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.”

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Zandee & Adamson Commit To Cougars:

This was on the Vipers twitter account:

Vernon Vipers @VernonVipers

Aug 3, 2017

BEST OF LUCK to Hunter Zandee (@Zandee40) and Austin Adamson (@austinadamson10) who will suit up for the @MRUmhockey Cougars next season!!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Vipers Alumni Kisio Named Head Coach For Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Brent Kisio has been named Head Coach for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

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 Hurricanes website:


July 11, 2017

**Media Release courtesy of Hockey Canada**

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced that Brent Kisio (Calgary/Lethbridge, WHL) will lead Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team as head coach following the departure of Paul McFarland, who has  accepted an assistant coaching position with the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.

Kisio is entering his third season as head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and was originally slated to work as an assistant coach under McFarland for the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp and 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. His experience with the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence includes as head coach of Team Canada White at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and winning a silver medal as an assistant coach with Team Pacific at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

With Kisio taking the reins behind the bench, Hockey Canada has added Drew Bannister (Sudbury, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) as an assistant coach for this summer’s U18 group.

Bannister was named head coach of the Soo Greyhounds in 2015 after an 18-year pro career with Anaheim, Edmonton, the New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay of the NHL; his career also included playing in Europe.  Drafted by the Lightning in 1992, he’s represented Canada on the international stage as a player and coach. Bannister won gold at the 1994 World Juniors as a player, and he’s also won gold as a head coach with Team Ontario at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Bannister was also an assistant coach with Team Ontario at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

“Both men are experienced and detail-oriented hockey coaches that know what it takes to compete and win in short-term competition,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. “With both having been a part of our Program of Excellence the past couple of years, they will bring their knowledge and passion of the game in helping our players develop and succeed at an elite level.”

In the coming weeks, 44 players will be put through their paces on and off the ice as they vie for a spot on Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team during a week-long selection camp. A 22-player roster will be selected to compete at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in August, leaving directly from camp to wear the red-and-white at the storied tournament hosted in the Czech Republic and Slovakia this year.

Hockey Canada’s scouting staff will continue to monitor players following their return to their home clubs, with an eye for putting together the best available team to compete at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship in Russia next spring.

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit or follow along via social media on Facebook, Twitter, and

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Brandt Commits To Royal Military College:

This is posted on the Paladins facebook page:

RMC Paladins Athletics

August 3

Paladins Hockey Adds Offensive Threat

We are very excited to add Riley Brandt to our 2017-2018 recruit class. Riley comes to us from the highly regarded Vernon Vipers program in the BCHL. Riley played 3 seasons for Coach Ferner in Vernon, his final as team captain. Riley’s hard-nosed 2 way play with his exceptional leadership will have an immediate impact on our team and program. Riley’s character and on ice identity will fit in seamlessly with the Paladins. His skill set will definitely help bolster RMC’s offensive potential and we look forward to having Riley in Kingston and contributing to our program in the years to come!

Check out this huge hit by Riley while playing for the Vipers.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ex Viper Sanford Playing In Salmon Arm Pro-Am Game:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Cole Sanford will be playing in the Salmon Arm Pro-Am Scholarship game Wednesday.

Sanford will be entering his second season at the University of Alberta after a short stint with the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Colorado Eagles (2016-17).

Sanford was a affiliated player "AP" with the 2011-12 Vipers went pointless in eight games before moving on to the Western Hockey League. Sanford would spend four seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers & Regina Pats before signing with the ECHL Colorado Eagles.

