Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hockey Lessons Key For Viper Alumni Brownlee’s Music Career:

Here is an article I found on former Vernon Vipers defenceman Chad Brownlee.  This article is from February but I thought I would post it anyways.

Brownlee a current Country music star is a 2011 CCMA Rising Star award winner, also a recipient of his first JUNO Award nomination in February of 2013.  Brownlee played two years in Vernon (2001-03).  In 113 regular season games with the Vipers, Brownlee collected (14-goals-28-assists-42-points). Brownlee was drafted in 2003 in the 6th round, by the NHL Vancouver Canucks but retired from hockey after a short stint in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) with the Idaho Steelheads before becoming a Country music star.

Chad Brownlee's Player Profile:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=72703

This was in the Prince Albert Daily Herald Newspaper:

Hockey lessons key for Brownlee’s music career

Perry Bergson

Published on February 26, 2015

Chad Brownlee knows a little about performing under pressure.

The Canadian country music singer was drafted in the sixth round by the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks in 2003 after two seasons of Junior A hockey with the Vernon Vipers in the BCHL.

From there, the defenceman went on to play four years with the Minnesota State Mavericks in Mankato, Minn.  serving as captain for the NCAA squad during part of his 135-game career with the team. He played 35 games with the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads in 2007 before calling it quits due to a combination of concussions and a pair of bad shoulders that both required surgery.

“I wouldn’t be the same artist-entertainer-songwriter that I am today without those years of hockey,” Brownlee says from his Langley, B.C. home,  “It teaches you dedication, discipline and what it takes to be successful at what you do and how many hours it takes to be spent on your craft and be proficient at it and to have a product that people are drawn to. And it also gives you a thick skin. When you have coaches yelling an inch from your face and making you feel real small, you build a bit of a backbone and you find out who you are. I do take that with me with the music. I don’t think I would be as successful as I am now without those years of hockey.”

Brownlee plays the E.A. Rawlinson Centre on Thursday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $48.30. He will be joined by label-mates Jess Moskaluke and Bobby Wills.

There’s even a neat tie-in to his previous career. The 30-year-old singer is auctioning off a guitar made of hockey sticks that he will be playing at times during the tour. The proceeds will go to the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation.

“We’re going to be playing it on stage throughout the tour so it’s going to get a little bit of love before the person who bids on it gets it.”

Brownlee will be doing 26 shows in 30 days, something he refers to as Groundhog Day but in a different place with different people every day.

Moskaluke, a Langenburg, Sask., product, had a gold record and hit with Cheap Wine and Cigarettes and was named Female Vocalist of the Year in 2013 at the Saskatchewan Country Music Association Awards.

Wills is a Calgary singer who placed three singles in the Top 15 last year.

Brownlee’s last trip to Prince Albert came when he opened for Dean Brody on Feb. 5, 2013. He says he’s looking forward to returning to the well-regarded soft-seat theatre.

“I’m not really the party guy,” he says. “We’ve done some tours where it’s more of the uptempo and drinking crowd. It’s nice to have that theatre where you can kind of get into a more dynamic show as far as breaking it down and having a real listening audience. I’m looking forward to being at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.”

He says the show is new, bringing a new dynamic and a different side of himself to the stage.

In 2010, he released his debut self-titled album, earning a nomination for the CCMA Rising Star Award and winning the Canadian Country Music Conference best new artist showcase award.

He has since released Love Me or Leave Me in 2012 and The Fighters in 2014.

When the hit singles started to come, they came quickly. In 2013, Crash hit No. 10 and Where the Party At? peaked at No. 13. A year later Fallin' Over You (No. 10), Just Because (No. 11) When the Lights Go Down (No. 14) all hit the Top 40.

He also received a Juno nomination for top country album and a pair of Canadian Country Music Association award nominations for top male artist in 2012 and 2013.

After a series of singles in 2011 and 2012, Brownlee broke through in early 2013 with the Top 10 single Crash.

Brownlee says he can’t pinpoint where the momentum really started, saying that he thinks it was an accumulation of the singles that had gone to radio.

“Momentum can carry a lot of energy with it and if you can find a way to harness that energy and continue it for as long as you can,” he says. “It’s very healthy. We do live in an industry of a quick rise, quick fall so if you can find a way to create longevity, it’s important.”

He’s hoping to return to the studio after the tour ends with some material he’s written. The very earliest it would come out is year’s end but 2016 is more likely.

Music has been a part of Brownlee’s life for a long time.

He had played piano as a child and tenor saxophone in middle school.

He started writing in his first year of university, two years after he picked up a guitar. He says his hockey teammates were aware of his songwriting and very supportive.

Brownlee would play at parties after games when the guys were sitting around.

“You’d be surprised at some of the songs they requested,” he laughs. “A big tough guy wanting some Enrique Iglesias song to be played or something. That’s awesome.”

In his fourth year of university, he wrote a song called The Hero I See as a tribute to a youngster named Anthony Ford he knew who was suffering from leukemia.

“I think that song, as a songwriter, really motivated me to do it more because I saw the impact that it can have and the good that it can do.”

The song raised raising thousands for the Anthony Ford Foundation and earned Brownlee a nomination for the NCAA Hockey Humanitarian Award.

Brownlee later included Ford in the title track called The Fighters.

After choosing to leave hockey, Brownlee did a day job for a few years, only moving to a full-time career a couple years after releasing his debut single in 2009.

Even he questions his choice of professions.

“I went from the unstable world of professional sports to the equally or even more unstable world of the entertainment industry,” he says. “You really do have to trust your intuition and you have to have a love for it because if you don’t, you’re going to be stopped at your first moment of failure because obviously there are a lot of moments of failure for all success stories. If you have that love for it, it helps to break down those barriers and jump over the obstacles. This is such a tough industry and you really have to believe in yourself and your music and have people around you who believe in the same thing.”

Brownlee now skates once a week with the Canucks alumni and started a beer league team with his buddies in Langley so he does still share in the camaraderie that’s such a big part of hockey.

He chuckles when asked what a 15-year-old Chad Brownlee’s reaction would be to his success in music rather than hockey.

“He would probably start with a little bit of laughter and say ‘Well, the NHL is what I’m meant to do.’ At 15, I would have believed that 100 per cent. I think the one thing that I can tell other 15-year-olds is at that moment, that is your dream and it might be your dream for the rest of your life. You might be successful but be prepared for your dreams to change and it’s OK if they do.

“I think if I had known that, it would have been a little bit easier transition for me from hockey to music. We become different people and we become interested in different things and our heart lies in different areas.”

Friday, July 31, 2015

Everblades Add Former Viper D-Man Florentino To Teams Season Ending Roster:

On June 16th the ECHL announced the Season-Ending Rosters as submitted
by each of its member teams. The Florida Everblades have twenty players listed on their season ending roster list one of is former Vernon Vipers forward Rob Florentino.

Florentino started last year with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Elmira Jackals.  The Jackals signed Florentino to a try-out contract on October 15th 2014 before being traded to the Everblades on January 3rd 2015. In 18 games with Elmira Florentino recorded two goals, In 34 games this past season with Florida Florentino had (4-goals-4-assists-8-points).

After three seasons at U-Mass Boston Florentino has spent the past two and a half seasons playing in the ECHL & SPHL with five teams (Las Vegas, Huntsville, Reading, Elmira & Florida).

Florentino attended the 2009 Vernon Vipers Training Camp playing in a few exhibition games before being released. The Vipers with the league limit six twenty year olds at that time were forced to release Florentino who was twenty years old. Florentino later signed with the Victoria Grizzlies where he started the 2009-2010 regular season.

Rob Florentino's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=42676

This is posted on the Everblades website:

‘Blades Announce Season-Ending Roster

June 16, 2015

ESTERO, FL – The Florida Everblades announced Tuesday their Season-Ending Roster.  The list of 20 players is comprised of two goaltenders, five defensemen, and 13 forwards.  This is the second of a three-step process in which ECHL teams use to reserve the rights to ECHL contracted players for the 2015-16 season

Goaltenders

Anthony Peters
Matt Ginn

Defensemen

Matt Mangene
Mike Cornell
Mike Little
Gleason Fournier
Rob Florentino

Forwards

Kevin Lynch
Mitch Wahl
Casey Pierro-Zabotel
Mike Aviani
Evan Bloodoff
Matt Marquardt
Gabriel Desjardins
Adam Brace
Steven Whitney
Ray Kaunisto
Chris Kushneriuk
Corey Trivino
Brant Harris

Season-Ending Rosters may include up to 20 players. Season-Ending Rosters cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2014-15.

Each team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2015-16 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until August 1 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until August 1. After August 1, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran or goaltender shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by August 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Former Vernon Viper Coughlin Attends Blackhawks Development Camp:

Former Vernon Viper forward Liam Coughlin attended the Chicago
Blackhawks Development Camp in July from July 12th-July 17th.

Coughlin spent the past two seasons in Vernon (2013-2015) Playing in 107 games with the Vipers Coughlin collected (38-goals-67-assists-105 points). Coughlin has committed to Vermont University for this coming season was drafted 130th overall by the Oilers in Round 5 at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.  The Oilers traded Coughlin to Chicago on July 6th 2015 for Anders Nilsson.

