Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Mariners Sign Ex Vipers Defenceman Coughlin:

The ECHL Maine Mariners have signed former Vernon Vipers defenceman Johnny Coughlin.

The Mariners are in their first season, are from Portland, Maine.

Coughlin joins former Vernon Vipers forward Michael McNicholas. McNicholas is in his first season with the Mariners, played one season in Vernon, with the 2013-14 Vernon Vipers.


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

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

Johnny Coughlin's Player Profile:

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

This was posted on the Mariners website:

MARINERS SIGN HOLY CROSS DEFENSEMAN COUGHLIN 

March 15, 2019/in News /by mainemariners

PORTLAND, ME – March 15, 2019 – The Mariners have signed defenseman Johnny Coughlin to a SPC (standard player contract), the team announced on Friday. Coughlin is a 6’3, 205 pound defenseman out of the College of Holy Cross, where he just finished up a successful four year run. He’s also a former college teammate of Mariners forward Ryan Ferrill.

Coughlin (Fairport, NY) was a mainstay in the Holy Cross lineup for four seasons, playing at least 35 games in all of them. In his just-completed Senior season, he led all Crusaders defenseman in scoring, with 21 points – which was good for 2nd on the team overall. Impressively, Coughlin put up double-figure point numbers in all four of his college seasons. For three seasons (2015-16 to 2017-18), Coughlin and Ryan Ferrill played together.

Before Holy Cross, Coughlin played one year in the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers. The two years prior he attended Trinity-Pawling prep school (just north of New York City), where he captained the team in 2013-14, while putting up 26 points in 25 games.

The Mariners are in action tomorrow when they travel to Worcester to take on Railers at 7:05 PM. They’re home on Sunday (Mar. 17th) when they host the Newfoundland Growlers at 3:00 PM for Beacon’s Birthday Bash presented by Evergreen Credit Union. Only six home games remain in the regular season. Tickets to can be purchased HERE or by calling the Trusted Choice Box Office at 207-775-3458.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Thunder Add Former Vipers Forward Walchuk To Teams Protected List:

The ECHL announced their Protected Lists as submitted by each of its member teams. The Adirondack Thunder have twenty one players listed on their protected list one is former Vernon Vipers forward Dylan Walchuk.

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

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

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

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

Dylan Walchuk's Player Profile:

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

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

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:

O'Brien Commits To Vees:

The Penticton Vees announced today that 1999-born forward Jay O’Brien has committed to the Vees for the 2019-20 season. He was the 19th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. O’Brien, from Hingham, Massachusetts, comes to Penticton after spending the 2018-19 season with the Providence Friars in the NCAA. Prior to heading to the NCAA, O’Brien was named the United States High School Hockey All-USA Player of the Year after his senior season at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts. In 30 games that year, O’Brien scored 43 goals and added 37 assists for 80 points. The Flyers selected him in the draft after that season.  In four years of prep hockey, split between Thayer Academy and Dexter School in Brookline, Massachusetts, O’Brien scored 86 goals and 102 assists in 120 games. This past year, O’Brien was a member of Team USA at the World Junior Championships in Vancouver and Victoria helping Team USA to a silver medal. The 5’11’’, right-shot centre will spend his 20-year-old season with the Vees before returning to the NCAA ranks in 2020-21.

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Bar-Lev-Wise, Swetlikoff, Bilous & Kjemhus Have Some Of The Best Names In The 2019 NHL Draft:

According to the Vancouver Courier, Vernon Vipers forward Elan Bar-Lev-Wise alongside former Vernon Vipers Alex Swetlikoff, Boston Bilous & Kjell Kjemhus have some of the best names available in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

Elan Bar-Lev-Wise is entering his second season with the Vipers this coming season.

Elan Bar-Lev-Wise's Player Profile:

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/290351/elan-bar-lev-wise

Alex Swetlikoff was in his second season with the Vipers (2017-2018) before jumping to the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets December 18th 2018. 

Alex Swetlikoff's Player Profile:

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/407589/alex-swetlikoff

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Vipers Add Three New D-Men To Its Roster:

This is in todays Vernon Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers add three new D-men to its roster

Morning Star Staff

Jun. 21, 2019

Local Sports

Vernon Vipers new head coach and general manager Jason McKee is keeping busy.

McKee has announced three player signings and an acquisition of a forward via trade for the B.C. Hockey League team, along with naming Connor Marritt the team’s new captain.

