Monday, August 21, 2017

Day 1 Report From Vipers Training Camp:

I stopped by Kal Tire Place tonight for the first day of Vipers Training Camp.

In the first and only scrimmage-game of the day Team Blue tied Team Gold 6-6. Team Blue jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead early, before taking a 3-1 lead halfway through the opening period. Team Gold battled back with two goals by Vipers forward Niko Karamanis. It was tied 3-3 after the 1st period. Both teams scored once in the middle frame as it was tied once again 4-4 heading into the 3rd. Team Blue jumped out to a 5-4 lead before Team Gold held a 6-5 lead late before Team Blue tied the game 6-6 with 1:20 remaining. It ended 6-6. I thought both teams were fairly evenly matched, as the play was back and fourth for much of the game. Team Gold got some jump and come on strong in the final frame really showed off their speed and skill, creating several odd man rushes-scoring chances.

Here are the players that I thought stood out

Team Blue:

Ty Taylor made some good stops through out the game.

Jagger Williamson had some good looks-opportunities in and around the net through out the scrimmage.

Team Gold:

Connor Webb played the entire night between the pipes, took a big collision with one of his own d-men but stayed in the game, also made some good saves through out the scrimmage-game.

Brett Stapley Looked good up front, was strong on the puck, battled down low and in and around the net. Played well.

Keyvan Mohkatari Who was acquired over the summer from the Victoria Grizzlies scored once, didn't really stand out in the first half, but really used his speed and skill in the 3rd, created/generated several scoring chances.

Niko Karamanis (2 goals) I thought was the best player on the ice tonight.

Side Notes:

The Vipers have cut back on scrimmages-games this year. In previous camps there was at least five to six scrimmages-games per day. This year the Vipers are going with just three scrimmages-games and the annunal Blue/White Inter-Squad game.

Both teams went with just one goaltender tonight. No backup goaltenders for either team.

Newcomer Finn Evans wasn't at camp today/tonight. Reports are he will be arriving in Vernon later on this week/or maybe early next week.

I love the new Vipers logo's painted at centre ice.

Mark Ferner and the Vipers coaching staff are going to have some tough decisions to make. With thirteen players returning from last season, three new players acquired in trades over the summer and five new recruits this puts the Vipers roster at 21 players. Meaning the Snakes only need one roster spot to fill for the 22 man roster. Looking at the list of players, that means there only missing-looking for a backup goaltender. One or two of these kids on the list of returning players-new recruits may have to go, with the Vipers currently sitting with five defencemen.

With construction of the new arena being built at the far end of the existing rink, the Vipers office & souvenir stand are now closed due to construction. The Vipers Den is closed, while the Vipers office has moved over to a new spot, right next to the old office. Two new exit doors have been added to the one corner just next to the mens washrooms, while the back exit doors-stairs going outside are removed.

Team Red will face Team Blue tomorrow morning at 10:30 while Team Gold faces Team Red tomorrow night at 5:30

Here is a look at all four Training Camp teams-rosters:

Team Blue:

Ty Taylor (1999) G (Returning From Last Year)
Michael Ufberg (1997) D (Returning From Last Year)
Sol Seibel (1999) D (Returning From Last Year)
Cale Cripps (1999) D
Kyler Shmigelsky (2000) D
Jason Lin (2002) D
Adam Panacci (1999) F
Hayden Dick (1999) F (Was an "AP" with the Vipers last season)
Andrew Sorensen (2000) F
Jagger Williamson (1998) F (Returning From Last Year)
Wyatt Light (1998) F
Jesse Lansdell (1998) F (Returning From Last Year)
Josh Prokop (2000) F (Recruited-Committed)
TJ Sagissor (1999) F
Simon Sagissor (1997) F (Returning From Last Year)
Connor Marritt (1999) F (Recruited-Committed)
Carter Anderson (2001) F
Nicholas Teale (2002) F
#7 & #30 were on the lineup sheet with no names

Team Red:

James Brendeland (1999) G
Johnny Derrick (2001) G
Shane Kelly (1997) D (Returning From Last Year)
Jack Judson (2000) D (Recruited-Committed)
Mitch Andres (1998) D
Nicholas Ardanaz (2002) D
Rhys Lepine (2000) D
KT Walters (2002) D
Colby Feist (2002) F
Jake Mulder (2000) F
Jordan Sandhu (1999) F (Acquired in a trade with Alberni Valley)
Brody Dale (1999) F (Returning From Last Year)
Jimmy Lambert (1997) F (Returning From Last Year)
Coleton Bilodeau (2000) F (Recruited-Committed)
Quinton Ong (1999) F
Christian Sanda (1998) F
Dean Whitcomb (1999) F
Dominic Dumas (1999) F
Ethan Jones (2001) F
Matthew Francois (1999) F

Team Gold:

Connor Webb (1999) G
James Johnston (2001) G
Chris Jandric (1998) D (Returning From Last Year)
Michael Young (1998) D
Will Dow-Kenny (2000) D
Matthew Cadden (2001) D
Gabriel Suessnbacher Fu (2001) D
Garrett Valk (2002) D
Brett Stapley (1999) F (Returning From Last Year)
Keyvan Mohkatari (1998) F (Acquired in a trade with Victoria)
Alex Swetlikoff (2001) F (Recruited-Committed)
Niko Karamanis (1998) F (Returning From Last Year)
Ryan Brushett (1998) F (Returning From Last Year)
Kaden Meszaros (2001) F
Matthias Urbanski (1999) F
Reese Tambellini (2000) F
Nicholas Cherkowski (2000) F
Justin Scott (2001) F
Hayden Gelbard (2002) F
Justin Plett (2000) F

Fire Rescue Put Out Grass Fire At Kal Tire Place:

This is posted on

It's still dry out there

Kate Bouey - Aug 21, 2017

Vernon Fire Rescue pounced on a small fire that began late Sunday morning in dry grass at the north end of the Kal Tire Place parking lot.

“Some people were walking their dog in the parking lot and saw the grass fire,” said Captain Brent Bond. “They tried to stomp on it to put it out but it was a little too big.”

Bond said firefighters were called out to the 3400 block of 43 Avenue at 11:34 a.m. yesterday and quickly got the grass fire under control.

“It was a quick response. Time is of the essense.”

While the temperature is cooling off in the evening, Bond said it is still “just as dry as it was two weeks ago.”

The RCMP are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Vernon-St. Michaels Trade:

The Vernon Vipers have acquired 19 yr old forward Finn Evans from the Ontario Junior Hockey League St. Michaels Buzzers.

Evans from Toronto, Ont is listed at 6'4 174lbs.

In 46 games last season with the Buzzers Evans collected (22-goals-32-assists-54-points). In two seasons with St. Michaels Evans picked up (30-goals-43-assists-73-points).

Evans was named OJHL 1st Team All Prospect, was ranked 129th among North American Skaters for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft on Central Scouting’s Final Rankings & was a member of Team Canada East at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge.

Evans was drafted 349th overall by the United States Hockey League Fargo Force in Round 22 of the 2016 USHL Draft.

Finn Evans Player Profile:

Evans has committed to Princeton University for 2018-19 ECAC season.

Evans scores two goals vs the OJHL North York Rangers October 30 2016

Evans was named OHA Top prospect forward last season at the 2017 OHA awards-top prospects.

This is posted on the OJHL Transactions page:

August 16 2017  St. Michaels       Evans, Finn (F) traded to team in different league Vernon (BCHL)

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Acquire Finn Evans For Futures

August 21, 2017

by Vernon Vipers

Recent News

The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce the acquisition of  19 year old forward Finn Evans from the St Michaels Buzzers of the OJHL in exchange for future considerations. Last season Evans recorded 22 goals and 54 points in 46 games as well as 9 points in 7 playoff games.  The product of Toronto has already secured a scholarship to Princeton University for next season.

The 6’4 190 pound winger was also a member of  Team Canada East during the World Jr A Challenge last season. Evans is expected to arrive in Vernon later this week or early next week.

Meet Your Future Vipers:

This was posted on the CSSHL website:

Prokop commits to Vipers

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - Submitted by CSSHL Media

The Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League announced the commitment of Canadian Sport School Hockey League student athlete Josh Prokop.

Prokop, 17, finished tied for the overall scoring lead in the Midget Prep Division during the 2016-17 season after picking up 57 points (29-28-57) in 30 games with the Northern Alberta Xtreme.

The Edmonton, Alta. product won a CSSHL Elite 15s Division Championship in 2016 with Northern Alberta after accumulating 50 points (24-26-50) in 28 games, along with 11 points (5-6-11) in four post-season contests.

Prokop, who was selected by the Swift Current Broncos in fifth round, 92nd overall, at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, made his Junior A debut last season, appearing in one game with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Vipers commit to Swetlikoff

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - Submitted by CSSHL Media

The Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League announced the commitment of Canadian Sport School Hockey League student athlete Alex Swetlikoff.

