Friday, July 19, 2019

Vipers Training Camp One Month Away:

Only 31 days until the defending Interior Division Champion and league finalist Vernon Vipers open training camp. The Vipers 2019-20 season starts with training camp August 19th before opening the pre-season August 23rd vs the visiting AJHL Grande Prairie Storm. The Vipers will play four exhibition games before opening the 2019-20 regular season September 6th in West Kelowna.

Other then a few teams, most of all the teams across the league have been very active/busy over the off season announcing new recruits, off season trades, new players or adding new faces to their coaching staff. The past ten or so years the Vipers have been one of the more quiet teams when it comes to making off season announcements. Not this year! The Vipers have been very active/busy making several roster announcements, trades and even making changes behind the bench.

I have heard from a very reliable source the Vipers could have a possible 11 players returning from last year's hockey team. Also add in the six new recruited player's as well as some players the Vipers have acquired over the summer via the trade route.

Below is a look at the current roster that we know of as of today. These are the only players to date that have been announced as playing for the Vipers this coming season.

Forwards:

Connor Marritt (Captain/Returning for a third season)
Brett Fudger (Recruited/Committed)
Jojo Tanaka-Campbell (Recruited/Committed)
Connor Sleeth (Acquired in a trade June 26th from the Kanata Lasers)
Cameron MacDonald (Recruited/Committed)

Defence:

Ryan MacLean (Recruited/Committed)
Nicholas Kent (Acquired in a trade June 14th from the Buffalo Jr Sabres)
Christian Felton (Recruited/Committed)
Keigo Hachisuka (Recruited/Committed)

Goaltenders:

Max Palaga (Returning from last year-Signed June 18th)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Former Vipers Forward Lambert Invited To Islanders Development Camp:

The New York Islanders have invited former Vernon Vipers forward Jimmy Lambert to their development camp.

Lambert attended the Calgary Flames development camp last year, will be entering his second season at the University of Michigan this coming season. Lambert played three years in Vernon (2015-2018). In 156 games with the Vipers Lambert collected (57-goals-85-assists-142-points).

Jimmy Lambert's Player Profile:

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/213106/jimmy-lambert


This was posted on the Islanders website:

New York Islanders 2019 Mini Camp Roster

31 forwards, 15 defensemen and five goaltenders make this year's camp 

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Junior A Hockey On The Horizon For Prince Rupert Player:

This was posted in the Northern View newspaper:

Junior A hockey on the horizon for Prince Rupert player

Brett Fudger signs with the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL 

Alex Kurial

Jul. 17, 2019 

Local Sports

Two years ago he packed his bags for Prince George to take the next step in his hockey career. Now, an even bigger leap awaits as Prince Rupert’s own Brett Fudger prepares to head south after signing with the Vernon Vipers of the B.C. Hockey League.

“I went to their spring camp tryouts and I put on a good performance there,” Fudger said of the path that will land him at his new destination in southern B.C. “After camp and exit interviews they talked with me and told me they want me to commit for the next season and play with them.”

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Former Vernon Viper Competing In Ironman:

This was in todays Vernon Morning Star Newspaper:

Former Vernon Viper competing in Ironman 

Karissa Gall

Jul. 17, 2019 

Local Sports

About four years ago former Vernon Viper Aaron Volpatti was on a father-son trip while playing professional hockey.

Volpatti was boarding a plane when he noticed his father Tony had trouble lifting a suitcase into the overhead bin.

“We shared a laugh and attributed it to old age, but as the year went on things like this were happening more often,” said Volpatti, who now resides in Coldstream.

“Ultimately he was diagnosed with ALS.”

To raise funds and awareness for the disease, Volpatti will be competing in Ironman Canada on July 28.

Earlier this year he reached out to the ALS Society of BC to share his triathlon idea.

“Right away, people started asking me questions,” he said. “’Can you swim?’ Not really, I sink like a rock. ‘Have you ever been on a road bike?’ Nope. ‘Do you run?’ No, I spent the first 30 years of my life on skates.”

However, he said the challenge of competing in an unfamiliar athletic contest is what attracted him to the idea in the first place.

”While the challenge will be nothing like my dad’s battle, it will be a great way to promote awareness,” he said. 

Volpatti said he hopes to raise a total of $25,000 by the event day. So far he has raised over $17,000.

