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In operation since 1973, the Merritt Centennials organization has long been seen by National Hockey League teams as a desirable franchise for development of players.

A total of 17 players who skated at least one game in Merritt have played in the NHL. The number is remarkable considering the Centennials play in a city of less than 8,000 and have operated for many seasons as a community-owned franchise. Six players have been chosen in the NHL Entry Draft directly from the Cents, the most recent being Dane Birks, who went in the sixth round in 2014 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Former Centennials who have played in the NHL

NameSeasons Played in MerrittCareer NHL GamesNHL Teams
Fred Berry1973-743
Paul Mulvey1973-74225

Jeff Bandura1973-742
Glen Cochrane1974-75411
Tim Watters1975-76741
Ed Beers1976-78250
Don Nachbaur1976-77223
Ron Flockhart1977-78453
Alan Kerr1980-81391
Neil Eisenhut1984-8516
Paul Kruse1986-88423
Link Gaetz1986-8765
Steve Passmore1989-9093
Bill Muckalt1991-94256
Mike Brown1994-9534
Brad Thiessen2005-065
Max Reinhart2007-0823

Former Centennials Drafted Directly from Merritt

NameSeasons Played in MerrittDraft PositionNHL Team
Greg Agar1974-7510th round, 162nd overall in 1975
Maco Balkovec1989-915th round, 110th overall in 1991
Mike Hamilton2001-036th round, 175th overall in 2003
Casey Pierro-Zabotel2004-083rd round, 90th overall in 2007
Reece Willcox2010-125th round, 141st overall in 2012
Dane Birks2012-146th round, 164th overall in 2013

Former Centennials Drafted from the Western Hockey League

NameSeasons Played in MerrittDrafted FromDrafted By
Fred Berry1973-74
Jeff Bandura1973-74
Paul Mulvey1973-74
Glen Cochrane1974-75
Kevin Willison1974-75
Don Nachbaur1976-77
Pat Rabbitt1976-78
Alan Kerr1980-81
Troy Mick1984-85
Cal McGowan1986-88
Paul Kruse1986-88
Brent Thurston1987-88
Steve Passmore1989-90
Mike Josephson1991-92
Tyler Willis1992-93
Mike Brown1994-95
Max Reinhart2007-08

Former Centennials Drafted from NCAA Hockey

NameSeasons Played in MerrittDrafted FromDrafted By
Tim Watters1975-76Michigan Tech
Rob Polman-Tuin1977-79Michigan Tech