Swetlikoff, 16, spent the past two seasons with the Yale Hockey Academy, most recently with their Midget Prep team where he netted 45 points (19-26-45) in 28 games during the 2016-17 CSSHL season, as well as five points (2-3-5) in three games during the playoffs.

The Kelowna, B.C. product won a CSSHL Bantam Prep Championship with Yale during the 2015-16 season, accumulating 30 points (13-17-30) in 25 games, along with six points (6-0-0) in four post-season contests.

Swetlikoff was selected in the third round, 62nd overall, by the Seattle Thunderbirds during the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.

Judson commits to Vipers

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - Submitted by CSSHL Media

The Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League announced the commitment of three-year Canadian Sport School Hockey League student athlete Jack Judson.

Judson, 17, spent the past three seasons with the Delta Hockey Academy, most recently with their Midget Prep team during the 2016-17 season where he registered 20 points (5-15-20) in 29 games, along with two points (1-1-2) in three post-season contests.

During the 2015-16 season, the White Rock, B.C. product helped Delta capture the CSSHL Midget Prep Championship after netting 13 points (6-7-13) in 35 regular season games and one goal in four playoff games.

The 5-foot-11 defenceman appeared in two games with the Vipers during the 2016-17 season.

Judson was selected in the 10th round, 201st overall, by the Vancouver Giants at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft after accumulating seven points (3-4-7) in 18 games with the Delta Bantam Prep team during the 2014-15 season.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Vipers Open Main Camp Monday:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Open Main Camp Aug. 21st

August 19, 2017

by Vernon Vipers

Recent News

The Vernon Vipers are getting ready to kick off another season of BCHL action with their main camp starting on Monday August 21st. It’s expected the Snakes camp will be relatively small this year as the team has a number of returning players as well as recruits coming in. But as Head Coach Mark Ferner always says “everyone has to earn their spot on the team.” Below are some of Coach Ferner’s thoughts on camp and the upcoming season as well as the main camp and preseason schedules.




Goalie Session 8:00 – 8:45am
Defence Skills 9:00 – 10:00am
Forward Skills 10:15 – 11:15 am
Team Red Practice 4:00pm – 5:00 pm
Team Gold vs Team Blue 5:30 – 7:30pm


Team 1 & 3 Education Seminar 9:00 – 10:00am
Team Gold Practice 9:00 – 10:00am
Team Red vs Team Blue 10:30 – 12:30 am
Team 2 Education Seminar 10:30 – 11:30am
Team Blue Practice 4:00 – 5:00pm
Team Red vs Team Gold 5:30pm – 7:30pm.


Team Blue Practice 9:00 – 10:00am
Team White Practice 10:15 – 11:15am
Team Blue vs Team White 7:00pm

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:

Salmon Arm-Prince George Trade:

Salmon Arm Silverbacks general manager Troy Mick today announced the team has acquired forward Tanner Campbell for future considerations from the Prince George Spruce Kings. Campbell from Kelowna, BC has 28 goals and 41 assists in 3 years in the BCHL for a total of 69 points. Tanner also had 29 goals and 38 assists for 67 points for the BCMML Bronze Medal Okanagan Rockets based out of Kelowna in the 2013-2014 season. “Tanner is an offensive player who has the speed to go with it” says GM Troy Mick. He plays with passion and has a very good hockey IQ on the ice” He will be a very good offensive point producer for us this season. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to play in Salmon Arm. Its a privilege to be part of a great organization with the Silverbacks and the fact that I’m able to play close to home makes it even more special for me. I am excited to call the Shaw Centre home this year, as it has always been a tough rink to play in over the years as a visitor. I know how special the fan support is in Salmon Arm and I can’t wait to get things going and push for a national championship this season”. Stated Tanner. Welcome to the Backs!

Alberni Valley-Battlefords Trade:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs announced during the long weekend that they have completed a trade with the Battlefords North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The trade sees 1997-born forward Keith Anderson head to the North Stars in exchange for future considerations. Anderson dressed in 29 games for the Bulldogs last season following a trade from the Vernon Vipers, tallying a total of four goals, four assists and 76 penalty minutes. He previously suited up in 46 games with the WHL’s Victoria Royals and Everett Silvertips. The Bulldogs would like to wish Keith all the best in his upcoming season.

Powell River Kings Ice Install:

Powell River Kings Ice Install – We strongly believe you can never have enough time lapses of ice being put into the ol’ arena. First, its strangely satisfying to watch but more importantly it signals that hockey season is just around the corner. The BCHL’s Powell River Kings put together this time-lapse of ice going in which means the Junior A Hockey season is just about ready to begin. Most hockey teams in the league will be beginning their camps and pre-season in three to four weeks.

Rons Joins Wenatchee Wild:

As the Wenatchee Wild prepare to begin their third season in the BCHL, the task of reloading a club that has lost a lot of key components took another step forward with the addition of Brenden Rons, a second-year junior defenseman who is expected to provide a solid presence on and off the ice. Rons arrives in Wenatchee with his college commitment already secured, as he will play Division I hockey for the Michigan Tech Huskies in his home state. “Growing up in Michigan, I watched MTU play at the Great Lakes Invitational every year, so committing there was obviously special”, Rons declares. “Also, my grandparents grew up 10 minutes from the university, so they are thrilled with my decision.” He’s still deciding on a major, but is interesting in the school’s Engineering program. He has plenty of time to make that choice, but for now he’s enjoying the ride. “Just being able to see the world and travel while doing what I love is an amazing experience. It has created many memories and friendships.” A towering 6’5”, 225 lb. defenseman, Rons played for Victory Honda as a Bantam, then spent three years with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U16 and U18 teams before joining Omaha in the USHL at the beginning of last season. At the midway point of the season, he joined Topeka in the NAHL where he finished the season. The decision to play for Wenatchee this season was a simple one. “It’s just the full junior hockey package”, he says. “Every year, you must take major steps in your development.  I feel Wenatchee gives me the best opportunity to do that.” Wenatchee Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler is pleased to welcome Rons to Wild Country. “He is a big-bodied d-man that skates well, and comes with experience”. Littler goes on to add, “He does a very good job defending. We also expect some offense out of him.” Rons and the rest of his new Wild teammates report to Training Camp on August 21.

Warriors Name Marino Captain:

On Friday, September 8th in Trail, Warriors forward Jared Marino will play in his 100th career regular season BCHL game. It will also mark the first regular season game of his captaincy in the 2017/18 season. In this “Countdown to Warriors Hockey”, we chat with the Warriors newest captain in anticipation of the Warriors Main Camp, which culminates at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna on Monday, August 21st. In 99 career regular season games, Marino has compiled 6 goals and 29 points to go along with 68 penalty minutes but is the owner of 39 career playoff games between the BCHL, Western Canada Cup and Royal Bank Cup. The Niagara Falls, Ontario native has found a nice home in the western part of the country and will begin his third season in West Kelowna come early September. With the potential of 12 players returning to the Warriors roster for this upcoming season, Marino likes the look of this year’s squad, “I think the group we are bringing back puts us in a great spot to start the year,” commented Marino, who is keeping his eye on the big prize, “A successful year for me would be nothing less than winning another RBC Cup with this team.” The offseason can be a great time for players when it comes to developing strength and getting some reps in the weight room and on the ice that they might not have during the grind of a season. For Marino, it’s all about keeping busy, “I like keeping busy in the summers, training in the mornings and working at night,” stated the Warriors captain, “Being a bigger guy, I focus my offseasons on getting faster and developing more power in my legs.” The 6’3″, 205-pound winger is one of two players (the other being Jake Harrison) that remains from the Warrior group that won it all back in 2016 with Jared’s brother, Kyle, captaining that team to the franchise’s best season yet. The Marino’s have always been close, something which Jared holds closely, “I look up to my brother everyday of my life”, said Marino, “With Kyle being such a great leader, it has taught me so much and has shaped me into the person I am today.” Looking up to his brother does not just stop off the ice as Jared learned a thing or two from his older sibling during the Warriors championship run, “I learned a lot that year from Kyle about leadership and how hard you have to work as a captain both on and off the ice.” Although being miles apart with older brother Kyle in Alaska playing college hockey for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks, the brotherly love runs deep for the Marino’s. Jared and the rest of the Warriors are set to hit the ice at Royal LePage Place for Main Camp on Monday, August 21st before the first preseason game on Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 PM at RLP against the Penticton Vees, tickets are just $5.

Wild Goaltender Eisele Releases New Mask:

Wenatchee Wild goaltender Seth Eisele released a photo of his newly painted mask for the upcoming season.

Victoria-Prince George Trade:

The Prince George Spruce Kings have acquired 18 yr old forward Nolan Welsh from the Victoria Grizzlies for future considerations. Welsh tallied 11pts in 52 games last season with the Grizzlies.

