second Giants’ training camp this fall, and is playing with Rink Kelowna’s Under-18 girls’ prep team this season.
That shift from the 50-player to the college-committed means that Vancouver hangs onto her rights and can also add another player to their list.
It’s unlikely that Vancouver would call on her in the middle of a season. It would be a massive structural change coming in from female hockey, since it doesn’t allow body checking.
A female skater has never appeared any sort of major junior game. Female goalies have played.
Primerano could suit up for the Giants without hurting her Golden Gopher eligibility since the NCAA sees men’s and women’s hockey as two separate sports. For example, Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs freshman goalie Eve Gascon appeared in two QMJHL games with the Gatineau Olympiques in 2021-22.
Minnesota, which is off to a 7-2-0-0 start, is No. 4 in this week’s NCAA national poll. The team has been to six U.S. national championship finals since 2012 and has won four of them.
The 5-foot-8, 134 pound Primerano helped B.C. to a third-place showing at the Under-18 women’s national championship in Dawson Creek last week. B.C. beat Alberta 3-1 in the bronze-medal game on Saturday. She was third in scoring on her team, with five goals and seven points in five games.
Ontario Red beat Quebec 3-2 in overtime in the gold-medal match.
Primerano leads the Canadian Sport School Hockey League Under-18 girls’ prep division in scoring with 39 points, including 21 goals, in 11 games for Rink Kelowna.
SCHMIDT STARS AT UNDER-17 TOURNEY
Giants rookie winger Cameron Schmidt scored at 9:18 of overtime to give Team Canada White a 2-1 win over the U.S. in the gold medal game of the Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Saturday in Charlottetown.
Schmidt had shown off his speed repeatedly in his early tenure with the Giants and this goal was in that vein. He jumped on a loose puck along the right boards, near the U.S. blue-line. He darted to the net and slid a backhander around a sprawling Patrick Quinlan in the U.S. goal. It was Schmidt’s fifth goal of the tournament.
“I kind of just blanked out. I just went to the backhand and it found its way in,” Schmidt told reporters after the game. “Obviously this team was thrown together, but building that bond from the start and carrying it to the end of this tournament was a big thing. These are my brothers for life, and it was an amazing experience.”
Schmidt, who’s from Prince George, was one of four B.C. natives on Canada White, along with Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Blake Fiddler of Kelowna, Lethbridge Hurricanes defenceman Will Sharpe of Ladner, and Pacific Coast Academy goalie Koen Cleaver, who’s a Lethbridge prospect from Port Alberni.
Schmidt, 16, returns to the Vancouver lineup this week after missing seven Giants games. He was the seventh overall pick in the 2022 WHL Draft.
HOCKEY COMMUNITY MOURNS PASSING OF SEAN MURRAY
The B.C. hockey community is mourning the death of goalie coach Sean Murray, who died last week. He worked with various teams over the years, including the 2007 Memorial Cup-winning Giants, and countless minor hockey associations.
It’s easy to guess that he connected with thousands of goalies. One of them was Andrew Hammond, the former Ottawa Senators netminder from Surrey. Hammond listed Murray as an “invaluable mentor, friend and supporter” in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“He taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life … people won’t believe in you until you believe in yourself,” Hammond continued.
“I will miss his laugh and his unwavering love for his students. I was so grateful to be one of his students. I’m forever grateful for all the goalie and life lessons. Thank you for believing in me Sean, I owe so much to you.”
SWIFT CURRENT BRONCOS SUSPEND COACH
Swift Current Broncos GM Chad Leslie announced via team social-media platforms Tuesday that coach Devan Praught had been suspended indefinitely for an alleged violation of the WHL standards of conduct and that the league is reviewing the matter.
The post stated that the alleged incident took place at a Swift Current practice on Monday, and that assistant coach Taras McEwen will “assume the head-coaching duties until further notice.”
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