Liam Coughlin's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=248303

This is posted on the Blackhawks website:

Blackhawks to host 2015 Prospect Camp from July 12-17

Thursday, 07.9.2015

By Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks will conduct their 2015 Prospect Camp at Johnny’s IceHouse West in Chicago (2550 W. Madison St.) from Sunday, July 12 to Friday, July 17.

The camp roster of 57 invites is highlighted by all seven of Chicago’s 2015 National Hockey League Draft selections, as well as former first-round selection Nick Schmaltz (2014). Illinois natives include Roy Radke (2015 NHL Draft, 164th overall), Anthony Louis (2013 NHL Draft, 181st overall) and Vincent Hinostroza (2012 NHL Draft, 169th overall). A complete camp roster and schedule are attached.

On-ice sessions will begin on Sunday, July 12, and will run from approximately 10:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. at Johnny’s IceHouse West. Practices and scrimmages will be conducted Monday-Wednesday, with position practice on Thursday. The group will hold one scrimmage on Friday beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m.

Click link below to view the full camp roster.

http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=106273

Prospect Camp is open to the public.

2015 Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Camp Schedule

*All times subject to change

Sunday, July 12

10:30-11:45 a.m. Practice: Team C
12:30-1:45 p.m. Practice: Group 1 & 2
2:00-3:15 p.m. Practice: Group 3 & 4

Monday, July 13

9:45-10:15 a.m. Practice: Team A
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Scrimmage: Team A vs. Team B
12:30-1:00 p.m. Practice: Team B
1:15-2:30 p.m. Practice: Team C

Tuesday, July 14

9:45-10:15 a.m. Practice: Team B
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Scrimmage: Team B vs. Team A
12:30-1:00 p.m. Practice: Team A
1:15-2:30 p.m. Practice: Team C

Wednesday, July 15

10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Scrimmage: Team A vs. Team B
1:15-2:30 p.m. Practice: Team C

Thursday, July 16

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Practice: Forwards
12:45-1:45 p.m. Practice: Defensemen

Friday, July 17

10:00-11:30 a.m. Scrimmage

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BCHL News & Trades:

Here's a look around the league on what some of the other teams have been up to this off season regarding trades, player announcements and other team news.

I found these press releases off team websites, other hockey blogs or online.

BCHL News & Trades:

Grizzlies Announce 14 Player Commitments:

The Victoria Grizzlies announced an astounding 14 player commitments. Joining Victoria are forwards Corey Iapalucci, Tyler Preziuso, Keyvan Mokhtari, Tyler Welsh and defenseman Drayson Pears. Iapalucci is a 19-year-old from Kirkland, PQ. He spent last season with the Ogden Mustangs of the Western States (Tier III Junior A) Hockey League. Iapalucci finished second in scoring on the Mustangs with 53 points (18 goals, 35 assists) in 41 games. He hasn't played junior A hockey in Canada before, but was taken in the second round, 21st overall by the Hawkesbury Hawks in the 2014 Central Canada Hockey League Draft. Preziuso, from Burnaby, BC, played for the BC Major Midget League South Island Royals last season. He tied for third in team scoring with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 40 games. The 16-year-old was selected in the third round, 61st overall by Medicine Hat in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. Mokhtari also hails from Burnaby. The 17-year-old spent 2014-15 with the Burnaby Winter Club Prep team of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League and posted 36 points (19 goals, 17 assists) in 22 games. He also got into three BCHL games with Trail as an AP and had one assist. Mokhtari was chosen by Everett in the seventh round, 136th overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Welsh, an 18-year-old from Whistler, BC played last season with the Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, where he had 75 points (17 goals, 58 assists) in 48 games. He played one game as an AP for the Grizzlies and scored a goal. Pears is a hometown Victoria player for the Grizzlies. He skated with the VIJHL's Westshore Wolves in 2014-15, tallying 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) in 47 games. The 17-year-old played the previous season for the BCMML South Island Royals, where he had six points (two goals, four assists) in 40 games. It is interesting to note that in their media release, the Grizzlies announced that forward Kale Kane had committed to the team, but Chilliwack already announced his commitment to the Chiefs earlier this month. Word is that the 18-year-old University of Vermont recruit originally committed to Victoria, but changed his mind and decided to go to Chilliwack instead.

Alberni Valley-Mississauga Trade:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have acquired veteran defenseman Tyler Cooper from the Mississauga Chargers of the OJHL for future considerations. The 6’5”, 215lbs defenseman already brings three years of Junior A experience with him to the Bulldogs. The Oshawa Generals originally drafted Cooper in the 8th round in the 2012 OHL draft. In 150 careers Junior A regular season games split between the Elliot Lake Bobcats of the NOJHL and the Mississauga Chargers, Cooper has contributed 36 points and 276 penalty minutes. Alberni Valley fans can expect Cooper to be a big, physical, stay-at-home defenseman who will block shots and finish his checks. He’s not afraid to drop the gloves to fire up the team or get the crowd involved. “I’ve heard great things about Alberni Valley. From what everyone says it’s a great place to develop and the home of the best fans in the BCHL,” said Cooper. “I’m very excited to move out west, get involved in the community and bring a BCHL championship to Alberni Valley. I’m very grateful for this opportunity and I look forward to making the most of it,” added Cooper. Prior to the start of his Junior A career, Cooper played in the Telus Cup with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves and also in the OHL Cup high performance program. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs would like to welcome Tyler to the family and look forward to welcoming him in August when the players report for main camp, which officially opens on Monday, August 24, 2015.

Venter Commits To Surrey:

The Surrey Eagles are proud to announce the commitment of defenseman Jon Venter for the 2015-16 BCHL season. Venter, 19, joins the Eagles from Canterbury Prep School in Connecticut. Venter hails from Guilford, CT and was a large piece of the program at Canterbury. “I got a lot of ice, sometimes probably too much ice, but I am grateful for the amount of opportunity I got at Canterbury,” said Venter over the phone. Canterbury holds a rich tradition and the Eagles are no stranger to it. Last year, the Eagles recruited starting goalie Christian Short from Canterbury Prep. Short had a tremendous year with the Eagles, eventually earning a scholarship to R.I.T University for the 2015/16 season. “Christian had great things to say about Surrey and it was one of my top destinations in the BCHL,” added the new Eagles recruit. “We saw Jon play out East in one of our earlier recruiting trips. He stood out to us right away. We feel that he is going to be a key asset to the championship calibre team we have been putting together, “ explained Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, Blaine Neufeld. “We’ve seen a lot of video on him from his past season. We did our homework on him. As a ’96 born player (19 years old) I would expect him to come into camp and show maturity and leadership even though he will be a rookie in our league.” Head Scout Brad Tobin has seen a lot of Venter’s games as well and gave his insight on the newest Eagles recruit. “Jon is a very smooth skating defenseman who can make an excellent first pass. He will use the first exhibition games as a chance to find the speed of the BCHL but we’d imagine he can be a dynamic player very early in the season.” Venter will be joining his Eagles teammates as they open Main Camp August 24th. “I cannot wait to play in such an elite league and focus my time and attention on excelling into an elite player.” The NHL player that Jon compares to, in terms of style and presence, is Erik Karlsson. When Jon isn’t playing hockey he will be hiking and fishing, which are “must do’s” here in beautiful British Columbia. Welcome, Jon, to the Eagles family! The Eagles continue their tradition as they open their 25th exhibition season against the Chilliwack Chiefs at the Nest, South Surrey Arena, on Friday, August 28th at 7pm.

Leipsic Commits To Powell River Kings:

The Kings have added one more piece to their offensive puzzle for 2015/2016, signing 97-born forward Jeremy Leipsic. The 5’8, 155lb forward is from Winnipeg, where he played for the Midget AAA Wild last season putting up 20 goals and 64 assists in 44 games. “We had a really strong season but unfortunately fell short in the playoffs” says Leipsic. “It was a really successful year regardless, I had great team mates that helped me put points on the board.” That’s the primary focus for Leipsic, offensive production. “I play a fast style of game, offensive. I’ve been really working on my defensive game a lot, but I’m an offensive player and help the team as much as I can on the scoreboard.” “Jeremy’s numbers speak for themselves. He’s offensively gifted, he’s quick, he’s gritty and he’s going to be big for our hockey club” says Kings Head Coach and General Manager Kent Lewis. “We’ve been talking with Jeremy for a number of weeks now and we’re confident he’s going to make the jump to Junior hockey successfully and contribute right away for the Kings.” Leipsic will make the trek from Manitoba to Powell River ahead of camp in August, and it’s that road which was paved by a now-former King which helped Leipsic land in Powell River. “The BCHL is probably the top league in Canada and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Powell River, the people and the community” says Leipsic. “Kurt Keats is also a friend of mine and he just raved about the town, so being able to talk to a guy who played there helped my decision (to come).” In addition to offensive talents in his own right as Jeremy, 18, comes from a hockey family. His older brother Brendan, 21, played over 250 games in the Western Hockey League, finishing better than a point per game, before moving onto a continuing pro career. “He’s a huge influence, I’ve been looking up to him since I’ve been playing hockey” adds Leipsic. “I focus on my own career, but he’s a great help in the summer when we train and skate together so he’s someone I definitely look up to.” With a commitment to the BCHL and Powell River secured, Leipsic will turn his attention to making a difficult jump from Midget hockey to Junior. “College hockey, Division 1, is the main goal especially with me coming out west, knowing how much the BCHL and Powell River is scouted. I want to continue working on my defensive game, and just get bigger, stronger, faster off the ice and that’ll be a big part for me to play better on the ice. My expectations right now are to come in and have a good training camp, then look ahead to the season after that." Camp begins in late August at the Hap Parker Arena in Powell River, with exhibitions and the regular season getting underway in September.