Alberni Valley-Melville Trade:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are pleased to announce the acquisition of 1997-born defenceman Tyson Slater from the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in return for 1998-born forward Ethan Kopyczyn and 1999-born defenceman Jake Wilhelm. Slater is a Courtenay, BC product who spent the 2016/17 season with the Trail Smoke Eaters. As a BCHL rookie, he scored five goals and added five assists and 24 penalty minutes in 39 regular season games. He was dealt to the SJHL’s Millionaires earlier in the offseason. “Tyson is a smooth-skating defenceman with good size and excellent offensive instincts,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He made some really good strides in Trail last season and proved that he belongs in our league. We’re excited to see him step up and play a key role on our blueline as a 20-year old this season.” Slater spent the 2015/16 season with the VIJHL’s Comox Valley Glacier Kings while making his BCHL debut as an affiliate player with the Powell River Kings. “Growing up in Courtenay it was always a dream of mine to play for the Bulldogs,” says Slater, who describes himself as a physical, offensive blueliner who isn’t afraid to rush the puck. “I love the community and the support the Bulldogs receive and I’m very excited to be a part of it.” “I’m going into the season hoping to secure an NCAA commitment, but most importantly I’m going to do whatever I need to on and off the ice to help the team succeed. This town deserves to have a winning team again and I want to help make that happen.” Wilhelm completed his rookie season with the Bulldogs in February, while Kopyczyn was earlier acquired as future considerations in a trade with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs. Slater will take the ice with his new teammates when the Bulldogs begin their main training camp on Monday, August 21st at Weyerhaeuser Arena.

Wild Signs Zech:

Some ice hockey players have been on skates so long, they don’t remember learning. It’s just always been a part of their life. For Cooper Zech, that’s not exactly the case. “My earliest hockey memory was around 5 years old”, he recalls. “I didn’t like skating very much and wasn’t very good at it so my dad would skate in front of me dropping m&m’s on the ice so I would skate around following him the whole time picking up the m&m’s as I went.” It may not have been the most conventional method, but it certainly was effective. 14 years later, Cooper Zech is headed to play junior hockey in Wenatchee with a Division I college commitment to Ferris State in his pocket. The fleet-footed Zech started as a forward. “One year in peewees, the defensemen on our team weren’t very strong, and I played a few games at defense and just stuck ever since.” The move paid dividends, allowing him to secure a commitment with Ferris State University in the WCHA. It’s admittedly taken the pressure off the Michigan native. “It’s definitely a relief not having to worry as much about who is in the stands that night and it makes it easier to just play my game the best I can.” His preference is to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice, and hopefully become a police officer. He checks in at 5’7” and 160 lbs., and loves to handle the puck. “I am a defenseman that is offensive, I like to jump in the rush when I can and make plays in the offensive zone”, Zech reveals. That’s part of what led him to the Wenatchee Valley. “Wenatchee is known for having one of the best rinks with the best fan base and an unbelievable track record”, he says. “Their style of play is very similar to the style that I like to play.” He has his list of goals lined out for the coming year, both personal and team-based. “What I am most excited for is playing for a team that is known to make deep playoff runs and have a real chance at winning it all.” Wenatchee Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler is looking forward to what Zech will bring to the fold. “Cooper is an experienced puck moving defenseman that has run a power play at the NAHL level”, Littler notes. “We expect him to be an exciting player to watch.”

Around the Pound Episode 6

Kleysen Set For Final Year Of Junior Hockey In West Kelowna:

After almost one year and a full season of BCHL hockey under his belt, Stephen Kleysen has found a second home in West Kelowna as he is set to begin his final season of Junior ‘A’ hockey in the Okanagan. The Warriors acquired Kleysen from the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) on the 17th of August in 2016 and proved to be one of the biggest additions to last year’s Warriors squad, playing in all 58 regular season games with 6 goals 23 points to go along with 48 penalty minutes. Kleysen saw an increased role and was on the ice consistently for the Warriors in the playoffs and also generated some offense in that time with three assists in four games played. The six goals Kleysen tallied was the most he had scored in a season in his Junior ‘A’ career. The 5’11”, 185-pound blueliner learnt a lot from his first year out west last season, “With last year being my third year of junior hockey, I became more conscious of my responsibility,” said Kleysen, “to show up ready to play like it’d be our last game every single night.” It’s not only the playing aspect of the game for Kleysen either, strength and conditioning plays a big part in his life as well, “After seeing several of my teammates suffer some unfortunate injuries, the importance of taking care of my body and mind became more apparent to me than it had in previous seasons.” As the Winnipeg, Manitoba native states, it’s not just his body he needs to take care of during the long season, “Coming into games mentally prepared, well rested and well fueled made a huge difference in what I could contribute to the team,” Kleysen continued, “It became especially apparent and more important during the playoffs; I wanted my energy to be contagious to the team on the ice. Those experiences have motivated me to push harder than I ever have this offseason.” With Warriors Main Camp commencing in just 10 days, Kleysen is excited to get into town and return to hockey, “I can’t wait to rejoin the returning group of guys we have and to meet all the new players coming in as we will have a strong team this season.” Stephen and the rest of the Warriors are set to hit the ice at Royal LePage Place for Main Camp on Monday, August 21st before the first preseason game on Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 PM at RLP against the Penticton Vees, tickets are just $5.

Weatherby Prepared To Lead By Example:

On a team heavily laden with veteran talent last year, Jasper Weatherby came in to Wenatchee for his first season of junior hockey and embraced his role, and now returns this season prepared to lead by example for the younger players. He played on a line that featured two other first year players, Lucas Sowder and Sam Morton. The energetic line not only kept the pressure on against some of the league’s top lines, they also generated 80 points of offense. Weatherby led the way with 12 goals and 20 assists. At 6’3”, 215 lbs., his physical stature combined with his puck handling skills and situational awareness made him a force at both ends of the ice. For Weatherby, Wenatchee has been a perfect fit. “The best part has to be the people associated with the team: the team staff, trainer staff, billets, rink staff, and the thousands of fans showing up for every game. With that being said, the coaching staff is phenomenal; they’re always there to help you succeed as a team and an individual. Everywhere you go, you’re treated like a pro and have every opportunity to succeed.” He’s taken a no-nonsense approach to preparing for the coming season. “This off season I really focused on my skating”, he said. “Being able to skate well and make plays at high speed is definitely important. I also really try and take care of my body, from getting enough sleep and eating well to stretching a lot and doing some yoga, I think all those things help in the long run with being a better player and injury prevention.” He played in Omaha with the U16 and U18 teams for a couple of years prior to joining the Wild, but feels his game has really started to improve in the BCHL. “I’d say the area of my game that has changed the most is my speed of game. Junior hockey is fast and being able to make plays under pressure is something that grew a lot over the course of the last season. I think the BCHL is the perfect league to continue developing as a player.” For this season, Weatherby says, “My goal this season is to be a better player and person on and off the ice. I think it’s also important to help the younger guys out as much as you can, especially being a returning guy. As a team, I think the goal should be the same, and that is to win a championship.”

Friday, August 18, 2017

Former Vipers Defenceman Hetnik Named To Hockey East All-Academic Team:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Marc Hetnik was named to the 2016-17 Hockey East All-Academic Team.

Hetnik finished his fourth and final season with the UMass Minutemen last season before signing his first professional contract as a College free agent with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Norfolk Admirals March 9th 2017.

Hetnik picked up one assist in five games with the Admirals last year, played two seasons in Vernon (2011-2013). In 112 regular season games with the Vipers Hetnik collected (6-goals-22-assists-28-points).

Marc Hetnik's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Minutemen website:

Hockey Boasts Program-Record 16 All-Academic Team Members

June 28, 2017

AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts hockey has set a new program record with 16 student-athletes being named to the Hockey East 2016-17 All-Academic Team, the league announced on Wednesday. Headlining the Minutemen honored, freshman Ryan Wischow earned a spot on the Hockey East All-Academic All-Star Team for boasting the highest grade-point average of any goaltender in the league. Seniors Brennan Baxandall and Alex Wakaluk were among seven players who achieved "Distinguished Scholar" status in 2016-17, having qualified for the All-Academic team in each of four seasons of varsity play with a 3.0 GPA or higher in each semester, as well.

Senior Marc Hetnik and junior Jake Horton both earned their third All-Academic Team nods of their careers, two of 27 individuals in Hockey East to reach the milestone.

The Minutemen also boasted 10 first-time honorees: sophomore Ryan Badger, freshman Shane Bear, senior Steven Iacobellis, freshman Griff Jeszka, sophomore Kurt Keats, sophomore William Lagesson, junior Anthony Petrella, sophomore Austin Plevy, freshman Jack Suter, sophomore Joseph Widmar and Wischow.

