Cents in the NHL

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

Name Seasons Played in Merritt Career NHL Games NHL Teams
Fred Berry 1973-74 3
Paul Mulvey 1973-74 225

Jeff Bandura 1973-74 2
Glen Cochrane 1974-75 411
Tim Watters 1975-76 741
Ed Beers 1976-78 250
Don Nachbaur 1976-77 223
Ron Flockhart 1977-78 453
Alan Kerr 1980-81 391
Neil Eisenhut 1984-85 16
Paul Kruse 1986-88 423
Link Gaetz 1986-87 65
Steve Passmore 1989-90 93
Bill Muckalt 1991-94 256
Mike Brown 1994-95 34
Brad Thiessen 2005-06 5
Max Reinhart 2007-08 23

Former Centennials Drafted Directly from Merritt

Name Seasons Played in Merritt Draft Position NHL Team
Greg Agar 1974-75 10th round, 162nd overall in 1975
Maco Balkovec 1989-91 5th round, 110th overall in 1991
Mike Hamilton 2001-03 6th round, 175th overall in 2003
Casey Pierro-Zabotel 2004-08 3rd round, 90th overall in 2007
Reece Willcox 2010-12 5th round, 141st overall in 2012
Dane Birks 2012-14 6th round, 164th overall in 2013

Former Centennials Drafted from the Western Hockey League

Name Seasons Played in Merritt Drafted From Drafted By
Fred Berry 1973-74
Jeff Bandura 1973-74
Paul Mulvey 1973-74
Glen Cochrane 1974-75
Kevin Willison 1974-75
Don Nachbaur 1976-77
Pat Rabbitt 1976-78
Alan Kerr 1980-81
Troy Mick 1984-85
Cal McGowan 1986-88
Paul Kruse 1986-88
Brent Thurston 1987-88
Steve Passmore 1989-90
Mike Josephson 1991-92
Tyler Willis 1992-93
Mike Brown 1994-95
Max Reinhart 2007-08

Former Centennials Drafted from NCAA Hockey

Name Seasons Played in Merritt Drafted From Drafted By
Tim Watters 1975-76 Michigan Tech
Rob Polman-Tuin 1977-79 Michigan Tech