“This fundraising will continue to support ALS patients and their families, provide funds for services and research, and create public awareness of ALS,” he said.

To make a donation, visit alsbc.ca/ironman-for-als/.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Former Vernon Vipers Head Coach Holick Inducted Into BC Hockey Hall Of Fame:

Former Vernon Vipers Head Coach/GM Mark Holick and the 1997-98 Royal Bank Cup champion Surrey Eagles have been inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame.

Holick finished his first season last year coaching the Yale Hockey Academy Prep school. Holick spent the previous two seasons with the HC Pustertal Wolfe. HC Pustertal Wölfe – Val Pusteria Wolves are an Italian professional ice hockey team from Bruneck, currently playing in the Alps Hockey League.

Holick was Head Coach-GM of the Vipers for one season (2006-07) before leaving for the Western Hockey League Kootenay Ice.  Holick left the Vipers for the Ice a week before the Vipers Training Camp during the 2007-08 season. Holick posted a record of (37 wins-19 losses-1 tie-3 overtime losses) guided the Vipers to the BCHL League finals where Vernon fell in six games to the Nanaimo Clippers.  

After leaving the Vipers Holick spent seven seasons coaching in the Western Hockey League with Kootenay & Prince George as well as two seasons in the American Hockey League with the Syracuse Crunch before coaching in Italy.

Mark Holick's Player-Coaching Profile:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=2331

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BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Freeborn Commits To Smoke Eaters:

The Trail Smoke Eaters Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce forward Liam Freeborn (’99) has committed to the team for the 2019/20 season. Freeborn, 19, comes to Trail after playing the last two seasons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, splitting games between the Spruce Grove Saints and the Calgary Mustangs. The 6’1”, 185-pound winger played with the Mustangs through the entire 2018/19 campaign, tallying 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points in 58 games while also accumulating 77 penalty minutes.  Freeborn was made available to come to the West Kootenays after the Mustangs had to cease operations for the 2019/20 season. The Calgary, Alberta native has spent all of his hockey career within the Calgary area, playing his midget hockey with the Calgary Royals AAA program, amassing 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points in 34 games played during the 2016/17 season before making the jump to play Junior ‘A’ hockey. “Liam Freeborn is a very important addition to our hockey team,” mentioned Smoke Eaters General Manager and Head Coach Jeff Tambellini, “He is a big, right shot right winger who has high end playmaking abilities that will complement our forward group.” “It is very exciting to add a veteran player who is coming off a 53pts season and going into his third year of junior,” Tambellini continued, “His 6’2″ frame will add to an already big forward group and we believe his character and professionalism will have just as much impact as does his physical size.” The Smoke Eaters would like to welcome Liam and his family to the City of Trail and the Smoke Eaters organization. Freeborn and the rest of the Smoke Eaters will be in Trail for the team’s Main Camp at the end of August

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Wooding & Young Commit To Bulldogs:

This is posted on the Bulldogs website:

7 Newcomers Added to Roster

Jul 06, 2019

Class of 2023 Bulldogs Announced

NEW HAVEN. Conn. – Seven new student-athletes from three different states and one Canadian province join the Yale men's hockey team for the 2019-20 season.

The new class includes four forwards, two defensemen and a goalie. Five of the newcomers skated last year in the British Columbia Hockey League while one was in the United States Hockey League and another in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. There are three from Massachusetts, two New Yorkers and one each from Ohio and Saskatchewan.

THE FIRST-YEARS

Cole Donhauser, F, Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
Connor Hopkins, G, West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL)
Quinton Ong, F, Canmore Eagles (AJHL)
Hayden Rowan, F, Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL)
Brandon Tabakin, D, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
Teddy Wooding, F, Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
Michael Young, D, Vernon Vipers (BCHL) 

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Maine Mariners Add Former Vipers Coughlin & McNicholas To Teams Protected List:

The ECHL announced their Protected Lists as submitted by each of its member teams. The Maine Mariners have twenty five players listed on their protected list two are former Vernon Vipers defenceman Johnny Coughlin & former Vernon Vipers forward Michael McNicholas.

Coughlin finished his fourth and final season at College of the Holy Cross in March 2019 before signing his first professional contract with the Mariners March 15th 2019. Coughlin collected four assists in ten games with the Mariners last year.