Two of the signings are teammates from Shawnigan Lake Prep Academy on Vancouver Island: JoJo Tanaka-Campbell, 18, a smooth skating centre from Mill Bay near Duncan and Shawnigan Lake. He had 15 goals and 55 assists in just 36 games; and Keigo Hachisuka, an 18-year-old defenceman who was raised in San Diego but now makes his home in Texas, and has spent the past two years at Shawnigan Lake.

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Vipers Name Marritt Captain:

This is in todays Vernon Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers name Marritt captain

Morning Star Staff

Jun. 21, 2019

Local Sports

Secure college scholarship, check. Named captain of the Vernon Vipers, check.

It’s been a pretty cool off-season for Vipers forward Connor Marritt, named by new head coach and general manager Jason McKee to be the B.C. Hockey League’s team captain for 2019-20.

Marritt, who recently committed to Northern Michigan Universioty for 2020-2021, takes over from Vipers graduating veteran Jagger Williamson.

“This is a huge honour and I’m very excited to take on the role,” said Marritt, a Kelowna native who turned 20 during the Vipers’ run to the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup final. ” I’ve watched previous Viper captains and I played with Jags [Jagger Williamson] for two years, so I know how much responsibility is involved. I’ve seen the way Jags interacted in the community. Also, he was so good with his teammates, making everybody feel part of the team. He’s a guy’s guy, someone whom we all like and respect.”

As a young minor hockey player in Vernon, Marritt remembers seeing how Chris Crowell carried himself when Crowell was the Viper captain for two years.

“That guy never took a shift off. He brought it every night, which I think is part of being a captain,” said Marritt. “You lead by example, which is what I expect of all our veterans this coming year.”

Said coach McKee: “We talked with a number of the players and with other people around the Vipers. It’s clear that his character suits the role; he’s a great teammate and really good in the community. And he works hard; he takes no shortcuts and that suits the culture that we want to have. Basically, he embodies the kind of person we want on the Vipers. And it’s a bonus that he’s a local player, growing up in Vernon and in Kelowna.”

The new coach and captain have met to discuss the upcoming season. Marritt is enthused about the pro-style system that the coach will introduce this year.

“It’s a little different than the system we’ve been used to, so it’s important that the team leaders help the new players buy into this way of playing,” said Marritt. “I think with the strong players we have returning and the good new signings, we’re going to have a really good team.”

With a scholarship to Northern Michigan locked up, Marritt can focus on his leadership role as he continues to evolve as a hard-nosed scoring winger.

In his rookie season Marritt registered 10 points, which he quadrupled last season, to tie Josh Latta and Teddy Wooding for the team points lead.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Former Vernon Viper Swetlikoff One Of Six Rockets Ranked At NHL Draft:

A handful of Kelowna Rockets players could hear their name called later this week at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. on June 21 and 22. One of those Kelowna Rockets is former Vernon Vipers forward Alex Swetlikoff.

Swetlikoff was in his second season with the Vipers (2017-2018) before jumping to the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets December 18th 2018. 

In 78 games with the Vipers Swetlikoff collected (11-goals-23-assists-34-points). In 32 games last season with the Rockets Swetlikoff collected (6-goals-8-assists-14-points). 

Alex Swetlikoff's Player Profile:

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/407589/alex-swetlikoff

This is posted on the Rockets website:

2019 NHL Draft Preview 

June 17, 2019 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Former Vernon Viper Biking Across Canada For Mental Health Awareness:

This was posted on the Vernon Morning Star website:

Former Vernon Viper biking across Canada for mental health awareness

“I figured I’d turn the ride into something meaningful” 

Brieanna Charlebois

Jun. 6, 2019 

Ryan Phillips, a former Vernon Vipers player, describes his decision to bike around the world in pursuit of mental health awareness, as serendipitous.

In the past, he’s also used two wheels to help raise money for a foundation that wants to rid the world of human trafficking and sex slavery.

He was in South East Asia when he met an Italian cyclist who inspired him to buy a bike and start, what he hopes, will turn into a world tour. Recently finishing his first leg of the trip in Asia where he completed Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, he decided to come home and ride across Canada.

“I sort of started on a whim and soon, we were crossing four different countries in a month and doing, you know, close to 5,000 kilometers and next thing I know, people are reaching out, so I figured I’d turn the ride into something meaningful,” he said.

He speaks from experience having suffered from bipolar disorder. His daughter also suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Phillips said his daughter is a huge source of inspiration for the bike trip.

“I’ve suffered, and I’ve seen it not just in my family, but with many people in my life. It’s clear just how mental health is affecting their lives, so I decided that I’d like to give back. This made sense.”

Now he said he’s backed by CMHA and having returned to Canada, Phillips began his ride at Mile Zero — the Terry Fox memorial — in Victoria on June 1. He rode riding through Vernon Thursday and then to Salmon Arm.