Cole Sanford's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Silverbacks website:

Pro-Am Game Tix On Sale

July 13, 2017

by sa silverbacks

Recent News

SALMON ARM  July 13th, 2017 – The Salmon Arm Silverbacks are proud to once again support the upcoming Pro-Am Scholarship game put on by the Salmon Arm Elite hockey School on August 9th, 2017 at Shaw Centre.  This will give hockey fans the chance to meet and watch some high level players showcasing their skills in a fun filled evening at the rink. Ticket are just $7.00 and can be purchased at the Silverbacks ticket booth. Here is a list of confirmed players for the game:

Riley Nash- Boston Bruins
Curtis Lazar- Calgary Flames
Tyler Shattock- Europe
Riley Spraggs- Spjhl
Kodi Schwarz- Del 2
Cole Sanford- University of Alberta
Lucas Nickles- University of Alberta
Brett Jewell- Yale University
Parker Bowles- University of Calgary
Jordan Burns- University of Saskatchewan
Cain Franson- University of Calgary
Marcus Mitchell- Sa silverbacks/ Michigan Tech
Akito Hirose- Sa silverbacks
Tristan Crozier- Nanaimo Clippers
Max Crozier- Nanaimo Clippers
Sam MacBean- Grand Prairie Storm
Mitchell Brown- Tri Cities whl
Colton Thibault- Sa silverbacks Alumni
Nick Unruh- Sa silverbacks

Hope to see you there and remember to bring a friend!

Friday, August 4, 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:

Ong Commits To Alberni Valley Bulldogs:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are pleased to announce that Burnaby Winter Club Midget Prep forward Bradley Ong has committed to join the team for the 2017/18 BCHL season. Ong is coming off a tremendous year that saw him score 22 goals and add 23 assists in 30 regular season games during the 2016/17 Canadian Sport School Hockey League campaign. His 45 points were good for 10th spot amongst all Midget Prep scorers, and he also also tied for the CSSHL playoff scoring lead with eight points in just five games. “Bradley is a smart, skilled forward who has been one of the elite players in the CSSHL over the past two seasons,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He has great instincts at both ends of the ice and the ability to finish and make plays off the rush and in the offensive zone. He has all the tools to be an excellent BCHL player and we’re very excited that he’s chosen to develop as an Alberni Valley Bulldog.” Ong captained the BWC Midget Prep team last season after netting 47 points the previous year with the Delta Hockey Academy. “I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Bulldogs organization and to play for Coach Matt this upcoming season,” says Ong, who describes himself as a two-way player who can be relied on in all situations. “This is a new slate for the team and a new opportunity for me to be an impact player and help the team win. My goal is to have an impact on the team’s success and to lead by example through working hard and pushing my teammates.” Ong will take the ice with his new teammates when the Bulldogs begin their main training camp on Monday, August 21st at Weyerhaeuser Arena.

Prince George-Cornwall Trade:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are very happy to announce the acquisition of 18 year old defenseman James Orr from the Cornwall Colts of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) in exchange for future considerations. James Orr is 6’2” and 185lbs and calls Beaconsfield, Quebec home.  Last season for the Colts Orr tallied 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points in 34 games. Prior to his season with the Colts Orr played 2 seasons for the prestigious Lac St-Louis Lions Midget AAA program. “We’re excited to be able to acquire James. He is a young, skilled player who skates well and has a high hockey IQ.  He sees the ice well, makes smart plays in the defensive zone and also joins the rush well.  He will fit in well with our skilled group of defensemen” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. James will join his new Spruce Kings teammates when the team begins their main training camp on Thursday August 24th at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.

Vees Add New Mural To South Okanagan Events Centre:

Here is the newest addition to the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Penticton Vees have recently painted a Vees alumni mural of former Vees who currently play/or have played in the National Hockey League. The mural is painted on the walls inside the South Okanagan Events Centre.

 Caron & McCloskey Join Chilliwack Chiefs:

The Chiefs today announced the addition of two players who served as affiliate players with the club last season. Joining the Chiefs on a full time basis are 17 year old goaltender Mathieu Caron and 17 year old defenseman Sean McCloskey. Caron got into four regular season games with the Chiefs last season putting up a goals against average of 2.54 and a save percentage of 89.6. With the Yale Academy Prep team he got into 18 games finishing with a goals against average of 3.01 and a save percentage of 90.2. McCloskey, also a member of the Yale Academy Prep team last season got into one game with the Chiefs last season. In 28 games at Yale he scored twice and added seven assists.