For continued coverage of UMass hockey, follow the team on Twitter (@UMassHockey) and Instagram (@MassachusettsHockey) and on Facebook at

UMass' Hockey East 2016-17 All-Academic Team Selections
Ryan Badger (So., F)
Brennan Baxandall (Sr., D)+
Shane Bear (Fr., D)
Marc Hetnik (Sr., D)***
Jake Horton (Jr., D)***
Steven Iacobellis (Sr., F)
Griff Jeszka (Fr., F)
Kurt Keats (Fr., F)
William Lagesson (So., D)
Patrick Lee ** (Jr., F)
Anthony Petrella (Jr., F)
Austin Plevy (So., F)
Jack Suter (Fr., F)
Alex Wakaluk (Sr., G) +
Joseph Widmar (So., F)
Ryan Wischow (Fr., G)

** two-time honoree
*** three-time honoree
+ Distinguished Scholar (3.0 GPA in each semester of four varsity seasons)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lambert's Thoughts On Coming Back:

This is posted on

Lambert To Return To Vipers

August 16, 2017

Vernon Vipers Head Coach Mark Ferner calls it a huge shot in the arm as his team gets ready to open training camp for the upcoming BCHL season. The return of Jimmy Lambert to the team was unexpected, as the second year forward was headed to Alaska to play NCAA hockey for the 2017-18 season.

Ferner says the team made a number of moves in the off-season expecting that they would be losing a few players to college hockey but instead many of the vets are returning for another year of Junior A hockey including forward Jagger Williamson and defenceman Michael Ufberg. is also glad to be working with the Vernon Vipers again this season and will be bringing some cool new video features for the coming year.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Stingrays Give Viper Alumni Weinstein Qualifying Offer:

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) tendered qualifying offers as submitted by each of its member teams. The ECHL South Carolina Stingrays have eight players that been tendered qualifying offers, one is former Vernon Vipers defenceman Steve Weinstein.

Weinstein played his first season with South Carolina last year, started the season with the Stingrays before being signed to a professional tryout agreement with the American Hockey League (AHL) Hershey Bears January 19 2017. Weinstein collected two assists in five games with Hershey before returning to South Carolina. In 43 games last season with the Stingrays Weinstein has (4-goals-21-assists-25-points).

After four seasons at Bentley University (2011-2015) Weinstein has spent the past two seasons playing in the American Hockey League & East Coast Hockey League with four different teams. Weinstein spent the 2015-16 season with the East Coast Hockey League Cincinnati Cyclones and the American Hockey League Lake Erie Monsters. Last season Weinstein has played with the East Coast Hockey League South Carolina Stingrays.

Weinstein played three seasons in Vernon (2008-2011) in 153 regular season games with the Vipers collected (10-goals-49-assists-59-points).

Steve Weinstein's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Stingrays website:

Stingrays Extend Eight Qualifying Offers

Jul 3, 2017

The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced that qualifying offers have been extended to eight players on their season-ending roster.

Forwards (3): Andrew Cherniwchan, Derek DeBlois, Steven McParland

Defensemen (5): Wade Epp, Danny Federico, Mitch Nylen, Marcus Perrier, Steve Weinstein
Players who had already signed a contract by June 30 did not need to receive a qualifying offer.

Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four could be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the upcoming 2017-18 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until Aug. 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 will retain the rights to that veteran until Aug. 1. After Aug. 1, if the veteran player is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran 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 Aug. 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

Last week, the Stingrays signed forwards Trevor Gillies and Patrick Megannety to contracts for the 2017-18 season, the only players under contract with the club this far. More player signings are expected to be announced in the coming days and weeks.

South Carolina opens their 25th anniversary season in front of their home fans at the North Charleston Coliseum on Oct. 20 against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:05 p.m.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Vipers Alumni Kisio Wins Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Brent Kisio & Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team won the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup Saturday after a 4-1 victory over Czech Republic.

Kisio was Head Coach at 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be entering his third season with the Western Hockey League (WHL) Lethbridge Hurricanes. Kisio guided the Canes to 3rd place in the Eastern Conference with a (44-21-4-3) regular season record last season was named the Eastern Conference nominee for Coach of the Year in his first season with the Hurricanes.

Kisio was an Assistant, Associate Coach & Assistant General Manager for eight seasons with the Western Hockey League (WHL) Calgary Hitmen before being named the Lethbridge Hurricanes Head Coach June 4th 2015.

Kisio played one season in Vernon (2002-2003) The Vipers acquired Kisio in August 2002 in a trade with the Alberta Junior Hockey League Ft. McMurray Oil Barons. In 59 regular season games with the Vipers Kisio collected (20-goals-46-assists-66-points).

Brent Kisio's Player-Coaches Profile:

This was posted on the Kelowna Rockets website:

21 CHL players win gold with Canada at 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup

August 12, 2017

WHL Network

BRECLAV, Czech Republic – For the ninth time in 10 years Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team claimed gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup with a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic on Saturday.

Kelowna Rockets forward Nolan Foote was among 21 CHL players on Team Canada.

Captain Joe Veleno (Saint John Sea Dogs), the first player to represent Canada twice at the tournament, scored the game-winner early in the second period, while Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) and Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs) helped pace the offense with two assists each.

Jared McIsaac (Halifax Mooseheads) opened the scoring for Canada with the lone goal of the first period as the red and white held a decisive 19-4 shot advantage through 20 minutes of play.

Veleno’s goal doubled Canada’s lead at the 2:19 mark before Dominik Arnost put the Czechs on the board at 6:59.  Defenceman Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s) scored his first goal of the tournament in the final minute of the middle frame providing Canada with some insurance heading into the third.

Barrie Colts prospect Jack McBain finished the scoring in the third period completing a three-point effort when he capitalized off a rebound from a Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs) shot at 7:53.

Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs) was solid in goal turning aside 18 as the Canadians dominated the shot clock 46-19.

Coach Brent Kisio after Canada win gold

Rodrigue led all tournament goaltenders with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .942.  Veleno led Canada’s tournament offense with seven points in five games, followed by Thomas, fellow forward Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), and defencemen Calen Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes), and Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm) with six points each.

Captain Joe Valeno after Canada win the gold medal

It is the 21st time in 27 summer U18 tournaments Canada has finished atop the podium, dating back to 1991.

In Saturday’s bronze medal contest, Sweden edged Russia 4-3 in overtime.


Team Canada includes 21 players from the Canadian Hockey League including eight from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, seven from the Ontario Hockey League and six from the Western Hockey League.


Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads)
Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs)


Calen Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s)
Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
Jared McIsaac (Halifax Mooseheads)
Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs)
Jett Woo (Moose Jaw Warriors)


Luka Burzan (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack)
Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rockets)
Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)
Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Anderson MacDonald (Sherbrooke Phoenix)
Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals)
Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax Mooseheads)
Jackson Shepard (Kamloops Blazers)
Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)
Joe Veleno (Saint John Sea Dogs)

The Canadians will try to make it 22 summer gold medals when the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup comes to home ice for the first time in 2018; Edmonton will host next August, the first time a major summer U18 tournament is played in Canada since the 1996 Air Canada Pacific Cup in Nelson and Castlegar, B.C.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, please visit, or follow along through social media at, and

Monday, August 14, 2017

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:

Bulldogs Name Campbell New Director of Business Operations:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have rounded out their Business Operations staff for the 2017/18 British Columbia Hockey League season with the addition of Tali Campbell, who joins the organization in the role of Director of Business Operations. Campbell will be primarily responsible for the day-to-day business operations of the Hockey Club, providing support to many facets of the organization including financial management, sales & marketing, promotions and game-day events. “On behalf of the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society, I’m excited to welcome Tali to Port Alberni and to the Bulldogs organization,” says team president Ron Paulson. “Tali is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and we expect him to be a tremendous asset for us in a number of areas that contribute to the overall success of our hockey club.” Campbell is no stranger to junior hockey or the BCHL, having worked previously for the Victoria Grizzlies and Nanaimo Clippers, as well as the VIJHL’s Oceanside Generals. “I’m excited for the opportunity to work with the Bulldogs to continue to build on this incredible fan base; it’s true when they say the Bulldogs have the best fans in the BCHL,” says Campbell. “My job right away is to get into the community, get involved and make sure the Bulldogs continue to thrive. I look forward to meeting all of our amazing fans, volunteers and sponsors and getting the season underway. Campbell will begin work immediately ahead of the 2017/18 season. The Bulldogs open main camp on Monday, August 21st and play their home opener on Friday, September 15th against the Victoria Grizzlies.

Vees Add New Mural To South Okanagan Events Centre:

The “Leaving a Legacy” painting outside the Penticton Vees dressing room at the SOEC recently had 2016-17 team captain Nicholas Jones added to it. Also in the painting hoisting the Fred Page Cup are the Vees three other BCHL championship team captains, from left: Brett Hextall (2007-08), Logan Johnston (2011-12) and Patrick Sexton (2014-15).

