The BCHL has renamed its playoff MVP award after a former Trail Smoke Eaters coach and member of a prominent local hockey family.
The Jeff Tambellini Trophy will now be given out to the top performer of the BCHL’s playoffs.
Tambellini played in the league for the Chilliwack Chiefs and also coached the Smoke Eaters for two season. During his BCHL playing career, Tambellini put up 168 regular season points in 88 games, helping the Chiefs to a league championship in 2002.
That year, he was the Coastal Conference winner of the Most Valuable Player award as well as a co-winner of the Brett Hull Trophy for BCHL leading scorer with 117 points in 54 games.
During his coaching career in Trail, Tambellini helped set multiple team records during the 2019-20 season. Tambellini is currently in charge of NCAA Recruitment and a pro scout with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s a big honour to be named to the playoff MVP award,” Tambellini said in a news release. “The BCHL has had an amazing group of players, staff and coaches come through over the years. It’s very humbling to have my name on one of the league trophies.”
Tambellini is the eldest son of Trail native Steve Tambellini, who played over 500 games in the NHL and went on to become general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. Jeff’s grandfather Addie Tambellini was a key member of the 1961 world champion Trail Smoke Eaters.