Gough Leaves Warriors:

The West Kelowna Warriors would like to congratulate Associate Head Coach/Assistant General Manager Brent Gough on accepting a position in Arizona with the Arizona Bobcats AAA program. Gough, who has spent 5 seasons behind the bench for the Warriors, has taken the position to help align him with his career goals of coaching in NCAA Hockey. “Brent is one of the hardest working guys in the BCHL,” said Head Coach/GM Rylan Ferster, “I’ve always maintained that he could be a great head coach in this league, and I know he will do great things in Arizona.” Gough will remain a member of the Warriors organization as the Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel. The Warriors would also like to announce that Shae Naka will be taking over Brent’s role behind the bench. Naka, a former assistant coach with the Warriors 2 seasons ago, spent last year at Pursuit of Excellence, while filling in numerous times with West Kelowna on the bench and in the press box doing video analysis. “Shae is so good when it comes to video,” said Ferster, “we have done a lot of video analysis work with our players in the past, and that will continue to be a strong component of what we do. He is also an excellent teacher of the game, and I look forward to working with him again.” The Warriors would like to welcome Shae back to the organization in a full-time role, and thank Brent Gough for his contributions over the past 5 seasons, wishing him luck in all of his future endeavors.

Smoke Eaters Sign Livingstone & Korizis:

The Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club would like to announce the signing of two players. Colby Livingstone (96) and Evan Korizis (96). The Smoke Eaters will welcome back Colby Livingstone who was an AP with the Smokies 2 years ago. After spending last season with the Amherst Ramblers in the MHL, Livingstone wanted to come back to the BCHL. Livingstone had 10 goals and 21 assists in 48 games for the Ramblers last season. “Colby will bring a solid all around game to Trail and will be looked to help fill some of the offensive void left by our graduating top forwards”, commented Smoke Eaters Head Coach and GM Nick Deschenes. The Smoke Eaters also would like to welcome defenceman Evan Korizis (96) from Quebec to the organization. Korizis is a 6’3”, 230lb defenceman who played last season for the Hotchkiss Prep School, and was a Top 20 scoring defenceman in the New England Prep School League. “I am extremely excited to come play for the Trail Smoke Eaters in the BCHL this season, and am looking forward to being involved with the organization and I can’t wait to get started!” expressed Korizis. “We are excited to add a player such as Evan to our group. Evan is a big strong defenceman that moves well and played a ton of minutes for Hotchkiss Prep School. We are confident Evan is ready to step in and be a steady presence on our back end.” commented Nick Deschenes.

Trail-Prince George Trade:

Defenseman Stephen Penner is heading home after being traded by Trail to Prince George for future considerations. The 19-year-old spent half of the 2014-15 season with the Spruce Kings before being traded to the Smoke Eaters in December along with Cooper Leitch for Viktor Dombrovskiy. In 106 career BCHL games with the Spruce Kings and Trail, the Prince George product has 18 points (four goals, 14 assists).

Nyland Returns To Eagles Bench:

What's old is new again for the Surrey Eagles after they named former NHLer Gary Nylund an Assistant Coach to Blaine Neufeld. Nylund was previously an Assistant Coach with the Eagles from 2010-12 and also a former co-owner of the team. He has been a member of the Delta Fire Department for the past 22 years and is currently a Captain in the Department. Nylund, who was drafted in the first round, 3rd overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, is a veteran of 608 NHL games with Toronto, Chicago, and the New York Islanders. He also played one season in the BCHL with the Delta Suns, amassing 35 points (six goals, 29 assists) in 57 games in 1978-79.

Vees Name Jost Captain:

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce forward Tyson Jost (98) has been named the team’s Captain and defenseman Dante Fabbro (98) has been named an Assistant Captain for the 2015-16 season. President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson says it was an easy decision picking the leadership group, “As we evaluated our past season it became very evident who would lead our team for 2015-16. Tyson and Dante both have the attributes and demeanor that we require out of our Captains. Their consistent work ethic, desire to learn and overall professional approach both on and off the ice is what has created a respect from their teammates, which will make Tyson the natural choice to wear the "C" and Dante one of our "A." “As a coach it has been said that the most critical minutes in your work week is the few moments after you address your team and leave the room; it is at this point where you need your captains to reinforce that message, I believe Tyson has the strength and vision to lead our group." Despite is age, Jost has shown that he can be a leader and the 17-year-old did just that last season. Jost had a terrific season up front for the Vees finishing fourth in team scoring in the regular season, as he averaged nearly a point per-game as a 16-year-old, with 23 goals and 45 points in 46 games; his 23 goals were tied for the team lead. Jost says he was able to learn a lot from last year’s Captains, “Being a part of the leadership team next year is a huge honour. It comes with a lot of responsibility, but it's a role I'm definitely looking forward to. Last year, I had the opportunity of being led by two of the most humble, hardworking captains and I learned a lot from their leadership style. This year I will do my best to lead in the same way as those two. By always giving 110 percent in everything I do, leading by example, and placing team success in front of individual success.” Jost didn’t shy away from the spotlight in the playoffs, scoring a team-best 10 goals in 21 BCHL playoff games, en route to the Vees Fred Page Cup Championship win over Nanaimo. He turned heads at the Western Canada Cup (WCC), compiling five goals and six points as the Vees won their first ever WCC Championship in franchise history. Jost was also named the tournament’s Top Forward and Top Scorer. He shined on the national stage as well, picking up three goals and four points at the 2015 RBC Cup in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Fabbro, like Jost, relished playing in a key role for the Vees despite being their youngest defenseman on the blue-line. The 16-year-old was the third-highest scoring defensemen on the Vees roster this year, compiling 33 points in just 44 games; international duty had him miss 12 games. Fabbro on wearing an ‘A,’ “It really means a lot to me. I learned so much from the group of guys last year in how they handled every situation that came toward them. I like to think that I can lead by example and show how dedicated I am to the team and team success.” Despite his young age, Fabbro excelled in the BCHL post-season, as he was the highest-scoring Vees defenseman, notching four goals and 15 points in 21 playoff games. The bigger the stage, the better Fabbro played, as the blue-liner had a pair of goals and three points in five games at the WCC, and another three assists in five more games at the RBC Cup. Fabbro played a key role on the Vees blue-line in the post-season and his performance at the RBC Cup led to him being named the tournament’s Top Defenseman. The Vees will name another Assistant Captain after the team’s Main Camp in Penticton in late August, and will look to their 20-year-olds as part of their overall leadership group.

Alberni Valley-Calgary Trade:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs announce two trades involving 20-year-old players for the 2015/16 season. With teams in the BCHL allowed only six, 20-year-old players, these moves were necessary to create room for the coming season. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have traded Everett Putz to the Calgary Mustangs for future considerations. Putz spent one season with the Bulldogs and always gave a complete effort. This trade sees him play out his final year of junior hockey at home in Calgary, AB, where he will sure to be a fan favorite. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have also sent 1995-born defenseman Drew Weich to the Drayton Valley Thunder in the AJHL to complete the future considerations component of the Eric Therrien acquisition from Drayton Valley back in December 2014. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs would like to thank both Drew and Everett for their contributions to the team and our community and wish them the very best with their new teams.

City Of Nanaimo Looking At New Arena-Western Hockey League:

An ambitious vision for a downtown Nanaimo sports and entertainment complex - as well as new residences, a hotel and options for tourism development - has been proposed for the site now occupied by the Howard Johnson Hotel at Terminal Avenue and Comox Avenue. City support, but not capital funding, is being sought for the project. It is spearheaded by Brian Martin, who owns the hotel and the roughly eight-acre property it sits on. Dan Brady, manager of Martin's Howard Johnson Harbourside hotels in Nanaimo and Victoria, said on Friday afternoon that he and other representatives for the project met with Mayor Bill McKay and other senior city officials earlier in the day to discuss the project. "To do a megaproject like this, you have to have the support of city hall," Brady said. He estimates the project's total cost at $80 million. Brady also said he is seeking comments from the public on the proposal, and said people can call him at 250-753-2241. The Western Hockey League has also been informed and is "excited about the project," said Brady, also president of the Nanaimo Hospitality Association and the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation's representative on the Nanaimo Tourism Leadership Committee. A request for comment to the WHL was not returned by press time, although the league has in the past stated it views Nanaimo as a potential franchise expansion, subject to a new arena. Concept drawings for the development show a 5,000-seat arena and a 160-to 170-room hotel on the site, plus a five-storey mixed residential and commercial building. "It's in its infancy right now, we're still putting it together," Brady said. A development permit application has not been filed yet and Friday's meeting is the first effort to gauge support for the project, he said. While the city is not being asked to invest directly in the proposal, Brady said the municipality is being asked to consider working with the proponent to relocate sewer, water and utility lines beneath what is now the parking lot of the Howard Johnson. Brady said the aim is also to have the city support the facility by running some of its recreational programming through the arena. "We would like the city to have it as part of their inventory for ice time, or floor time," Brady said. A private-sector partner may also be sought for the arena portion of the project. Mayor Bill McKay said he wants to learn more about the project, but wants specific details on what sort of commitments - financial and otherwise - that the city may be asked to make to the project. He said residents of the city will also have questions. "We've got to have the answers to those questions," he said. "It's an intriguing project." Projects like these often spur growth in downtown areas, said the mayor. "It's a great starting point, no ifs or buts about it," McKay added. "I don't think there's anyone on council who wouldn't want to see redevelopment on that site."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blog Hits 900,000 Viewers:


Monday evening around 6:30pm this blog hit 900,000 viewer's-page views.