Albert Joins Chiefs:

Jason Tatarnic expected to see Luke Albert wearing an Alberni Valley Bulldog jersey this season. But things change. After the Dogs missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, head coach Kevin Willison paid the price. Alberni Valley swung the axe April 17, setting off a chain of events that have re-routed the promising blueliner to Chilliwack. “I was out there (Alberni Valley) last summer and I was looking forward to going there, but having an opportunity to play in Chilliwack was something I couldn’t pass up,” Albert explained. “With the whole coaching change, I wasn’t too familiar with the new guy (Matt Hughes) and it didn’t feel like AV was the right spot for me anymore.” Released by the Bulldogs, the 18 year old Ontario native had a fall-back option. The USHL’s Cedar Rapids Roughriders drafted him in the 13th round (196th overall) of their 2017 draft, and it looked like he was heading to Iowa until Tatarnic intervened. “The first thing I did was give Alberni a call to make sure they’d parted ways with Luke, and Matt indicated that they had,” said Tatarnic, the head coach/GM of the Chiefs. “Then I talked to Luke and we went from there. “Fortunately, his prep school coach and I played junior hockey together, and that probably played a little part in it.” Albert spent the last three seasons at New Hampton School, a prep program  in New Hampshire. His coach was Casey Kesselring. Kesselring and Tatarnic were long-ago teammates with the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, SK. “That’s how I got in touch with Jason and Casey had a lot of good things to say about him,” Albert confirmed. “Our talks were brief in the beginning but then it got more in depth, and I started seriously considering it the last few weeks. “It made perfect sense to come here.” Tatarnic used the RBC Cup in his sales pitch and that resonated with the Ontario kid. “Not many people can say they’ve played in that tournament, so it’s going to be pretty awesome to do that,” Albert said. “A couple of my buddies won it last spring with Cobourg, and they say it’s something that changes your life. “To play in it and maybe win it would be life-changing for me.” Tatarnic also talked about what Albert’s potential role on the team might be. The D-man had 12 goals and 39 points in 37 outings last year, good production from a blueliner in any league. has him listed at six-foot-two and 190 pounds and he says he’s in the gym five days a week. He skates well, has good vision and plays a solid two-way game. “We’ll see how it translates to his first year in our league, but it translated pretty well for (Colin) Bernard who was a 30 point guy for us last year,” Tatarnic said. “It’s possible for Luke to have success his first season. “It’ll be a learning curve, but he’s talented, he’ll adjust and I think he’ll be just fine.” It’d be really, really, really good for Tatarnic if Albert is a quick study. From the defensive corps that finished last season, only Bernard and 17 year old Powell Connor remain. Olivier Arseneau and Connor McCarthy graduated. Carver Watson’s gone back home to Wisconsin to play for the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers and Davis Bunz has joined the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder. “I think Luke can carry a lot of minutes and he has the potential to be a lead guy,” Tatarnic said. “We have a lot of first-year guys — Sean Thomson, Sean McCloskey, Nick Ormon, Matt Slick — but we had the same situation last year, and the success we had gives us confidence that we can bring these guys in and everything will be all right. “We just have to give them a little time.” Albert feels he’s up to the challenge and can’t wait to see what 2017-18 brings. “I want to grow as a person and player on and off the ice,” he said. “For sure I want to put up some points too, but most of all I want to win.”

Smokies Mascot Tryouts:

Centennials Name Shaw New Assistant Coach:

The Cents have bolstered their ranks again, this time behind the bench. Head Coach and General Manager Joe Martin says he’s glad to welcome Brandon Shaw to the coaching staff from Barrie, Ontario. Shaw joins the Centennials after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Cambridge Winterhawks of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. During that time he’s also operated as a scout for the Cents and has helped them acquire players from the Ontario area. Martin says Shaw will help spread out the coaching duties evenly "He's going to be taking over the defensive part of the bench, and we'll move Matt to his more natural position up on forward, and then it gives me a chance to oversee the whole bench." The extra eyes and voice on the bench should help the Centennials during main camp which opens on August 21st.

Silverbacks Purchase Big Al’s House Of Hockey:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks Hockey Club are excited to announce that the company has purchased Big Al’s House of hockey at the Shaw Centre. The Hockey shop will now be known as the Maximum Edge Hockey Shop and will be open again for the season Aug 7th, 2017 which will also be opening day for the Salmon Arm Elite Power Skating & Hockey School at the Shaw Centre. The Maximum Edge skate sharpening system, which is world renowned and used by many NHL teams, will anchor the store. Stay tuned for more details.

Capitals Acquire Dery & Laroche:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals junior A hockey club is pleased to announce the acquisition of two players for the upcoming season: 19-year-old goalie Yann Dery and 18-year-old forward David Laroche, both having played last season with teams in the Quebec CEGEP Hockey League (QCHL), a junior-college league in the province. Dery, a 1998-born goalie, spent the past two seasons with the Rebelles du CEGEP de Sorel-Tracy, based in Sorel-Tracy, QC. This past season, Dery went 15-12 with a 2.34 goals-against average, .912 save-percentage and four shutouts. The native of Terrebonne, QC was also named to the QCHL all-star team last year. “He’s as acrobatic and athletic as I’ve ever seen a goaltender, and he’s very good technically,” said Lou Gravel, Capitals’ Director of Scouting and Recruiting in regards to Dery. “And off the ice… the best type of character kid you want to have on a hockey club.” Dery and Adam Marcoux, who will be entering his second season with the Capitals, give the Capitals two 19-year-old netminders in the crease. “That gives us a one-two punch,” Gravel said. “We’re going to have two guys that can play, which is a luxury.” Laroche, a 1999-born forward, played last year with the Cougars College Champlain-Lennoxville, who play in Sherbrooke, QC. As a 17-year-old last season, the Stoke, QC native Laroche tallied 13 goals and 26 points in 23 games, as well as a plus-10 rating. Among all forwards in the QCHL with at least 23 games played, Laroche was in the top-10 for points-per-game average. “We’re talking about a sniper here,” Gravel commented on Laroche. “He was on the top line with Champlain College; he’s a top-six guy for us in Cowichan. He’ll bring us some offense… he’s good all over the ice but his main attributes are speed and offense.” Both Dery and Laroche were first seen by the Capitals at the NHL pre-draft tournament in Boston this past spring. “When [Dery] played at the pre-draft tournament, he stood on his head – against college guys and QMJHL guys,” Gravel said. “[Laroche] played with and against guys who are already in the BCHL, and he stood out.”

One On One With Bulldogs Head Coach/GM Matt Hughes:

Schedule Set For 2017 World Jr. A Challenge:

Team Canada East, the 2016 silver-medallists, will open this year’s tournament against Russia in prime time on Sunday, Dec. 10, when the World Junior A Challenge returns to Atlantic Canada this December. With ticket sales underway since April, the host organizing committee along with Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) have released the 2017 schedule and team pools for the event being hosted at the RECC in Truro. Joining Canada East in Group A are Russia and Switzerland, while Group B includes Team Canada West, the Czech Republic, and the United States. Canada West and the Czech Republic open their tournament at 3:30 p.m. AT on Dec. 10. “Confirming the schedule and teams really brings the event to life,” said Dave Hysen, manager of events and properties for Hockey Canada. “We’re still a few months away, and enjoying the summer sunshine, but for the local organizers and volunteers who are working tirelessly on making this a success for the town and county, this announcement really helps set things in motion as we hit the homestretch in the event’s preparations.”

Jang Commits To Trail Smoke Eaters:

The Trail Smoke Eaters announce the latest addition to their defensive lineup for the upcoming season. The Trail Smoke eaters are pleased to announce the commitment of local defenceman, Karsten Jang, who has played for the Beaver Valley NiteHawks the past two seasons. The 1998-born d-man will be familiar to Smoke Eaters fans, having played four games with the Smokies last season, in addition to suiting up for over 80 regular season games with the NiteHawks. The steady blueliner has shown continued progress in his game over the past few seasons and Head Coach, Cam Keith feels that he is ready to contribute in a regular capacity at the BCHL level. “Karsten’s development this past season playing for the Beaver Valley NiteHawks was amazing to witness. When given the opportunity, he proved himself as a solid Junior-A defensemen while playing games for us as an affiliate player. We are extremely excited to have another local player which brings character and pride to the Smoke Eater organization”, said Keith. Jang joins a strong local contingent of players who have graduated from our local hockey programs to play for the Trail Smoke Eaters. It is exciting to see so many players developing locally, both in minor hockey and with the local Junior-B teams, ready to take their game to the BCHL and hopefully continuing further. When asked for comment, Jang said, “I am beyond excited for the season to start and wear the Smoke Eaters jersey. It’s amazing to be able to play for your home town team and the one you grew up watching”. The entire organization would like to welcome Karsten to the team.