Coughlin played one season in Vernon, playing in 55 games with the 2014-15 Vipers, collecting (3-goals-15-assists-18-points). 

Johnny Coughlin's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=301076

McNicholas started last season with the Manglerud Star, commonly known as Manglerud Star and abbreviated as MS, is a Norwegian ice hockey team based in Oslo, Norway. They currently play in the GET-ligaen. The Star signed McNicholas February 6 2018 was terminated October 26 2018. In 15 games with the Star McNicholas collected (2-goals-7-assists-9-points). The Mariners signed McNicholas November 1st 2018. In 65 games last season with Maine, McNicholas collected (13-goals-40-assists-53-points).

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Vernon Vipers Alumni Volpatti Takes Fight To ALS:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Aaron Volpatti has reached out to the ALS Society of BC about raising funds and awareness through his participation in a triathlon.

After four years at Brown University Volpatti signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks on March 22, 2010. Volpatti played parts of two and a half seasons with the Canucks before being claimed off waivers by the Washington Capitals on February 28th 2013. Volpatti played parts of five years in the NHL with the Capitals & Canucks before retiring in 2015. The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Revelstoke Grizzlies retired Volpatti's jersey #19 February 17 2018.

Volpatti played three seasons in Vernon (2003-2006) In 137 regular season games with the Vipers Volpatti collected (13-goals-24-assists-37-points). 

Aaron Volpatti's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=39059

This was posted on Castanet.net

NHLer takes fight to ALS

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Red Wings Invite Former Vipers Forward Tufto To Development Camp:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Odeen Tufto was invited to the Detroit Red Wings Development Camp.

Tufto will be entering his third season at Quinnipiac University this year. Tufto played one season in the United States Hockey League (2016-17) with three different teams (Fargo, Tri-City & Sioux City) before joining Quinnipiac University in 2017. In 38 games last year with the Bobcats, Tufto collected (15-goals-27-assists-42-points).

Tufto played one season in Vernon (2015-16) before leaving the team over the summer to join the United States Hockey League (USHL) Fargo Force. In 57 games with the Vipers Tufto recorded (25-goals-40-assists-65-points).

Odeen Tufto's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=248460

This was posted on the Red Wings website:

Red Wings release 2019 Development Camp roster

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Klepper’s Korner w/Jason McKee – Part 2

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Klepper’s Korner w/Jason McKee – Part 2

July 12, 2019
 
Part 2 – Jason McKee’s Plans for the Season

Jason McKee’s coaching style and philosophy have been consistent, at both the Junior A and Major Junior levels. McKee-led teams play fast, they play hard, and they compete.

In his view, “your coaching style largely depends on the players you have at your disposal. In the WHL, the coach gets what the team has selected in the bantam draft. If some of those selections don’t pan out, it can take a while to turn the ship around. The BCHL has an advantage; you can quickly build a very competitive team through solid recruiting.”

He says that he prefers to have “a mix of players with different skill sets and sizes and attributes, but all my players have to be competitive and willing to work hard. They have to be able to make quick decisions in all three zones because the game is so fast now.”

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BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Grimwood Suing Warriors:

Geoff Grimwood claims he was fired by West Kelowna Warriors owner Kim Dobranski so Dobranski could take control of hockey operations and other duties. The claim is part of a notice of claim filed by Grimwood in Kelowna Provincial Court earlier this week. He also claims he was let go so Dobranski could "avoid the real possibility of having to increase the claimant's compensation under the terms of the contract, and for which induced the claimant into returning to the West Kelowna Warriors after being terminated in August 2018." The statements are part of a claim in which Grimwood is seeking $29,166 plus interest for breach of contract. Grimwood claims the contract he signed in September provides for an immediate lump sum payment of an amount necessary to ensure his salary met the BCHL's minimum standard of $50,000 if he were terminated. He said the team failed to, or refused to make the payment. He further claims the contract was breached because the club did not obtain approval from the league as per the agreement. The notice indicates Grimwood was terminated for misconduct, however, he claims there was a failure to conduct any investigation, a proper investigation, or complete an investigation into the alleged misconduct. The suit further claims the club failed to "discharge their obligation of good faith and fair dealing in dismissing (Grimwood) in a callous and insensitive manner, and specifically failed to act in the candid, reasonable, honest and forthright manner that was a common expectation of the parties at the outset of the employment relationship." His firing ended a brief and tumultuous relationship between Grimwood and Dobranski, who assumed ownership in August. Grimwood was fired from his position as interim head coach and GM, then rehired on the eve of the regular season after players boycotted practice. The Warriors have yet to officially respond to the suit. None of the statements and claims in the suit has been proven in court.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Newfoundland Growlers Add Ex Vernon Viper Skirving To Teams Protected List:

The ECHL announced their Protected Lists as submitted by each of its member teams. The Newfoundland Growlers have fourteen players listed on their protected list one is former Vernon Vipers forward Todd Skirving.