I wanted to take this time to thank all of you, the viewers who check out my blog.  Without you the fans/viewers this blog would not be possible.  It's you the fans-viewers who keep this site going. 

I first created my Vipersdiehardfan blog back in December of 2008 and since then have had over 900,000 viewer's visit this site. To follow the viewer count, check out the counter on the left hand side of this blog. I have a website that tell's me how many viewer's I get per month, per day, as well as per week. The site also tell's me where the viewer's are from and how they contacted this blog. This blog has been averaging around 300-450 viewer's per day during the summer depending on whats going on.  Latley the average has dropped down to around 215-275 viewers a day.  The past three or four days its reached up into the 450-600 mark.  I had 11,288 viewers visit this blog for the month of June.

I get people from all across the world visiting this blog. Thank you again and thanks for the support. If you would like to leave a comment, there's a comment box at the bottom of each post.

Thanks, Vipersdiehardfan

Monday, July 27, 2015

Quad City Mallards Add Former Viper Eviston To Teams Season Ending Roster:

On June 16th the ECHL announced the Season-Ending Rosters as
submitted by each of its member teams. The Quad City Mallards have twenty players listed on their season ending roster list one of is former Vernon Vipers forward Pearce Eviston.

Eviston finished his first season with the East Coast Hockey League Quad City Mallards. In 60 games last season with Quad City Eviston recorded (12-goals-15-assists-27-points).

Eviston started last year in Idaho after signing a try-out contract with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Idaho Steelheads. Eviston attended the Steelheads Training Camp but never played a game was released on October 13th 2014. Eviston then an unrestricted free agent signed with Idaho on October 22nd 2014 before being traded to Quad City on the same day.

Eviston didnt play hockey in 2013-14 before returning in September 2014. Eviston played parts of one season in Vernon (2012-13). The Vipers acquired the playing rights of Eviston from the Victoria Grizzlies on Seprember 19th 2011 for Jarryd Ten Vaanholt. Eviston currently playing with the WHL Portland Winterhawks at the time of the trade, joined-signed with the Vipers on August 3rd 2012. Eviston played in 34 regular season games with Vernon before being sent home. The Vipers ended up trading Eviston to Victoria on January 10th 2013 for future considerations.

Pearce Eviston's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=19842

This is posted on the Mallards website:

MALLARDS ANNOUNCE SEASON-ENDING ROSTER

By: Mallards Communications Staff

06/16/2015

The Quad City Mallards today announced a 20-player season-ending roster in conjunction with the ECHL. 

The Mallards’ roster is comprised of forwards Kevin Baker, Anthony Collins, Pearce Eviston, Justin Fox, Mario Lamoureux, Jeff Lee, Paxton Leroux, Matt Neal, Logan Nelson and Joe Perry; defensemen Jake Baker, Austin Coldwell, Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel, Matt Duffy, Darren McMillan, Mike Monfredo and Nicholas Rioux; forward/defenseman Nick Grasso; and goaltenders Parker Milner and Evan Mosher.
 
By placing 20 players on their season-ending roster, the Mallards reached the league maximum.  Season-ending rosters cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2014-15.

Each ECHL team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from its list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1.  Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2015-16 season).  Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.  Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until August 1 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player retain the rights to that qualified player for one season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until August 1.  After August 1, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran or goaltender becomes a restricted free agent and is entitled to seek contract offers from other ECHL teams.  Restricted free agents may not be traded.  When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a club other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept that offer, the restricted free agent and the offering team must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association.  The club with the player’s rights has seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by August 31, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent.
 
Mallards 2015-16 season tickets are now available.  Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings of the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits.  For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or info@myqcmallards.com.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ex Viper Basara Attends Capitals Development Camp:

Former Vernon Viper forward Marcus Basara attended the Washington Capitals Development Camp in July from July 7th-July 11th.

Basara will be entering his third season with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks played parts of the two seasons in Vernon (2010-2012) before being traded along with Connor Hartley & future considerations to the AJHL Okotoks Oilers on November, 28th 2011 for Ben Gamache. In 80 games with the Vipers Basara collected (18-goals-27-assists-45-points).

Marcus Basara's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=65270

This is posted on the Capitals website:

2015 Capitals Development Camp Guide

The Washington Capitals will host their 2015 Prospect Development Camp from July 7-11 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex

Saturday, 07.4.2015

By Capitals PR  - Capitals Public Relations Department

The Washington Capitals will host their 2015 Prospect Development Camp from July 7-11 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. All on-ice sessions are free and open to the public.

Capitals development camp is an annual week-long summer session with on- and off-ice workouts designed to help Capitals prospects improve their games and allow the Capitals to evaluate their progress. This is the ninth straight year that the camp is being held at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Past development camps have been held in Odenton, Md., and Hershey, Pa.

Attendees include Capitals prospects who are under contract and recent Capitals draft picks who have not been signed yet. In addition, several undrafted and free agent amateur players will be in attendance.

The Capitals will host Fan Fest on Saturday, July 11. In addition to the scrimmage, which will be streamed on MonumentalNetwork.com, Fan Fest will feature the team’s annual equipment sale, autograph sessions and a special free open skate.

Media Information

Players will be made available to the media following the on-ice session each day (approximate times listed to the right). Players not in the group that is on the ice for the final session will be brought to the interview area upon request. Due to space constraints, the Capitals locker room is closed to the media for the duration of camp. Please make player requests to a member of the Capitals’ media relations staff.

Camp Storylines

Quick Studies – Two players (Andre Burakovsky and Liam O’Brien) who attended last summer’s development camp played for the Capitals in 2014-15. Burakovsky and O’Brien combined to play in 66 games for Washington last season and registered 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) and 33 penalty minutes. Ten players who attended the 2014 development camp (Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky, Michal Cajkovsky, Pheonix Copley, Christian Djoos, Caleb Herbert, Liam O’Brien, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker) played for Washington’s AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, during the 2014-15 season and six players (Michal Cajkovsky, Wade Epp, Garrett Haar, Caleb Herbert, Braden Pimm, Nathan Walker) played for Washington’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays, in 2014-15.

Age Differential – Turner Ottenbreit (born July 9, 1997), a free agent invite, is the youngest player attending this year’s development camp. Free agent invite Dajon Mingo (born May 7, 1990) is the oldest.

For the entire schedule and roster, visit WashingtonCaps.com now!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

BCHL News & Trades:

Here's a look around the league on what some of the other teams have been up to this off season regarding trades, player announcements and other team news.

I found these press releases off team websites, other hockey blogs or online.

BCHL News & Trades:

Borek Commits To Clippers:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Charley Borek has committed to play for the Team for the 2015-2016 season. The 19 year old forward joins the Clippers after spending the past two seasons playing for Choate Rosemary Hall School in Wallingford Connecticut. During the 2014-2015 season the 6’0” 200lb Durham New Hampshire native tallied 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 22 games played.

Bulldogs Name Evin New Assistant-Goalie Coach:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very proud to announce Alex Evin is being added to the coaching staff as a fulltime assistant coach and goalie coach. Evin spent the last two seasons as the Bulldogs’ part-time goalie coach while coaching the Selkirk College Saints in the BCIHL as a head coach in 2014/15 and an assistant coach the previous seasons. Evin won three consecutive BCIHL championships with Selkirk College. Evin grew up in Castlegar, BC and played his entire minor hockey there before moving up to the BCHL. In five seasons, Evin spent time with Powell River, Williams Lake, and Penticton, where he led the team to a Fred Page Cup Championship in 2008. Over his BCHL career, he appeared in 221 games (including playoffs) and earned a full ride NCAA Division 1 scholarship to Colgate University. Selected by the Calgary Hitmen 66th overall in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft, Evin decided to pursue an NCAA scholarship. In 2003-04 he was named to the BCHL All Rookie Team and was awarded the Powell River Kings Academic Achievement Award. After three seasons with the Kings, Evin was traded to the Williams Lake Timberwolves in 2006-07 where he started 54 of the teams 60 games and was awarded team MVP. He went on to play his final junior hockey season with the Penticton Vees in 2007-08 where he set career highs in all statistical categories. That season he was awarded the Wally Forslund Memorial Trophy (with goalie partner Bryan Mountain), BCHL Top Goaltender, Team MVP, Finalist for League MVP, all in a championship season. Evin attended Colgate University from 2008-2012, graduating with a degree in English. "I am very excited to join the Bulldogs full time,” said newest Bulldogs assistant coach Alex Evin. “As a player, and now as a coach, I have a lot of respect for the hockey program,” added Evin. “The community support is tremendous and I am excited to help the team contend for a championship." “We are very excited to have Alex join the Bulldogs on a fulltime basis,” said Bulldogs head coach and general manager Kevin Willison. “All his previous experiences along with being able to accelerate our goalies’ development will continue to be a great asset for our program,” concluded Willison. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs continue to be a leader in the BCHL, being the first to use technology that benefits our players. And now, we are proud to have a full-time goalie coach on staff, one that will also serve as an assistant coach and continue to help us develop our talent and move players on to the next level. Welcome to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs family, Alex.