Dhaliwal One Of Twelve Potential Returnees For West Kelowna Warriors:

The West Kelowna Warriors are just 14 days away from hitting the ice for the 2017 version of Main Camp, free and open to the public with preseason games following shortly thereafter as they kick off the exhibition on Wednesday, August 23rd at RLP against the Penticton Vees, the first of six preseason contests. Parm Dhaliwal is one of twelve potential returnees for the Warriors in the upcoming 2017/18 season, some of which will be featured in a “Countdown to Warriors Hockey” leading up to the late August camp. The Surrey, B.C. native put up an impressive rookie season in 2016/17, scoring 6 goals and 29 points while adding 26 penalty minutes. Dhaliwal made an immediate impression on the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) and NHL Central Scouting as he was selected to play in the CJHL Top Prospects Game in Cornwall, Ontario. The 18-year-old forward is looking to carry his experience as a rookie from last year into the beginning of this season, “Last year was a big jump for me from the Canadian Sport School League to the BCHL,” commented Dhaliwal, “The first month or so was hard for me to get used to the pace and playing with bigger, stronger and faster players. After that I kind of got into a rhythm and the veterans helped out the rookies a lot, which made for an easier transition.” Being a veteran and helping out younger players is something Dhaliwal is looking forward to in his sophomore season, “I want to contribute on helping the rookies learn the league and help making their first years a little bit easier and fun.” Offseason preparation is a key for every player at every level, especially when talking about junior hockey for developing not just physically, but mentally as well. The 5’11”, 185-pound centre got a better understanding on how to prepare for a grueling 7-plus month period of hockey, “Learning last year how fast the league is made me prepare even more this offseason to get ready for the season ahead by doing a lot of extra training.” Dhaliwal, like every player, expects the best out of themselves and has personal goals set for himself for 2017/18 which includes scoring some goals, “For me to have a successful year, I think I need to produce more on the scoring side and try to be point-per-game kind of player,” continued Dhaliwal, “Contributing more on the defensive side of the puck and winning a lot more faceoffs is a big factor for me as well.” Parm and the Warriors are set to hit the ice at Royal LePage Place for Main Camp on Monday, August 21st before the first preseason game on Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00 PM at RLP against the Penticton Vees, tickets are just $5.

Svejkovsky Joins Wild:

He will celebrate his 16th birthday in November, but Lukas Svejkovsky has been playing with older players for years now, and welcomes the challenge as he joins the Wenatchee Wild this season. For the last three seasons, Svejkovsky has been playing in the Delta Hockey Academy in Delta, BC, Canada, with his father, Yogi, helping as a coach along the way. His point production has been noteworthy, exploding last season for 44 points in 22 games. “Delta was a great fit for my development over the past 3 years”, he says. “I think staying in the same environment with great coaches and committed teammates prepared me well for the next level.” He went on to add, “I’m very excited for the new opportunity in Wenatchee.” He came to Wenatchee for the June camp, and quickly felt comfortable. The young forward reveals, “I’ve always heard great things about the coaching staff here and I know I’m going to be in great hands. When I came for the camp I realized right away that this is where I want to play because of the fantastic organization. I know I’m surrounded by great teammates, and the fans here are unbelievable!” His goals for the season and beyond are simple. “I think with the team we have we can go far and I’m going to try to contribute as much as I can to help the team win, and hopefully win a championship.” At 5’ 8.5” and 145 lbs., Svejkovsky is clear about the type of player he is, and strives to be. “My identity as a player has always been to create offense by being on the puck, so that’s definitely what I’m going to try to continue this year”, he declares. “I want people to see my speed and skill, and also playing solid defensively.” Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler is excited about the potential displayed by Svejkovksy, who was drafted by Muskegon in the USHL Phase I draft in May. “Lukas does a lot of things that will remind our fans of Brendan Harris. We love his compete and skill level.” Svejkovsky officially reports to his new club on August 21.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Ex Viper Chanter Named To Hockey East All-Academic Team:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman Dylan Chanter was named to the 2016-17 Hockey East All-Academic Team.

Chanter will be entering his fourth season at the University of New Hampshire was named captain for the Wildcats for the upcoming season.

Chanter played parts of one season in Vernon (2013-14) after acquiring his rights from the Merritt Centennials on January 3rd 2014 for Jason Bird & future considerations (Logan Mick). Chanter went pointless in 19 games with the Vipers. In 37 games last season Chanter collected (1-goal-2-assists-3-points).

Dylan Chanter's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Wildcats website:

Men's and Women's Hockey Place 26 on Hockey East All-Academic Team

Academics | 6/29/2017

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – A combined total of 26 student-athletes from the University of New Hampshire men's and women's ice hockey teams were named to the 2016-17 Hockey East All-Academic Team on Wednesday. The women's team had 15 athletes receive this award while the men's team had 11.

All honorees achieved a grade point average of a 3.0 or better in both the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters. UNH's total of 26 student-athletes ranked third in Hockey East.

Abby Chapman (Beverly Hills, Mich.) and Kate Haslett (Rothesay, New Brunswick) were named to the women's All-Academic All-Star Team, which recognizes the top GPA by position. Both Wildcats recorded a perfect 4.0 in the 2016-17 academic year.

On the women's team, Haslett and Carlee Toews (Grand Prairie Alberta.) are three-time honorees. Four sophomores – Marie-Jo Pelletier (Dalhousie, New Brunswick), Jenna Rheault (Deering, N.H), Kyra Smith (Littleton, Colo.) and Taylor Wenczowski (Rochester, N.H) – received this honor for the second year in a row.

First-time honorees included senior Jonna Curtis (Elk River, Minn.) and juniors Julia Fedeski (Algonquin Highlands, Ontario) and Amy Schlagel (Blaine, Minn.), as well as freshmen Nicole Dunbar (Coto de Caza, Calif.), Tori Howran (Bancroft, Ontario), Meghara McManus (Milton, Mass.), Hannah Touzos (Foxboro, Mass.), Carlee Turner (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Chapman.

For the men's team, senior captain Matias Cleland (Longmont, Colo.) was honored as a Distinguished Scholar, which recognizes student-athletes who maintained a 3.0 or better GPA every semester for four varsity seasons.

Four teammates – Adam Clark (Sherwood Park), Dylan Maller (Parkland, Fla.), Cameron Marks (North Vancouver, British Columbia), and Danny Tirone (Trumbull, Conn.) made the grade for the third year in a row. Dylan Chanter (Armstrong British Columbia) was honored for the second time.

Also of note, freshmen Liam Blackburn (Prince George, British Columbia), Justin Fregona (Mississauga, Ontario), Patrick Grasso (Ankeny, Iowa), Joe Lazzaro (Hampstead, N.H.) and Brendan van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) were honored in their first year as Wildcats.

The Hockey East Association is a 12-team Division-I men's college hockey conference founded in 1984. The association also sponsors a nine-team Division-I women's league that began play in 2002-03.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bulldogs Trade Ex Viper Anderson To SJHL:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have traded former Vernon
Vipers forward Keith Anderson to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Battlefords North Stars.

Anderson split last season between the Vipers, Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Western Hockey League Victoria Royals & Everett Silvertips. After the Bulldogs season ended last year, the Everett Silvertips recalled Anderson for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.

The Vipers signed Anderson October 21st 2016 after being released from the Western Hockey League Victoria Royals. Anderson played in 12 games last season with the Vipers (3-goals-1-assist-4-points) before being traded to Alberni Valley November 24th 2016 for future considerations.

Keith Anderson's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Bulldogs website:

Bulldogs trade forward Keith Anderson to SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars

August 7, 2017

by jeffd

Recent News


The Alberni Valley Bulldogs announced during the long weekend that they have completed a trade with the Battlefords North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The trade sees 1997-born forward Keith Anderson head to the North Stars in exchange for future considerations.

Anderson dressed in 29 games for the Bulldogs last season following a trade from the Vernon Vipers, tallying a total of four goals, four assists and 76 penalty minutes. He previously suited up in 46 games with the WHL’s Victoria Royals and Everett Silvertips.

The Bulldogs would like to wish Keith all the best in his upcoming season.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Judson Commits To Vipers:

This is on the Vipers twitter account:

Vernon Vipers‏ @VernonVipers
Aug 11 2017

COMMITMENT! the Vernon Vipers will have Jack Judson from @DeltaWildHockey (@judder_2) on the blue line this season @CSSHL @ASU

Lambert Chooses Vipers Over Alaska:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Lambert chooses Vipers over Alaska

Kevin Mitchell

Fri Aug 11th, 2017

Jimmy Lambert is shooting hundreds of pucks at NHL goalies like Devyn Dubynk, James Reimer and Eddie Lack at a Kelowna pro camp this week.

“They’re pretty good, you gotta pick your corners to score on them,” chuckled Lambert.

Named Unsung Hero by the Vernon Vipers last year, the ultra-talented 20-year-old Saskatoon product also used his time in the Okanagan to announce that he will be back in the Snakes Den this B.C. Hockey League season. Lambert has de-committed to the NCAA Division 1 Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks.