Wenatchee-Olds Trade:

The Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League, have acquired veteran defenseman Matthew Holzer from the Olds Grizzlys of the AJHL in a trade involving Logan Milliken and future considerations. Holzer, who checks in at 6’3”, 190 lbs., was born and raised in St. Albert, Alberta and played his youth hockey there until moving to nearby Edmonton as a bantam. Playing hockey was always in the cards for Holzer. “My dad was the biggest influence on me playing hockey, as it was such a big part of his life that it wasn’t really a question whether or not I would play too!” His father was a defenseman, and Holzer followed suit right from the beginning, crediting his father with teaching him the finer nuances of the position. The left-handed defenseman played the last two seasons for the Olds Grizzlys in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where he posted a modest 13 points from the back end over 94 games played. Most players tend to find themselves looking to pattern their game after successful NHL players, and Holzer is one of them. “I think I model my game most after Jay Bouwmeester; a smart, puck moving defenseman with solid d-zone coverage.” He carries high expectations for the coming season, declaring, “My expectations coming into Wenatchee are to be a dominant team all year and go deep into playoffs!” On a personal note, he has a well-defined set of goals. “My long-term goals would be to get a scholarship into a NCAA school and hopefully graduate with a science degree so I can pursue a career in dentistry, or some sort of physiotherapy/chiropractic business.”Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler is excited to add Holzer to the roster. “He’ll bring a solid veteran presence for us on the blue line”, he said. “He has a tremendous upside with pro potential.” Holzer and the rest of the 2017-18 Wenatchee Wild will report to Main Camp on August 21. The team will play four preseason games before beginning the season on the road in Merritt, BC on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Berger Returns To Centennials For 2017-18 Season:

The Merritt Centennials announced today that veteran goaltender Jacob Berger will return to the team for the 2017-18 season. Berger, a 20-year-old from Minnetonka, Minnesota, joined the Cents last season from the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes U18 team. In 39 games in Merritt, Berger went 18-18-2 with a 3.07 goals-against-average, a .915 save percentage and one shutout. His efforts earned him a spot on the BCHL All-Rookie Team and Berger’s numbers improved in the playoffs, where he had a 7-4-0 record, a 2.88 goals-against-average and a .920 save percentage.  “Jacob was a big part of our success last season, especially during the post-season. After trading Colten Lancaster this off-season, Jacob has the opportunity to own our crease this season and be a dominant number-one goaltender,” said Cents General Manager and Head Coach Joe Martin. “We’re excited to have Jacob back. He will part of a strong group of veteran players we expect to have a big impact in 2017-18.”

Around the Pound Episode 5

Bulldogs goaltender, Carson Schamerhorn, commits to Vancouver Island University Mariners. Congrats to former, Bulldogs assistant coach, Adam Hayduk, who has been hired as Hollyburn's hockey Director.

Beatty Resigns/Capitals Name Passmore New Head Coach-GM:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals Junior A hockey club would like to announce changes to the hockey staff ahead of the 2017-18 hockey season, including naming Brian Passmore as the team’s new Head Coach and General Manager. The 37-year-old Passmore has spent the past two seasons as the Head Coach of Shawnigan Lake School’s Bantam Prep Hockey Team. He takes over for Bob Beatty, who has resigned after spending the past four seasons as the Capitals Head Coach and General Manager. Beatty came to the Cowichan Valley ahead of the 2013-14 season, after a combined 17 years as a Head Coach in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). His head coaching accolades include two trips to RBC Cup, including winning the National Junior A championship in 2003 with the Humboldt Broncos. The Capitals wish Bob all the best in his future. Prior to his two-year tenure in Shawnigan, Passmore spent three years as a Head Coach in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL): two years as the Peninsula Panthers Head Coach and General Manager (2012-14), and one as the Westshore Wolves Head Coach (2014-15). Passmore has also been the owner of Passmore Hockey for four years, and has been an Associate Player Representative with Norton Sports Management for three years. A former player, Passmore was selected in the seventh round of the 1999 NHL entry draft to the Minnesota Wild, and played more than 300 combined professional games between 2003-2009. After four years playing in the OHL, Passmore played two seasons in the CIS at the University of Prince Edward Island, before turning pro in 2003-04. Furthermore, the Capitals would like to announce that Dan Whiteford will be returning for a second season as an Assistant Coach. It was announced at the team’s annual awards banquet in March that Rob DeClark, who spent six seasons with the Capitals, will not be returning for a seventh year behind the bench. DeClark was an Assistant Coach and spearheaded the BCHL’s Talk Today initiative, partnering with the Canadian Mental Health Association. As well, Assistant General Manager Darren Rodney, who has long been involved with the Capitals, will have an expanded role, being named the team’s Director of Hockey Operations. In this capacity, Rodney will work collaboratively with Passmore on matters regarding player personnel.