Centennials Name Martin New Head Coach-GM:

The Merritt Centennials Board of Directors are very pleased to announce the new Head Coach and General Manger of the BCHL Merritt Centennials is former Assistant Coach, Joe Martin. Neil Menard, President of the Merritt Centennials released this statement Friday: “On behalf of the entire organization, we would like to officially congratulate former Assistant Coach Joe Martin as the new Head Coach and General Manager of the BCHL Merritt Centennials. We feel confident that Joe is, without a doubt, the right fit for the job, and we are really looking forward to having him head up the team. Joe has been a loyal employee of the Centennials for the last 4 years, and his familiarity with the team, extraordinary talent and coaching ability, combined with his unwavering dedication to the entire organization and community, made moving him in to this position an obvious decision on our part.” Martin had this statement: “I feel very fortunate to be hired in this role, the Centennials are a nation-wide recognized BCHL franchise and I'm lucky to be named the new Head Coach/GM. It’s a position I feel ready for and look forward to the new challenges that will be presented to me. I owe a lot to Luke Pierce and the four year's we spent together, under Luke's direction the Centennials established a great reputation and have always performed well, I've learned a lot and hope to continue that trend. I'd like to thank the Merritt Centennials Board of Directors for their vote of confidence in me, and especially thank Brian Barret and Luke Pierce for the guidance over the four year period I spent here as an Assistant Coach. It's a busy time of year with the BCHL AGM, the Centennials AGM, and a prospects camp in two weeks in Abbotsford, but I've been fully immersed in the job for four years now and look to continue the great reputation the Centennials have.” In a statement released by outgoing Head Coach Luke Pierce, Pierce had this to say about Martin’s promotion: “There has never been a doubt in my mind that Joe would be the next Head Coach of this franchise. He is an outstanding Coach and a great person. He has been an equal part in our success over the past 4 years and is more than prepared to take this step. I will miss working with him, but will be excited to see him take this team to another level and I know the players, fans and community are in great hands with him at the helm.” Joe Martin has been the Assistant Coach for the Merritt Centennials for the last four years, and has done exceptional things for the club both on and off the ice. Prior to that, Martin had been the Head Coach and General Manager of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Creston Valley Thundercats for four years. Coach Martin guided the team to one regular season division title, two first-round playoff series wins, and helped graduate numerous players onto Junior "A" and college hockey while producing a regular season record of 112-68-3-2. He was also named Eddie Mountain Division Coach of the Year for 2010-11 and coach the 2008 KIJHL Top Prospects team.

Smoke Eaters Sign Marshall:

The Trail Smoke Eaters Organization would like to announce the signing of Linden Marshall (98) from Victoria. Marshall a 6’3” athletic goaltender played last season for the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy Prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (csshl.ca). Marshall played in 21 games last season averaging 40 shots on goal per game. Marshall finished the season with a .904 save percentage and a 4.42 goals against average.

Langley Rivermen Name Astle New Associate Head Coach & Assistant General Manager:

The Langley Rivermen have promoted Kurt Astle, who will become the team’s new Associate Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. For the past three seasons, Astle has been the Rivermen’s Assistant Coach and Director of Player Personnel. “I’m excited to move up in the organization,” said Astle. “This is one of best junior hockey programs in the country and I’m happy to be a part of it and help continue its success.” As a former offensive player, Astle works heavily with the Rivermen forwards and powerplay unit. He was a part of the coaching staff that guided the team to the best regular season record in 2013-14 season, winning the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy. “Kurt is an integral part of the Rivermen organization and we know he’ll have a lot to offer in his new role,” said Head Coach and General Manager Bobby Henderson. “He has a good relationship with the players and knows how to bring the best out in each and every one of them.”

Finner Commits To Nanaimo:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Lucas Finner has committed to play for the Team for the 2015-2016 season. The 18 year old forward joins the Clippers from the Chicago Mission U18 Team in Chicago Illinois. During the 2014-2015 season the 5’10” 160lb Elmhurst Illinois native tallied 8 goals and 14 assists for 22 points in 25 games played. Lucas is also committed to the NCAA Division 1 Ferris State University in the WCHA. Lucas has ties to Nanaimo and the Clippers as his Uncle Dwain Finner is a former Clipper and currently resides in Nanaimo.

Protopolous Commits To Kings:

The Powell River Kings are thrilled to announce the commitment of 1996-born winger Chris Protopolous for the 2015/2016 season. From Verdun, Quebec, the 19-year-old Protopolous is a speedy and skilled winger. “Speed is one of the biggest aspects of my game” says Protopolous. “I use it to my advantage, but I also play gritty. My coaches also tell me to shoot lots, I have a good shot.” For the past two seasons, Protopolous (pronounced Pro-top-olous) has played with the Dawson College Blues in the QCHL. Protopolous was better than a point per game in his 2nd and final year (41 in 35), totaling 35 goals and 24 assists in 68 games for the Blues during his time there. “I was very fortunate to be chosen for them in my first year (2013/14), and two years with the Blues really helped me develop my game and become one of the better players in that league” says Protopolous. “I’m coming out to BC to play junior to continue that development and hopefully attract attention from D1 scouts. A lot of people say that the BCHL is the best Junior A league in Canada, and I’ve been doing research on Powell River and it looks like a beautiful place with the ocean right there and a great place to play hockey.” “An NCAA coach first bough Chris to our attention, and from there on out we’ve maintained a good dialogue with him. Chris flies around the ice, he’s very very quick and that’s going to be invaluable to establishing a good forecheck and backcheck, playing a 200-foot game.” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “He’s offensively gifted and will slot nicely into our top 6. To find a player like Chris to help replace what we’re losing this off-season up front is a big positive for our club.” The 5’9, 190lb Protopolous will spend the summer in his home province of Quebec, readying himself for a jump to Junior in September. “I need to work on being ready for that longer season, more games. I’ll be working on my conditioning, and of course wanting to get stronger and faster” says Protopolous. The Kings held their annual Spring Camp over the weekend in Kamloops, watching over prospective Junior A players. Around 30-40 players (including recruits and eligible returnees) are expected in Powell River for Main Camp, beginning in late August.

Penticton-Olds Trade:

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club have landed an offensive threat from the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The Vees have acquired forward, Chris Gerrie (96), from the Olds Grizzlys in exchange for defenseman, Jarod Hilderman (97). Gerrie, who turned 19 in May, spent the past two seasons in the AJHL and led the Grizzlys in scoring this past season with 25 goals and 61 points in 59 regular season games; those 61 points were sixth-best in the AJHL. The Red Deer, Alberta, native had a breakout rookie campaign two years ago as he was The AJHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2013-2014 after scoring 18 goals and compiling 54 points in 60 games. Gerrie also garnered national recognition as he was named the CJHL Co-Rookie of the Year. Gerrie is another significant addition upfront for the Vees for next fall. He is committed to play collegiate hockey at Michigan Tech University after his junior career wraps up. Gerrie joins new teammates Demico Hannoun and Mitch Newsome as future Michigan Tech Huskies. Hilderman, 18, played two seasons in Vees blue after coming to the team from Notre Dame College in Saskatchewan. Hilderman broke into the BCHL as a 16-year-old two seasons ago, collecting eight points in 45 regular season games while patrolling the blue-line; he had another three points in 11 playoff games. This season, the Minnesota-Duluth commitment had six assists in 49 regular season games. In the post-season, he scored once and finished with seven points in 32 playoff games, helping the Vees capture the Fred Page Cup and Western Canada Cup. Hilderman also played on Team West at the CJHL Top Prospects game in January. The Vees organization would like to thank Jarod for his two years with the team and wish him all the best in his future with the Grizzlys. The team would also like to welcome Chris to Penticton and the South Okanagan.

Salmon Arm Names Carter New Head Scout-Assistant General Manager:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are proud to announce the hiring of Craig Carter of Langley, BC as the new Head Scout & Asst General Manager. Craig brings a wealth of junior hockey knowledge to our program and a BCHL Championship with Coquitlam Express of the BCHL in 2014. He has over 12 years of scouting in the BCHL so will be a great addition to the Backs. Most recently he was with the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL in 2014-2015. "Craig will be a great asset for our program" stated General Manager Troy Mick. I have known Craig for a number of years and love his passion and his ability to recruit top end talent. He has a lot of connections in the junior hockey circles and will help us bring top end talent to Salmon Arm. "Craigs knowledge of players' and his ability to find that diamond in the rough make him a tremendous addition to our Silverbacks family" says Silverbacks Head Coach Brandon West. "I would like to thank the Silverbacks Ownership Group as well as Troy, Brandon and Misko for allowing me to return to my roots in the BCHL and I can't wait to be apart of the winning tradition in Salmon Arm"

Spruce Kings Name Maglio New Associate Coach:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are very excited to announce the hiring of Adam Maglio as the team’s new Associate Coach. The 28 year old Maglio joins the Spruce Kings after having spent last season as the assistant coach for The University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds Men’s Hockey Program that plays in The Canada West Conference of The Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). Originally from Nelson, B.C., Adam played four seasons in the KIJHL from 2003 - 2007 for The Nelson Leafs and The Castlegar Rebels . From 2007 - 2009 he played NCAA hockey at Morrisville State College in New York. He then transferred to UBC where he played for the men’s varsity team in the CIS from 2009 – 2012 before becoming the team’s assistant coach last season. “I’m excited to add another young, energetic and knowledgeable coach to our staff. Adam is very motivated and passionate and will compliment Chad and Jason very well. I was very impressed with Adam in the discussions I had with him leading up to offering him the position within our organization. His understanding of what is required from a coach in today’s game, to make our athletes successful, was excellent” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. "I am excited to be joining the Prince George Spruce Kings Organization. This is a great opportunity for myself to work with a respected and dedicated staff within a franchise that is trending in the right direction. I look forward to further building and delivering a commitment to a winning culture that provides our team with the best opportunity to develop and grow” said Spruce Kings new Associate Coach Adam Maglio.