“I was kind of thinking of returning for another year in Vernon at the end of playoffs,” said Lambert, who compiled 19 goals and 47 points and another 14 points in the playoffs last year. “I thought it was a good decision for me. Everybody’s always in a big rush (to play college) but another year in Vernon will be good for my development.”

The choice to wear No. 23 for another season was enhanced when head coach Dallas Ferguson left Alaska for a similar spot with the Western League Calgary Hitmen.

“When we (his father and him) heard Dallas was leaving Alaska, it put a little doubt in our minds. I think the chance to sign with another school next year will be good for me.”

Vernon’s Jordan Burns, a junior with the Nanooks, also left Alaska for the University of Regina Cougars. He joins fellow Vernon products Zach McPhee and Colton Sparrow.

Rumours persist that the Nanooks hockey program is in jeopardy due to funding issues.

“It’s a huge shot in the arm getting Jimmy back,” said Viper head coach and director of hockey personnel Mark Ferner. “Even before I made the trade for Jordan Sandhu and Keyvan Mokhtari, we were prepared to go without Jags (Jagger Williamson), Jesse (Lansdell) and Jimmy. Now, we have all three guys coming back. Jimmy and Stapes (Brett Stapley) work well together.”

Lambert, who has bulked up to 175 pounds after pulling lumber all summer, said Stapley was one of the first teammates he called with the good news. Lambert is joined at the Kelowna Capital News Centre by NHL shooters Justin Schultz, Andrew Ladd and Tyler Myers.

The Vipers also announced the signings of two young dynamic forwards: Alex Swetlikoff of Kelowna and Josh Prokop of Edmonton.

Swetlikoff, 16, rang up 19 goals and 45 points with Yale Academy Prep in Delta last season. Prokop, 17, produced 29 goals and 57 points with Northern Alberta X-Treme. He played one for Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL.

Vernon F Coleton Bilodeau, 17, who got in 10 games with the Snakes last year, has also signed. He pocketed 22 goals and 58 points with the Major Midget Okanagan Rockets.

Vernon F Connor Marritt, 18, has also committed. Marritt registered 12 goals and 31 points with Okanagan Hockey Academy.

The Vipers open a five-game exhibition schedule Friday, Aug. 25 in Salmon Arm against the Silverbacks. Their main camp goes Aug. 10-20.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bilodeau Commits To Vipers:

This is on the Vipers twitter account:

Vernon Vipers‏ @VernonVipers

Aug 10 2017

COMMITMENT! the Vernon Vipers will have hometown kid Coleton Bilodeau (@C_Bilodeau_) suit up this season! @BCHockey_MML @OkanaganRockets

Lambert Returning To Vipers:

This is posted on the Morning Star website:

Lambert back in Snakes Den

Kevin Mitchell

Thu Aug 10th, 2017

Forward Jimmy Lambert of Saskatoon will return for a third BCHL season with the Vernon Vipers.

Named Unsung Hero by the Vernon Vipers last year, the ultra-talented 20-year-old Saskatoon product also used his time in the Okanagan to announce that he will be back in the Snakes Den this B.C. Hockey League season. Lambert has de-committed to the NCAA Division 1 Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks.

Royals Name Vipers Alumni Cook New Assistant Coach:

The major midget South Island Royals have named former
Vernon Vipers defenceman Brad Cook assistant coach.

Scott Hawthorne interview's Brad Cook,

Cook stepped down as Head Coach-GM of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Saanich Braves, was named the Braves new Vice President of Hockey Operations May 8th 2017.

Cook spent eleven seasons playing professional hockey from 1996-2007 with sixteen different teams (Dayton, San Angelo, Tulsa, Kalamazoo, New Mexico, Richmond, Adirondack, Elmira, Berliner SC, ESC, Columbia, Victoria, Augusta & Bakersfield) in eight different leagues (CoHL, WPHL, CHL, UHL, Germany 3, Germany 4 & ECHL) before retiring from hockey as a player. Cook has spent four seasons with the Braves (2008-2010 & 2011-12 & 2016-17). 

Cook played one season in Vernon (1995-96) winning the 1996 Royal Bank Cup with the Vernon Vipers. In 50 games that season Cook picked up (12-goals-37-assists-49-points).

Brad Cook's Player-Coaching Profile:

This was posted on

South Island Royals have named their coaching staff for 2017-18

May 14, 2017

The South Island Royals of the BC Major Midget League (MML) are pleased to announce their coaching staff for the 2017-2018 season.

Head coach Adam Geric (Victoria) is returning behind the bench. He will be joined by assistant coaches: Brad Cook (Victoria), Scott Hawthorne (Saanichton) and Liam Sproule (Victoria). Geric was recently an assistant coach at the BC Hockey Male U16 BC Cup and has previously played in the BC Hockey League (BCHL), Western Hockey League (WHL) and professionally in Australia. They join general manager Sam McMullen (Victoria) on the South Island staff.

The MML was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15, 16 and 17 year olds an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey. These teams have an opportunity each year to compete for the TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Swetlikoff & Prokop Commit To Vipers:

This is on the Vipers twitter account:

Vernon Vipers‏ @VernonVipers

Aug 9 2017

With main camp right around the corner, the Vernon Vipers will be releasing player commitment news this week, and next!!! STAY TUNED!!!

COMMITMENT! the Vernon Vipers would like to welcome @YHA_U18 forward Alex Swetlikoff (@alexswetlikoff8) to the team! @CSSHL @YaleSportAcadmy

COMMITMENT! the Vernon Vipers are excited to have @CSSHL U18 top scorer @NAXHAPREP Josh Prokop (@joshprokop11) join the Snakes for 2017/18

"We feel like both of these players (Prokop/Swetlikoff) are major acquisitions for our Hockey Club and they will both be important pieces of the Vernon Vipers not just for next season, but for the future as well. We are really excited" - Head Coach Mark Ferner on new recruits

This is posted on Gregg Drinnan's Blog:

August 9th 2017

The BCHL’s Vernon Vipers announced on Wednesday that they have signed F Alex Swetlikoff, 16, and F Josh Prokop, 17. . . . Swetlikoff, from Kelowna, was grabbed by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the third round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. He has committed to Denver U for 2020-21. Last season, he had 19 goals and 26 assists in 28 games with the Yale Hockey Academy prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. . . . Prokop, from Edmonton, was a fifth-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. Last season, Prokop had 29 goals and 28 assists in 30 games with the CSSHL’s Northern Alberta X-Treme prep side. . . . “We feel like both of these players are major acquisitions for our hockey club,” Mark Vernon, the Vipers’ head coach, said, “and they will both be important pieces of the Vernon Vipers, not just for next season, but for the future as well. We are really excited.”

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:

Vanderbeck Returns To Wild For 2017-18 Season:

It only took three minutes at the start of last season for AJ Vanderbeck to make his mark with his new team in Wenatchee. Now, after wrapping up the season with 39 goals, he is preparing to return to Wenatchee for the 2017-18 season. The hard-shooting winger was beginning his third year of junior hockey, and doing it in his third different league with his third different team. At the 3:00 minute mark of the first period in Prince George, Vanderbeck snapped home a wrister from the slot, set up by Brian Williams. Vanderbeck would go on to score 39 goals on the year, rocketing past the old franchise record of 32 set by Jono Davis in the 2012-13 season. He would also score the “Teddy Bear Toss” goal in December, and he assisted linemate Jimmy O’Brien on the final goal of the regular season as well. One of his personal highlights of his season was a four-goal night during a 6-3 win at Surrey on Jan. 5, 2017. As a youth, he played close to home initially, skating for the Colorado Rampage Bantam AAA, U16, and U18 teams. His first taste of playing away from home was in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex with the Lone Star Brahmas of the NAHL in 2014-15. The following season he skated in the USHL with Sioux Falls before choosing Wenatchee last season. Now, he is ready to return to the Wild for another season along with a handful of teammates from last season’s Boileau Memorial Trophy winning team. “AJ is a kid who shoots it a ton”, says Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler. “He has a pro caliber shot, and he’s not afraid to use it. His first thought is always to shoot, and usually it’s his second and third option too”, he jokes. “He’s worked hard to grow the rest of his game, and he’s quickly becoming a well-rounded, elite player.”

Ward, Regush, Risteau & Metsa Leaving Cenntenials For USHL:

Head Coach and General Manager Joe Martin confirmed news that some of the Cents best performers from 2016-17 will be moving on to USHL teams for the coming year.  The news doesn't come as a surprise as the players were drafted high in this spring's USHL draft. Forwards Tyler Ward, Michael Regush, Zach Risteau, and defenseman Zach Metsa won't be donning the red and black next season. Martin says that throughout the summer his staff has been hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst. "Two of the four we held out a little bit longer to see where they were at, but we made roster decisions like they were gone." All told they combined for 57 goals, 86 assists, and 143 points, but Martin says that this is an opportunity for new and returning players to step in and fill the void. "What it does is provide other players an opportunity that maybe they wouldn't have been provided because other players that have proved it in the past are leaving. So it's up for grabs." The first goals will be scored when the Penticton Vees come to the Nicola Valley Memorial arena on September 8th for the season opener.