Skirving & the Growlers won the 2019 Kelly Cup defeating the Toledo Walleye in 6 games of the ECHL Finals. Newfoundland won the series 4 games to 2 winning the Kelly Cup in their first season in the ECHL. The Growlers are the first Canadian team in ECHL history to win the Kelly Cup. 

Skirving is in his first season in Newfoundland after signing with the Growlers October 16th 2018. In 26 games this season with the Growlers Skirving collected (3-goals-4-assists-7-points). Skirving went pointless in five playoff games.

Skirving spent four years at Rochester Institute Of Technology (RIT) before signing his first professional contract with the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears August 3rd 2017. Skirving spent the 2017-18 season with three different teams in the ECHL (Orlando Solar Bears, Utah Grizzlies & Atlanta Gladiators)

Skirving was recruited by the Vipers played just half a season in Vernon (2010-11) before being traded. The Prince George Spruce Kings traded Ryan Renz to Vernon January 10th 2011 for Todd Skirving & future considerations. In 34 regular season games with the Vipers Skirving collected (4-goals-5-assists-9-points).

Todd Skirving's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=93822

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Vernon Vipers 2019 Exhibition Schedule:

The BCHL has finalized and published it's pre-season schedule for the 2019-20 season.

Vernon Vipers 2019 Exhibition Schedule:

August:

August 23rd Grande Prairie (AJHL) at Vernon 7pm
August 28th Vernon at Salmon Arm 7pm
August 30th Salmon Arm at Vernon 7pm

September:

September 1st Brooks (AJHL) at Vernon 2pm

Thunder Trade Vipers Alumni Walchuk To Cincinnati:

The ECHL Adirondack Thunder have traded former Vernon Vipers forward Dylan Walchuk to the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Walchuk started the 2018-19 season with KRS-ORG Beijing. HC Kunlun Red Star Heilongjiang (Chinese: 黑龙江昆仑鸿星; pinyin: Heilongjiang Kūnlún Hóngxīng is a Chinese ice hockey club based in Harbin, China and joined the Supreme Hockey League (VHL). Walchuck played only three games with KRS-ORG Beijing before signing with the ECHL Jacksonville Icemen October 9 2018. The Icemen traded Walchuk to the Adirondack Thunder December 20 2018. 

Walchuk went pointless in three games with KRS-ORG Beijing and pointless in four games with the Jacksonville Icemen. In 41 games with the Adirondack Thunder Walchuk collected (14-goals-10-assists-24-points).

After playing four years at the University of Calgary (2013-2017), Walchuk played his first professional season with the Odense Bulldogs (2017-18). The Bulldogs are a professional ice hockey team based in Odense, Denmark. They currently are part of the best Danish league Metal Ligaen, and they are furthermore the only hockey team from Funen. 

Walchuk parts of three seasons in Vernon (2009-2012). Walchuk left the Vipers after the 2010-11 season for the University of Northern Michigan before returning to the Vipers in December of 2011 after playing in just 19 games with the Wolverines.  In his second stint with the Vipers Walchuk left Vernon after playing in just six games. Walchuk left the Vipers on January 10th 2012 for the Western Hockey League Spokane Cheifs where he would finish his junior hockey career (2012-2013).  In 117 games with the Vipers Walchuk collected (44-goals-65-assists-109-points).

Dylan Walchuk's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=47890

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Ex Vipers Goaltender Taylor Invited To Tampa Bay Lightning Development Camp:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Ty Taylor was invited to the Tampa Bay Lightning development camp.

Taylor will be entering his second season at the University of New Hampshire this season. Taylor spent two seasons in Vernon (2016-2018) with a record of (36-17-5) with a 2.38 GAA Taylor was drafted 214th overall in Round 7 by Tampa Bay at this year's NHL draft.