Regush & Wickman Sign With Centennials:

The Merritt Centennials announced the signing of 16-year-old forward Michael Regush and 16-year-old defenseman Tyler Wickman. Both players spent 2014-15 in the Canadian Sport Schools Hockey League. Regush, who's from Surrey, BC, had 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 28 games with the Delta Hockey Academy Prep team. He got into three games with Langley as an affiliate player, but didn't get on the scoreboard. Wickman, from Abbotsford, BC, went pointless in six games with the Centennials as an AP. He did have 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in 27 games with the Yale Hockey Academy Prep team.

Coquitlam-Lloydminster Trade:

The Coquitlam Express completed future considerations from a trade back on November 17th. That day, the Express picked up 19-year-old goaltender Chris Tai from the AJHL's Lloydminster Bobcats for futures. On Monday, it became known that those futures were that Tai return to the Bobcats, so essentially, the Delta, BC native was traded for himself. In 36 games with Coquitlam in 2014-15, Tai had a 19-14-1 record along with a 3.70 goals-against-average and an .899 save percentage. He's a veteran of two WHL seasons as a back-up.

Friday, July 24, 2015

North Stars Trade Former Viper Saharchuk To Salmon Arm:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have acquired former Vernon Vipers forward Matty Saharchuk from the SJHL Battlefords North Stars.


Saharchuk played one season in Vernon (2013-14) playing in 56 games collecting (3-goals-7-assists-10-points) before being traded to the SJHL Battlefords North Stars on June 9th 2014 for future considerations.  Saharchuk was part of the future considerations in the Josh Betinol trade from October 2013. The Vipers acquired forward Josh Betinol from the North Stars for future considerations on October 3rd 2013.

Matty Saharchuk's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=125564

This is posted on the Silverbacks website:

Silverbacks & North Stars make deal

Thursday, July 23, 2015 - Submitted by Troy Mick

For Immediate Release

July 23, 2015

Silverbacks General Manager Troy Mick announced today that they have made a trade with the Battlefords North Stars of the SJHL for 95 forward Matt Saharchuk for Dustin Gorgi & future considerations.

Matt is a big 6'2 left shot centerman that can also play the wing. He is a very versatile forward who will help bolster the Backs offence this year. Last season Matt was the leading scorer for the North Stars with 16 goals 20 assists for a total of 36 points in only 44 games played.

We are excited to bring Matty back to Salmon  Arm. He spent some time with us back in 2012 as an affiliate player and we know what we are getting with him as a player and a person.   Matty has RBC Cup experience and will add skill and grit to our lineup. Welcome back to Salmon Arm Matty.

The Ft St James native and the rest of the Silverbacks will be in Salmon Arm Aug 23 with off ice fitness testing followed by on ice sessions Aug 24 at the Shaw Centre for main camp.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Monarchs Add Former Viper Forward Scofield To Teams Protected List:

On June 2nd 2015 the East Coast Hockey
League (ECHL) announced the Protected Lists as submitted by each of its member teams. The Manchester Monarchs have twenty six players listed on their protected list one is former Vernon Vipers forward Tyler Scofield.

The Manchester Monarchs played last season in the American Hockey League (AHL) winning the 2015 Calder Cup.  They have been the AHL affiliate of the National Hockey League Los Angeles Kings since 2001. For the 2015–16 season, the Monarchs will trade places with the Kings' affiliate in the ECHL, the Ontario Reign, the AHL franchise will move to Ontario, California, and play at Citizens Business Bank Arena where they will become the new Ontario Reign, while the ECHL team will move to New Hampshire retaining the Manchester Monarchs name.  26 players who played with the Reign in Ontario last season will make the move to Manchester, one being Tyler Scofield.

Scofield played last year with three different teams (Graz 99ers, Ontario Reign & Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg) before signing with the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL) HC Tiroler Wasserkraft Innsbruck Sharks on May 4th 2015.  The Sharks are an Austrian professional ice hockey team that currently plays in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga hockey league (EBEL).

Scofield started last season with the Moser Medical Graz 99ers, an Austrian ice hockey team from Graz, Styria that play in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga hockey league. Scofield collected (5-goals-0-assists-5-points) in eight games with Graz 99ers before leaving the team on November 4th 2014 before signing with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Ontario Reign on December 4, 2014. Scoffield was suspended by the Reign on January 27th 2015 after 18 games for leaving the team to play overseas. Scofield collected (5-goals-9-assists-14-points). Scofield finished the 2014-15 season with EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams. In 9 games with Grizzly Adams Scofield picked up (1-goal-3-assists-4-points).

After four seasons at Bemidji State University Scofield has spent the past six seasons playing in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany & the US playing with five different teams from 2009-2015.

Scofield played parts of two seasons in Vernon (2000-2002) before being traded to Prince George during the 2001-2002 season. The Vipers sent Scofield and Mark Nelson to the Spruce Kings in return for Rod Pelly, Dan Rossi & Josh Ciocco. In 79 games with the Vipers Scofield collected (21-goals-19-assists-40-points).

Tyler Scofield's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=34054

This is posted on the ECHL website:

ECHL announces Protected Lists

June 1, 2015

The ECHL on Tuesday announced the Protected Lists as submitted by each of its Member teams.

Teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish provided the players protected meet the guidelines as defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association which state that teams shall retain the rights to each player that:

1. Signed an SPC in 2014-15 with the Member, and has not been traded or released, OR

2. Signed an SPC in 2014-15, and was recalled to the NHL/AHL or IIHF team, and has not been traded or released, OR

3. Had received a Qualifying Offer last summer for the current Season, DID NOT sign an SPC, and has not been traded or released, OR

4. Has been suspended by the Member or League, and has not been traded or released, OR

5. Signed an SPC on or after the first day of the 2014-15 Regular Season, then subsequently signed an NHL/AHL contract, and has not been traded or released, OR

6. Has executed the ECHL Retirement Form, and has not been traded or released.
Protected lists may exceed 20 players.

The ECHL also announced that teams must complete all Future Consideration trades by 3 p.m. ET on June 13 and that teams must submit their Season-Ending Roster by 3 p.m. ET on June 15.

Season-ending rosters may include up to 20 players and cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2014-15.

Manchester Monarchs Protected List:

Matt Register, Nolan Julseth-White, Dennis Brown, Jeff May, Ryan Parent, Brian O'Rourke, Jake Newton, Olivier Dame-Malka, Zach O'Brien, Judd Blackwater, Josh Brittain, Rocco Carzo, Matt White, Everett Sheen, Garry Nunn, Norm Ezekiel, Gasper Kopitar, David Rutherford, Derek Couture, Jeremy Yablonski, Tristan King, Todd Fiddler, Robert Czarnik, Tyler Spurgeon, Tyler Scofield, Dylan Wruck

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vipers Trade Bauer To Cowichan:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers trade Bauer to Cowichan
                    
by  Kevin Mitchell - Vernon Morning Star

Jul 22, 2015

Holding a full house, Vernon Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner unloaded one of his veteran cards Tuesday by trading forward Mackenzie Bauer to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations.

Bauer, who turns 20 in January, was hampered by injuries last season and pocketed five goals and nine points in 27 games with the Snakes. The Three Hills, Alta. product added one goal and an assist in 11 B.C. Hockey League playoff games.

Bauer was chosen in the eighth round by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2011 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. He compiled 56 goals in two years of Midget with the UFA Bisons in Strathmore, Alta.

“He’s a great kid and a good player, but the reality is we have too many bodies now and we’re going to have too many bodies in camp (in late August),” said Ferner. “We’re going to have three or four teams in camp and the returning kids know the kids coming in are going to push them for jobs and the kids coming in know there are jobs available if they earn them. It’s going to be a very competitive camp and it’s all about putting the best team on the ice.”

Vernon has eight forwards, two d-men and goalie Jarrod Schamerhorn as returnees.

The Vipers open the exhibition season Friday, Aug. 28 in Salmon Arm versus the Silverbacks. The same two teams meet the next night at Kal Tire Place.

Vernon visits the Prince George Spruce Kings Friday, Sept. 4 and host the Kings the next night.

Meanwhile, Prince George has acquired the CJHL playing rights to D Mitch Meek from the West Kelowna Warriors in exchange for the BCHL-CHL listing rights to F Luke Harrison.

Meek was traded earlier this month from the Vipers to the Warriors for D Mac Ferner, who is Mark’s son. Harrison is a 19-year-old West Kelowna native who spent four years in the WHL. He rang up 12 goals and 23 points with the Kamloops Blazers last season.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Vernon-Cowichan Trade:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers and Capitals Trade

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Vernon Vipers have traded forward Mackenzie Bauer to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations.