Trail Smoke Eaters Announce New Mascot:

Wild Name Mendelson New Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator:

The Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League, are pleased to welcome Leigh Mendelson who joins the franchise as Associate Head Coach / Recruiting Coordinator. He will look to fill the void left by Associate Head Coach Tom Rudrud who has stepped away to handle family matters at home. Mendelson, a native of Caldwall, NJ joins the Wild after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. His coaching career is considerable, with 10 seasons of experience at the junior level in both the NAHL and USHL. Add in four seasons of pro experience in the ECHL and AHL, and three seasons in Europe to go along with his three years of Division I college. The opportunity to come to Wenatchee was too enticing to pass up. “The opportunity to work with such an accomplished coach as Bliss (Littler) is not one that comes along every day, and I’m looking forward to getting to work with him and his staff on a daily basis.” Mendelson recognizes the challenge of trying to follow Rudrud. “It’s not going to be easy to fill Tom Rudrud’s shoes; he is such a great hockey man”, Mendelson admits. “But it’s a wonderful opportunity for me to continue my career.” He adds, “Tommy has always been one of my favorite people in the game.” For Rudrud, who has coached alongside Littler for 13 of the last 17 seasons, the experience in Wenatchee was a fulfilling one. “I’m gonna miss it”, he confessed. “It’s been a great ride here, and I’ll look forward to watching as the Wild continue to grow.” Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler says, “We will miss Tom for sure. He has his finger prints all over any success we have had over the years”. He concludes, “I can say without a doubt he is one of the best in the business.” Looking ahead to the arrival of Mendelson, Littler notes, “Leigh gives us a very experienced hockey man that has been in the business a long time. He’s a talented and tireless recruiter that has a reputation of having helped develop many NHL caliber players.” Littler adds, “We look forward to the energy and enthusiasm that Leigh will bring to our organization.” In his service with the Wild, Mendelson will be called on to work primarily with the defensemen in addition to recruiting. Over his coaching career he has helped develop numerous NHL defensemen, including David Hale, Rostislav Klesla, Keith Ballard, Justin Braun, Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jared Cowen, Patrick Wiercioch, and Eric Gryba. Another addition to the Wild staff is Tyler Alos who joins the club as Assistant Coach in a limited support role, helping on game days with video and analytics. He will join on the bench on occasions that find Mendelson or Chris Clark on the road recruiting. Alos was enjoying a solid career that was ultimately shortened by injury while playing Major Juniors with the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). He remained in Seattle for the last four seasons as an Assistant Coach with the T-Birds. The team has also bestowed a promotion on Assistant Coach Chris Clark, who now adds Assistant GM to his job title. “Clarky is the engine that drives this machine”, Littler states emphatically. “He does more behind the scenes than anyone could ever begin to realize. He has earned this, 100 percent.” Season ticket packages are on sale now at the Wild office by calling 509-888-7825. Single game tickets and group packages will be available soon. Plans are also underway for select fan bus trips this season and will be announced soon. The Wenatchee Wild are celebrating their tenth season in the Valley.

George Preston Arena Under Renovations:

The George Preston arena in Langley is getting some renovations over the off season, upgrading the sound system & adding speakers in the lobby.

Merritt-Burlington Trade:

The Merritt Centennials announced today that 18-year-old defenseman Joey Berkopec has been acquired from the Burlington Cougars of the Ontario Junior Hockey League for future considerations. “We expect Joey to be a significant piece on our blueline this season,” said Centennials General Manager and Head Coach Joe Martin. “He is a solid, two-way defender who should excel in the BC Hockey League.” Berkopec is entering his second season of junior hockey. The Oakville, Ontario product played 48 games for Burlington in 2016-17, putting up four assists and 40 penalty minutes. He went pointless in ten playoff games for the Cougars. He was named to Team OJHL Oates at the 2016 Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge. Last fall, Berkopec was also named to the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Within Central Scouting’s ranking system, he earned a ‘C’ rating. The 6’1″, 190 lb. defenseman came out of the Oakville Rangers Midget AAA program in 2015-16, having played the 2014-15 minor midget season as a member of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens AAA. In two midget seasons, Berkopec finished with 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 60 games. He also got into two OJHL games with his hometown Oakville Blades in 2015-16 as an affiliate player. Berkopec was also selected by Owen Sound in the 9th round, 178th overall of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft.

Penticton-Winnipeg-Portage Trade:

The Penticton Vees were Keane to add some more veteran presence to their lineup. On Tuesday, the BCHL team did just that, acquiring 20-year-old forward Jackson Keane from the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. The three-way trade saw 19-year-old forward Turner Ripplinger shipped to the MJHL’s Portage Terriers. The son of former long-time NHL forward Mike Keane played the last two seasons in the USHL after playing two seasons with the Blues in his hometown of Winnipeg. “(Keane) is a player that has produced in the past and our hope is that when put in the right situation, he will do so again,” said Vees president, GM and head coach Fred Harbinson. “He has big game experience which we saw last year was critical in our long playoff run.” Keane, bound for University of North Dakota in 2018-19, was captain of a Sioux City team that won the regular season title before falling in the deciding game in overtime to the Chicago Steel in the USHL championship series. A five-foot-nine, 160-pounder who can play centre and the wing, Keane had 11 goals and 25 points in 76 regular season games in two seasons with Sioux City. He added a goal and three points in 13 playoff games last season. With Winnipeg, Keane was more prolific offensively with 36 goals and 99 points in 103 games. He also played with former Vees stars Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro for Team Canada West at the 2014-15 World Junior A Challenge. Ripplinger, 19, logged three goals and nine points in 45 regular-season games for Penticton. The right-winger for Regina added three assists in 13 playoff games. “Moving Turner was necessary to add Jackson, who brings a different dynamic to our team; we wish Turner the best of luck and thank him for his part in our championship run last season,” said Harbinson. Ripplinger will be re-united with another former Vees forward – Ty Barnstable – in Portage. Harbinson said the Vees have 12 forwards, eight defencemen and two goalies signed, and have one forward position still up for grabs on their 23-man roster. Penticton also has two 20-year-old spots and an import spot open. Keane joins forwards Chris Klack and Owen Sillinger and defenceman Joe Leahy as the only 20-year-olds on the team. “We’ve got lots of flexibility so we can be patient and not be cornered into making a certain move,” said Harbinson. “Something could emerge for us out of training camp. There is no rush whatsoever to do anything.” He said a smaller roster offers more opportunities for the Vees younger players to log bigger minutes. “It’s still a work in progress but we’re in pretty good shape for this time of the season,” said Harbinson.

Demin Returning To Wenatchee Wild For 2017-18 Season:

When Slava Demin first arrived in Wenatchee at the beginning of last season, he was the youngest player on the team. Now, he’s set to come back as a second-year defenseman with his college plans secured, and focused on two things: growing his game, and winning. After committing to Wenatchee last summer, Demin went on to participate in the Five Nations Tournament hosted in Frisco, TX in August. By Christmas, he had committed to play Division I college hockey in Denver beginning in the 2018-19 season. The 6’1”, 185 lb. Demin had a busy summer, and fielded multiple offers for the coming season but ultimately chose to return. “I think that the biggest reason for me coming back was the fact that I would get to play with guys that I built relationships with in a league that I feel I can develop in”, he admits.  “I am also really excited to come back and learn under the great coaching staff that we have in Wenatchee that I feel will push me to become a better player and person. Lastly, I can’t not talk about coming back and getting to play in the Town Toyota Center in front of all the fans for one more year, it’s going to be a really fun year.” As the summer winds down, Demin has the opportunity to once again compete on the international stage, having been selected to represent the USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in BÅ™eclav, CZE. “I think that it is obviously an honor whenever you get to represent your country, especially in international tournaments”, Demin said. “I believe we have a great chance to win a gold medal over in Europe.” Last year’s experience at the Five Nations event has helped him prepare. “Being selected to the Five Nations team last year helped me understand what it means to play for your county and now I get to do it again. I am looking forward to an amazing experience with a lot of great memories over there as well as making lifelong friendships with the other guys on the team.”  Team USA begins pool play on August 7 against Sweden. When he and his Wild teammates report to Wenatchee on August 21, he will arrive now as a veteran and a leader with high expectations for himself and his team. “As far as the team, I believe that our expectations should be as high as ever. Last year we proved that we can be the best team when we are on our game and that should be the standard for the future of the Wenatchee Wild.” He continues, “I think we will come into this season with a new, young roster that I think will excite the fans but also play hard and fast.” Turning the focus inward for a moment, he notes, “As far as my game is concerned, I am just looking to improve as a player and person. I think that I had a really good first year last year and now have the opportunity to player a bigger role on the team. I am just super excited to come back and see how much the team and I can improve over the course of next season.”