Rutledge Commits To Alberni Valley:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are pleased to announce that Phillips Exeter Academy Prep defenceman Graham Rutledge has committed to join the team for the 2017/18 BCHL season. Rutledge recently completed a successful three-year career at the New Hampshire-based prep school, totaling six goals and 25 points in 30 games in his senior season while helping his team to a 23-7-1 record. Overall, the six-foot-two blueliner dressed in 91 games at Phillips Exeter, scoring 11 goals and adding 32 assists. He was named a team captain prior to the 2016/17 campaign. “Graham is the rare breed of defenceman who combines great size with a high hockey IQ and a tremendous ability to move the puck,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “We believe he can step right into our line-up and make an immediate impact in the BCHL, and we’re excited that he has chosen the Alberni Valley as his destination to pursue an NCAA scholarship.” Rutledge is a former teammate of 2016/17 Bulldogs’ scoring leader Trevor Cosgrove, as the two spent a pair of seasons together patrolling the Phillips Exeter blueline. “I’m very excited to have the opportunity to play for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs,” says Rutledge, who describes himself as a defensive-minded, physical player who continues to improve the offensive side of his game. “With the organization’s emphasis on community service and education, along with the opportunity to grow and develop in a high caliber league like the BCHL, it seemed like a great fit for me. I’m also looking forward to playing in a town that’s so invested in its team. My main goal for this upcoming season is to contribute to the team’s success and hopefully go on a strong playoff run, and individually it has been my dream to obtain an NCAA Division 1 scholarship.” Rutledge will take the ice with his new teammates when the Bulldogs begin their main training camp on Monday, August 21st at Weyerhaeuser Arena.

Push For Penticton New Arena Funding:

Penticton’s Mayor says it's too early to say if a referendum will take place on a proposed new twin-rink arena on the South Okanagan Events Centre campus. City council took the first decisive steps towards addressing the city’s arena challenges Tuesday by directing staff to craft a $6M infrastructure grant application for the project. In doing so, they accepted the recommendations of the Arena Task Force. “Now really it's all about trying to find a funding strategy, because it's a big gap, the loose number was $34M, so even with a $6M grant, it's a large nut to crack,” Andrew Jakubeit said on this week’s Mayor’s Minute. “We need to find other funding partners to come to the table whether its service clubs or philanthropic people in the community,” he added. Additional financial analysis and a more fleshed out business case will also need to be prepared. And the $6M grant is far from a sure thing, “that obviously dictates how we move forward,” he said “If we don’t have other funders coming to the table or a bunch more grants than it's going to be very difficult.” If a local government wants to borrow money over a term longer than five years, it needs to get consent from the electorate through a referendum or alternate approval process. An AAP would require the municipality to state its intentions, which can be shot down or sent to a mandatory referendum if 10 per cent of the electorate voice opposition. Both methods are commonly used. Prince George will vote in a referendum on a new $35M pool and $15M fire hall in October, while Smithers used the AAP to borrow $3M for their airport in April. “Depending on how big that impact is, and how many other players are jumping onboard to help fund it, and sort of the business case and rationale,” Jakubeit said “That will dictate how far we go with the electorate.”