The Three Hills Alberta product impressed in his first season in the BCHL tallying 5 goals and 4 assists in 27 games played.

The Vipers would like to thank Mackenzie for his efforts last season and wish him all the best with Cowichan.

For more information please call the Viper office at 250-542-6022

Mackenzie Bauer's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=107866

This is posted on the Capitals website:

Caps Acquire Bauer from Vernon

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - Submitted by Jeff Sargeant

Duncan, BC - The Capitals have acquired 19 year-old forward Mackenzie Bauer from the Vernon Vipers in exchange for future considerations.

The Three Hills, Alberta native finished his rookie BCHL season with five goals and four assists in 27 games.

"Mackenzie had a very good start to the season and has lots of potential," said Capitals Head Coach and General Manager Bob Beatty.

After putting up five points in his first five games of the 2014-15 season with the Vipers, Bauer missed nearly three months due to injury but returned in time for the playoffs where he added a goal and an assist.

"Mackenzie is an intelligent player who plays hard and will improve our club," added Beatty.

The Capitals welcome Mackenzie to the Cowichan Valley!

Ex Vipers Defenceman Noonan Attends Predators Development Camp:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Garrett Noonan attended the Nashville Predators Development Camp two weeks ago. The Preds Camp ran from July 6th-11th.

Noonan split last season between the East Coast Hockey League & American Hockey League.  Noonan played in 40 games with the AHL Milwaukee Admirals collecting (4-goals-5-assists-9-points) also played in 23 games with the ECHL Cincinnati Cyclones picking up (1-goal-9-assists-10-points).

After four seasons at Boston University Noonan signed a Entry-Level Deal with the Nashville Predators on April 22nd 2014 also signed an amateur try-out contract (ATO) with the American Hockey League (AHL) Milwaukee Admirals. Noonan was drafted by Nashville in Round 4 #112 overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  Noonan played one season in Vernon (2009-2010) in 58 regular season games with the Vipers Noonan collected (2-goals-16-assists-18-points).

Garrett Noonan's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=48219

This is posted on the Predators website:

Predators Development Camp Opens Monday, July 6

Many of the club's top prospects, including Fiala and Vesey, to attend

Wednesday, 07.1.2015

By Press Release  - Nashville Predators

Nashville, Tenn. (July 1, 2015) – Many of the Nashville Predators top prospects – including 2014 11th overall selection Kevin Fiala, 2015 Hobey Baker Finalist Jimmy Vesey and the entire 2015 Draft class – will be on hand when the team’s 2015 Development Camp pres. by Holiday Inn Express & Suites of Antioch officially opens on Monday, July 6 with off-ice testing and physicals. Prospects will take to ice for more testing on Tuesday morning, July 7, with the first group practice to come at 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday, July 8. Group practices on Wednesday, July 8 and Friday, July 10 will be at Centennial Sportsplex, with an end-of-camp scrimmage to be held Saturday, July 11 at Ford Ice Center (11 a.m. CT).

The purpose of the camp is to educate and direct players in their pro development and conditioning programs, and the week’s events will be presided over by Predators Director of Player Development Scott Nichol and Strength and Conditioning Coach David Good, with assistance from the rest of the Nashville Predators and Milwaukee Admirals (AHL Affiliate) coaching and hockey operations staffs. The scheduled training regimen includes a variety of on- and off-ice testing, dry-land activities and workouts, on-ice fundamentals work, video sessions, media and nutrition education, and team-building activities. The players will also receive instruction on training principles such as sport-specific power and strength enhancement, flexibility and off-ice conditioning.

Players will also participate in community relations activities on Thursday afternoon.

A list of on-ice workouts is as follows:*

•TUESDAY, July 7: (testing) 7:30 - 11:30 a.m.
•WEDNESDAY, July: 8 9 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
•FRIDAY, July 10: 9 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
•SATURDAY, July 11: 11 a.m.

*All on-ice sessions are open to the public.

Monday, July 20, 2015

BCHL News & Trades:

Here's a look around the league on what some of the other teams have been up to this off season regarding trades, player announcements and other team news.

I found these press releases off team websites, other hockey blogs or online.

BCHL News & Trades:

Lease Snag Has Victoria Grizzlies Future In Doubt:

A snag in negotiations over a new lease at The Q Centre in Colwood means there is a real possibility that the Victoria Grizzlies could fold up shop, and soon. Negotiations between the B.C. Hockey League club — which has struggled financially the last few years — and the West Shore Parks and Recreation committee have faltered. Grizzlies president and alternate governor John Wilson was not available for comment, but vice-president of business operations Sonya Saujani made it clear that the team has one foot practically out the door. “We’ve hit an end of the road, so to speak, with West Shore Parks and Rec. It looks like we’re not going to get a deal. We have until the end of the month to figure this out, but there is a good chance the Grizzlies could be going black then,” she said. “Ownership is not prepared to lose any more money and West Shore Parks and Rec doesn’t seem to understand that. “We’re not trying to get rich here, we’re just trying to break even and keep this team in Victoria. We’ve done everything we can to keep this team in Victoria, now it’s up to someone else to step up and give us a place to play that we can afford,” she added. The Q Centre’s other main tenant, the Victoria Shamrocks, have long expressed their displeasure with their own lease and the organization is also in the last year of its deal. Losing one or both clubs would obviously affect how the facility is run. Rob Martin, the chairman of the committee, said the group had pitched the Grizzlies a deal at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and had not heard back. He was not prepared to negotiate in the media, but the two sides are meeting again today at 1 p.m. “We’re hoping to have a resolution,” he said. A sticking point in negotiations is the Grizzlies were paying the highest rent in the BCHL prior to this latest offer. The team also does not get a portion of concession or liquor sales at the facility. The Victoria HarbourCats are said to get a percentage of sales at city owned Royal Athletic Park. “We would like to and that’s something we will be looking for in the next lease, absolutely,” Wilson told the Times Colonist during the team’s playoff run in March. “We have to find a happy medium. They need revenues to operate the arena and we need a figure that works and revenue back from the concession to operate this team.” Instead, the Grizzlies claim the West Shore committee has reportedly proposed a $36,000 increase as part of the lease negotiations. All details were not made readily available by either side. There have long been rumours of a new rink being constructed in Langford, but that would be at least two seasons away and Westhills Arena is too small to host a Junior A team. So for now, the future of the BCHL franchise is in jeopardy.

Mendel, Jones & Ward Commit To Penticton:

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announced three local commitments from Penticton-based, Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA), for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Defensemen Griffin Mendel (99) and Sam Jones (97), and forward Taylor Ward (98) will swap red for Vees blue this fall, as they’ve committed to the team for the upcoming BCHL season. President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson, “OHA has been a tremendous partner for the Vees over many years now. We are fortunate to have such a high performance program so geographically close to the team. We’ve never had so many OHA players join our squad in one year, and I believe the pipeline to the Vees in future years looks equally exciting.” Added Harbinson, “We have made it a priority to add more local talent to our program. We want Vees fans to be proud of our local players, and with Cody DePourcq now graduated, we are very pleased to have three such talented and dedicated South Okanagan kids – both on the ice and in the classroom – joining our program.” Mendel, 16, and his teammates won the Canadian Sports Schools Hockey League (CSSHL) Prep Division championship this past spring with the OHA Prep White team. At 6’2”, the rear-guard is known as a responsible, intelligent defenseman (a Penticton High School straight-A student) who can play in all situations, and possesses a heavy shot from the point. Griffin was a first-round selection in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, going 11th overall to the Kootenay Ice. Mendel’s potential has caught the eye of many top NCAA Division l programs, and he appeared in two games this past season with the Vees as an Affiliate Player. Jones, who turns 18 in November, also played next door for OHA Prep Red, in the CSSHL. Jones, a local Penticton product, averaged over a point per-game on the blue-line this past season, amassing 31 points in 28 games. Jones was the highest scoring defenseman on OHA Red, and finished 2nd in CSSHL Prep League scoring. The 6’2 blue-liner is known as a strong skater, who like Mendel, has a hard shot from the point. Also a Penticton High school high achieving student, the Vees coaching staff is very keen on Jones’ upside. Ward won a CSSHL championship with Mendel on OHA White this past season, and finished second in team scoring with 50 points in 28 games. The 17-year-old forward had a team-best 41 assists and possesses a strong hockey IQ. Ward parlayed his regular season success into the CSSHL playoffs, where he showed strong, two-way forward habits and helped OHA Prep White to a Prep Division Championship. Those traits should come as no surprise, as his father Dixon Ward played over 500 games in the NHL with Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto, Buffalo and the New York Rangers. Taylor has caught the eye of several NCAA Division I programs, and scored his first career BCHL goal this past season with the Vees in a game against West Kelowna.

Creamer Commits To Nanaimo:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Matt Creamer has committed to play for the Team for the 2015-2016 season. The 18 year old forward joins the Clippers from the Selects Academy U18 Team at South Kent School in South Kent Connecticut. During the 2014-2015 season the 6’2” 195lb Warwick Rhode Island native tallied 29 goals and 48 assists for 77 points in 69 games played. Matt is also committed to the NCAA Division 1 Quinnipiac Bobcats in the ECAC league.