Ty Taylor's Player Profile:

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/297989/ty-taylor

This was posted on the Lightning website:

Lightning announce 2019 Development Camp roster

29 prospects will be in attendance at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon from June 25 to June 29

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Be A Billet And Make A Difference:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Be a Billet and Make a Difference

July 8, 2019
 
Vernon, BC:  The Vernon Vipers are looking for families who are interested in being billet families for the upcoming season.

“We have a young son in hockey and for us billeting has been like adding big brothers to our home season after season,” says Billet Coordinator Stacey Donison.  “The connections we have made with our players has been so meaningful.  They still stay in touch and come visit us.”

She goes on to say that Junior A hockey is fantastic to watch and to have a player on the ice that lives in your home is extra special.  You feel like you’re a part of the team.

The Vipers are looking for families who enjoy hockey, can provide a bedroom and quality meals.

Its not just for the families with children at home.  Take the Davies for example, Cathy and Paul, who became billet parents for the first time 2 years ago who were empty-nesters when they billeted Michael Young.  “Being a rookie I was not totally on board with the whole billeting thing but then we hit the billet lottery and I was in it whole heartedly,” says Cathy.  She goes on to say, “The biggest thing for me is that this child (and we tend to forget they are just kids) came into our home a stranger and left a part of our family. We will forever be connected.”

She says it was an amazing experience giving someone else’s child a loving, stable and safe home to live in the hope that he feels at home and comfortable.  Paul and Cathy’s biggest goal  was for their billet (Michael Young) to walk away from this experience saying “I had a great time and I’m happy I came”. The whole billet family association is like an extension of your family and the people that make this association run become part of your life in a big way. A connection that is heartfelt and sincere.

Paul and Cathy embraced  what it meant to be billet parents by going to as many out of town games as we could as well as home games to show support for not only our billet but for the entire team. They opened their home to the entire team for movies and to hang out so they would have a safe place to hang out as a group.

Cathy finishes by saying, “Being a billet parent is like extending your family.”

“Its one of the life lines for Junior hockey and players to succeed,” says Head Coach and GM of the Vipers Jason McKee.  “They become a second family with life long relationships and rewards for both the players and the billet family.”

For more information on how you can become a billet family, email billetcoordinator@vernonvipers.com or call 250-542-6022

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Borgiel Commits To Capitals:

The Cowichan Capitals are very pleased to announce that Zach Borgiel has committed to play for the team for the upcoming season. The 6’2” 205lb goaltender joins the Capitals from the Leamington Flyers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.  The 19 year old Fort Gratiot, Michigan native posted a 20-7-1 record with a 2.25 GAA and .924 Save % in 28 games played for the Flyers this past season.  Zach was also the recipient of the Roy Caley Award for the League Best GAA, Western Conference Goaltender of the Year, Western Conference First All-Star Team, as well as the Flyers Most Valuable Player. The Capitals would like to welcome Zach to the Capitals Family and look forward to seeing him on the ice at Main Camp in late August.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Vernon Vipers 2019-20 Regular Season Schedule:

The BCHL has finalized and published it's schedule for the 2019-20 regular season. Dates for the exhibition games will be released at a later date and time.

Vernon Vipers 2019-20 Regular Season Schedule:

September:

September 6th Vernon @ West Kelowna 7pm
September 13th Vernon @ Wenatchee 7:05pm
September 14th Vernon @ Wenatchee 7:05pm
September 20th Victoria @ Vernon 7pm
September 21st Powell River @ Vernon 6pm
September 28th Cowichan @ Vernon 6pm

October:

October 4th BCHL Showcase In Penticton Vernon vs Penticton 7pm
October 5th BCHL Showcase In Penticton West Kelowna vs Vernon 4pm
October 9th Vernon @ Chilliwack 7pm
October 11th Merritt @ Vernon 7pm
October 12th Chilliwack @ Vernon 6pm
October 16th Vernon @ Merritt 7pm
October 18th Vernon @ Penticton 7pm
October 19th Trail @ Vernon 6pm
October 25th Vernon @ Powell River 7pm
October 26th Vernon @ Alberni Valley 7pm
October 27th Vernon @ Nanaimo 2pm

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