Former Alberni Valley Bulldogs captain Chase Klassen has been named one of the BC Hockey League’s recipients of the Kyle Turris Community Award.
The award is given each year to BCHL players who “go above and beyond” in their community. Klassen appeared in 123 games for the Bulldogs during his BCHL career and capped off his time with the club as its captain for the 2022-23 season.
According to a BCHL press release, Klassen embraced his role as team captain, not only on the ice but in the community, especially when it came to helping the City of Port Alberni with their Parks and Recreation Skating Programs.
“Chase has been a huge part of the growth and development of our Parks and Recreation Hockey and Skating Programs this past season,” explained Dave Osborne, recreation programmer for the City of Port Alberni. “He showed a great amount of dedication and commitment to the success of the players he coached by always showing up with a smile on his face, ready to share his passion for hockey, even if his team got in late from an away game the night before.”
Klassen was also a “constant” at Bulldogs community appearances.
“Chase would show up for his private and group sessions each day with a great attitude and excitement for sharing his love for hockey with our community,” Osborne said. “Each player Chase worked with genuinely enjoyed his leadership as he would spend the time to make a positive impact on their individual experience. We will miss having Chase around next season, but know he’ll find success in whatever path he chooses.”
Klassen’s 2022-23 trophy case also included the newly-minted Bill Surry Memorial Award as the Bulldogs’ Humanitarian of the Year, and the Community Hero Award.
“Chase exemplifies what we want from our players, both on the ice and in the community,” said club president David Michaud. “Chase will be greatly missed in our locker room, but even more in the community. He was a fan favourite for all the right reasons and I’m proud to say that he was a part of club for as long as he was.”
Other winners from the BCHL’s Coastal Conference include Bryan Jones (Chilliwack Chiefs), Mateo Dixon (Coquitlam Express), McCoy Bidewell (Cowichan Valley Capitals), Joseph Messina (Langley Rivermen), Michael Craig (Nanaimo Clippers), Karter McNarland (Powell River Kings), Brody Gagno (Surrey Eagles) and Devon deVries (Victoria Grizzlies).