Spruce Kings Name Lepper New Broadcaster/Communications Director:

Last season Ryan Lepper was the Broadcaster for the Port Moody Panthers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League and is graduating this June from the Radio Arts and Entertainment Program at BCIT. Ryan is familiar with Prince George having recently spent some time here during the Canada Winter Games working for ViaSport in their production of television articles related to the Games. “I am really excited to be joining the Prince George Spruce Kings, and integrating myself with the fan base who I know are one of the best in the league. I've been to Prince George before, but I'm looking forward to settling in, and getting to know the city” said Ryan Lepper. “We are very excited to add a young, energetic person like Ryan to our Spruce Kings family. We haven’t had a broadcaster on the road for the past couple of seasons and it was a priority for me that we get back to providing that to our dedicated and deserving fans” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. Ryan will also oversee all social media accounts for the club and will also be heavily involved in creating and maintaining our blog and website. He will also oversee all media related issues and provide all team related media items to media outlets. "We'd like to congratulate Ryan on the terrific news that he's been hired by the Spruce Kings. We are very proud of him to advance from the PJHL to the next level of hockey in the BCHL," said Panthers GM Frank Iantorno. "It's a wonderful accomplishment for Ryan and we wish him all the best in his new position." The entire Panthers organization would like to thank Ryan for his hard work and dedication during his one season behind the mic in Port Moody. Follow the Panthers on Twitter at @PJHLPanthers or search Port Moody Panthers Hockey Club on Facebook. The Panthers are proudly celebrating ten seasons as Port Moody's local junior hockey team. The Panthers are owned by local residents and run by a dedicated team of investors and volunteers.

Harbinson Returning To Vees-Penticton Vees Applying For 2017 Western Canada Cup:

Fred Harbinson is staying in Penticton and his two superstar prodigies are going to be right there with him. After considering coaching offers at the NCAA Division 1 and Major Junior hockey levels, Harbinson has committed his immediate future to the Penticton Vees and taking another run at an RBC Cup national Junior-A championship. Defenceman Dante Fabbro and forward Tyson Jost – both projected as first-round picks in the 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft – also confirmed they will return to Penticton for the 2015-16 season. Harbinson said his young family had some opportunities to consider but Penticton was ultimately where they wanted to be. Helping develop young players like Jost and Fabbro, as well as enjoying the people he works with, the city, the community and its legion of hockey fans ultimately made the decision to stay a logical one for the 43-year-old president, general manager and head coach. “We’ve got a great owner in Graham Fraser and for now and the future we have plans to keep growing the team and the franchise,” said Harbinson, who still has four years left on a contract extension he signed last year. “We’re in this long-term. Other offers happen but this isn’t a conversation I foresee Graham and I having every year.” Harbinson acknowledged his family’s home in Heritage Hills is up for sale, a scenario that took on a life of its own on social media in recent weeks. “We just want to move into town, that’s all,” said Harbinson. “I want to make that clear to everyone.” Harbinson has enjoyed a wildly successful eight-year tenure with the Vees, including a record-setting season in 2011-12 that concluded with the Vees first RBC Cup national title since 1986. The Vees won BCHL playoff titles in 2008, 2012 and 2015 and this year won the Western Canada Cup for the first time. Harbinson has been busy getting commitments from some top-end recruits in the recent weeks and believes the team has a good nucleus in place to again take a run at a BCHL title, and ultimately an RBC Cup championship in 2015-16. “That’s always our goal,” said Harbinson. “We came so close last year. I know we’ve lost a lot of players but the cupboard isn’t as bare as some people might like to believe.” And with Jost and Fabbro back in the fold, the Vees will be among the early-season contenders. The 1998-born phenoms were both picked in the first round of the 2013 Western Hockey League bantam draft (Jost 7th by Everett and Fabbro 8th by Seattle), but surprised many by deciding instead to play in Penticton. Both had terrific seasons for the Vees while also playing for Canadian entries at the World Under-17 Challenge and World Junior ‘A’ Challenge. “A lot of people assumed they wouldn’t be two-year players for us,” said Harbinson. “We knew they could step in and help as one-year players, then they could evaluate their respective situations from there. “It’s all about developing young men and players here … the games are only part of the equation. Playing at this level, with this club, it’s a great option and kids like Tyson and Dante see that. Obviously they’re two of the very best returning players in this league and we’re thrilled to have them back.” Harbinson said he anticipates Jost and Fabbro will be getting a lot of interest from NCAA Division 1 programs this season. Harbinson, meanwhile, confirmed the Vees are going to put together a bid to host the Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup when it’s the BCHL’s turn again in 2016-17. This year’s WCC will be held in Estevan, Sask. The coach said the Vees are in the early stages of the process and will consult with the league during the BCHL’s annual general meeting this week in Vancouver. “It’s a big financial endeavour to take this on and it will take a huge commitment by everyone,” said Harbinson. “We’ve got the facility, the infrastructure and the fan base to make the event a great success. The economic spin-off for the community would be quite significant.”

McLean & Armour Commit To Trail:

The Trail Smoke Eaters Organization is pleased to announce the signing of Beaver Valley Nitehawks forwards, Spencer McLean (98) and Ross Armour (98) for the 2015-2016 season. Ross Armour finished second in team scoring on the Nitehawks during the regular season last year. Armour scored 14 goals and added 43 assists in his rookie season with the Hawks. 9 of Armour’s 14 goals were tallied on the powerplay. Armour then went on to lead the Hawks in scoring during the playoffs, scoring 4 goals and adding 10 assists in 14 games. The Trail native is excited to get the season going. “I’m honoured to play for my home town team. I always dreamed about playing for the Smoke Eaters, and it’s finally coming true.” stated Armour when asked to comment on his signing. Spencer McLean was another big part of the Nitehawks success last season, finishing 3rd in team scoring behind Armour. McLean scored 18 times and added 20 assists in his 51 games during his rookie season. McLean continued his strong regular season with a 12 point playoff total in 14 games, scoring 10 times. Being from Montrose, McLean was also excited to be pulling on the home town Smoke Eaters jersey this upcoming season. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to play for the Smoke Eaters, and I’m glad that I now have this opportunity”, stated McLean. “We are extremely happy that both Spencer McLean and Ross Armour have chosen to play for the Smoke Eaters. Both players have proven their abilities as 16yr olds with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and we look forward to developing them as they pursue an NCAA opportunity,” commented Smoke Eaters head coach and general manager Nick Deschene.

Fabbro & Jost Returning To Vees:

Two of the brightest young stars in the BCHL last season will be back in Penticton for another year. The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is excited to announce defenseman Dante Fabbro (98) and forward Tyson Jost (98) will return to the team for the 2015-2016 season. Fabbro and Jost, who are considered two of the top ‘98-born players in Canada, received heavy interest at both the Major Junior and NCAA level but will be in Vees colours come September, and will be looking to build upon breakout rookie campaigns. Also, President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson is staying put and is excited to help develop Fabbro and Jost for another season, “People say what more can I do in Penticton with the Vees? The fact is no matter where I coach it’s my job to have an impact and develop players. I have the ability to work with some of the most talented up and coming players in North America right here in Penticton-which is shown when players such as Tyson and Dante choose Penticton as a launching pad to the NHL.” “Every year there are new players and new challenges-there is plenty left to accomplish,” added Harbinson. Jost, 17, had a terrific season up front for the Vees finishing fourth in team scoring in the regular season, as he averaged nearly a point per-game, with 23 goals and 45 points in 46 games; his 23 goals were tied for the team lead. Those numbers didn’t go unnoticed, as he was named to the BCHL All-Rookie team this spring. Jost found another gear in the playoffs, scoring a team-best 10 goals in 21 BCHL playoff games, en route to the Vees Fred Page Cup Championship win over Nanaimo. He turned heads at the Western Canada Cup (WCC), compiling five goals and six points as the Vees won their first ever WCC Championship in franchise history. Jost was also named the tournament’s Top Forward and Top Scorer. He shined on the national stage as well, picking up three goals and four points at the 2015 RBC Cup in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. He also is the first player to have played in all four Hockey Canada tournaments. He won bronze at the 2014 Telus Cup with the Okanagan Rockets, suited up for Canada at both the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, and helped the Vees to a semi-final berth at the RBC Cup. Including the BCHL regular season, playoffs, Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup, Jost had an impressive 41 goals and 69 points in 76 games. Fabbro excelled on the Vees blue-line this year, despite what his birth certificate says. The 16-year-old was the third-highest scoring defensemen on the Vees roster this year, compiling 33 points in just 44 games; international duty had him miss 12 games. That regular season earned him a spot on the BCHL All-Rookie team alongside Tyson Jost. Despite being the Vees youngest rear-guard, Fabbro excelled in the BCHL post-season, as he was the highest-scoring Vees defenseman, notching four goals and 15 points in 21 playoff games, helping the Vees captured their second league championship in four years. Fabbro, like Jost, wore the maple leaf at both the World Under-17 Challenge and World Junior ‘A’ Challenge. Fabbro continued his strong play in Alberta and Manitoba at the Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup. At the WCC, the blue-liner had a pair of goals and three points in five games, and another three assists in five more games at the RBC Cup. Fabbro played a key role on the Vees blue-line in the post-season and his performance at the RBC Cup led to him being named the tournament’s Top Defenseman. Jost and Fabbro have been projected as first round draft picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by numerous hockey publications. The Vees organization is thrilled to have Tyson and Dante back in the fold for the 2015-2016 season.