Merritt-Kitchener Trade:

With main camp less than a month away, the Merritt Centennials continue to be busy building a roster for the 2017-18 BCHL season. The club announced this week the signing of 18-year-old centre Ashton Stockie from Stratford, Ontario. The six-foot one-inch, 185-pound Stockie played last season for the Kitchener Dutchmen of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. In 60 regular season and playoff games with the Dutchmen, he scored 16 goals and added 28 assists for 44 points. Prior to his one season in Kitchener, Stockie played 40 games with the Waterloo Wolves AAA midgets, racking up five goals and 23 assists. This latest acquisition comes on the heels of three announced signings earlier in the month: forwards Brendan Schneider, 18, and Matthew Kopperud, 17, from Wesley, Ontario and Denver, Colorado respectively, and 17-year-old defenseman Jackson Munro out of Vancouver. “Ashton was first seen by our regional scout in Ontario, Brandon Shaw,” said Cents’ head coach and GM Joe Martin. “He watched as Ashton went from a depth player with Kitchener in the regular season to a real go-to guy in the playoffs. He really progressed. “Ashton’s got a hard shot, and it comes off quick,” added Martin. “He gets lots of pucks to the net, and he’s strong down the middle at both ends of the ice — a good, honest 200-foot player. He plays a hard game, and that takes its toll on opposing players.” In a press release, Martin also said, “When meeting with Ashton, I was impressed with his maturity and values. Combine that with his work ethic, and he will succeed.” Stockie, for his part, is excited about coming out west to continue his hockey career. “I always thought the BCHL would be a good route for me, because ultimately I want to play in the NCAA,” he said from his family cottage near Grand Bend on the shores of Lake Huron. “I’ve heard that it’s awesome hockey, and I also think it will be great to live in B.C.” Stockie has learned quite a bit about the BCHL brand of hockey from other players from his hometown and nearby Waterloo who have played or are presently playing in the league. Coincidentally, all three names he mentioned were or are Penticton Vees — former captain Brad McClure (2012-14) and Jared Nash and Joe Leahy (2016 – present ). “They’ve all said the BCHL is more of a skill league, and I think of myself as a skillful player,” said Stockie. “I think I have good vision on the ice, and try to make smart plays. I’m a hard worker, and a good defensive centreman who can chip in offensively.” Stockie is spending July and part of August training at a boot camp run by the dad of Buffalo Sabres’ forward Ryan O’Reilly. “We work out for three hours a day till one o’clock, and then we’re on the ice,” he said. Stockie is set to fly out to B.C. on Aug. 18, a few days prior to the start of the Cents’ training camp. He’ll acquire some wheels in Vancouver, and drive up to Merritt shortly thereafter. Ashton’s younger sister, Skyler, 16, will also be in Vancouver at the same time, playing softball at the midget Nationals. “She’s actually a bantam-aged player, but she got picked up by an Oakville team for the Canadian midget championships,” said her brother. “She’s a really good player.” In other Cents’ news, rumors that the hockey team might be losing some players to the rival United States Hockey League (USHL) have been confirmed by Martin. Forwards Tyler Ward, Michael Regush and Zach Risteau, along with defenseman Zach Metsa have all decided to seek their fortunes south of the border with teams in Tri-City, Wash., Youngstown, Penn., and Chicago. All four have already  committed to play for U.S. colleges or universities beginning in the fall of 2018. Although disappointed at the loss of four important players who were expected to return this season, Martin said it’s the new reality in hockey at all levels. “The landscape is changing rapidly. For many, loyalty to a team, a community, a program doesn’t exist anymore,” the coach said.  “Trying to build a team [in Junior A] when you don’t have a draft and you don’t have ownership [of prospects] is very difficult. Every player you talk to is talking to five or six other teams — and not just in your league.”