Under the title, Spin the Globe, he said he hopes to raise $100,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association, getting his daughter the help she needs and supporting others who are experiencing similar situations.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Palaga Returns To Vipers:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Welcome Back Max Palaga

June 18, 2019
 
Vernon, BC:  The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce that goaltender Max Palaga will rejoin the team for this upcoming season.

The Kamloops product played in 5 games with the Vipers last season posting a 1.77 goals against average and .943 Save Percentage.

“Max is a big, athletic goaltender who I believe with consistent playing time will continue to grow his game even further,” says Head Coach and GM of the Vipers Jason McKee.

The 6’1 goalie surrendered just 13 goals against in 13 games played with the Everett Silvertips last season, including one shutout.

Coach McKee says Max’s calming influence with have a big impact on the rest of the group.  “The calmness which Max shows will allow our players to play with confidence in front of him.  We are very excited to welcome Max back to the Vernon Vipers.”

Max Palaga's Player Profile:

Vernon Vipers Reunion:

I was forwarded this from Don Klepp.

Vernon Vipers reunion June 14-16th

By Don Klepp

The stories and the beverages were flowing when members of the Viper 2008-10 "band of brothers" gathered in Vernon during the Father's Day weekend.

Two sets of brothers were present; the Jones twins came from the U.S. eastern seaboard. Ryan Kakoske came from Vancouver to be with his Vernon-based brother Bryce.

Sahir Gill, who lives and trains in Vernon during the summer, continues to play the game he loves. Sahir has had success in the American Hockey League – he had 39 points in 74 games for the Rochester Americans in 2017-18. Last year he played for the Augsburg Panthers in the German Elite League, where he has locked horns with the likes of Mike Collins, Garrett Noonan, Curtis Gedig, and Braden Pimm.

After four years in Germany, "Pimmer" has retired as a pro and will now take over his father's business in Fort Saint John. Other recent retirees include Steve Weinstein and Kyle Bigos.

Meanwhile, the Jones twins look for new fields to conquer. After playing for different teams in different leagues last years – Connor played for Bridgeport in the AHL and Kellen was with Vasterviks in Sweden – they will join forces in Switzerland next year.

Rob Short, whose pro career was cut short by a serious neck injury, works in the oil patch in Grande Prairie, Alberta, where he lives with his wife and two children. Cam Brodie, who terrorized opposition forwards during the 2009 title run, now lives in Cochrane, Alberta. Gord "Hoon" Cochran is the Regina Pats equipment man; he also travels with Team Canada teams to international competitions and works the occasional pro game.

The inimitable Graeme Gordon is now a Country music DJ at Vancouver's Radio JR 93.7. Luckily, he's the same "Gordo."

Closer to home, David Robinson is a Vernon firefighter and Chris Crowell is a civil engineer in Kamloops. Kevin Kraus is a sales representative for The End Of The Roll carpets in Kelowna.

Also present for the festivities but not in the photo below were Mac Ferner, Danny Todosychuk, and Colton Sparrow. After completing a Psychology degree at universities in Alaska and Regina, Colton has returned to Vernon where he has begun a sports psychology consulting and counselling practice.

In the photo, front row L-R, David Robinson, Kellen Jones, Kevin Kraus, Connor Jones; back row, L-R, Ryan Kakoske, Gord Cochran, Don Klepp, Mark Ferner, Bryce Kakoske, Chris Crowell, Cameron Brodie, Sahir Gill, Rob Short.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Vernon Vipers Roster News Coming Tomorrow:

This is on the Vernon Vipers twitter and facebook pages:

Vernon Vipers
June 17

We've got more exciting roster news, that we can't wait to share with you...but it'll have to wait to until tomorrow morning! #sorrynotsorry 😁 #OneGoal


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:

Powell River-Surrey Trade:

The Powell River Kings have completed a trade with the Surrey Eagles, acquiring 00-born forward Dawson McKay in exchange for future considerations. McKay, from Houghton, Michigan started last year with the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League where he tallied a goal and assist in 10 games before joining the Surrey Eagles where he picked up 5 goals and 5 assists in 21 games. Prior to junior hockey, McKay spent four years playing high-school hockey with his hometown Houghton Gremlins where he tallied an impressive 65 goals and 121 points in 100 career games. The Kings would like to extend a warm welcome to Dawson ahead of the 2019/20 season.

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

No Offer, Former Viper Zablocki Now Free Agent:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Lane Zablocki is at least 11 players with WHL ties that weren’t signed prior to June 1 by the NHL teams who held their rights. Nine of those players were selected in the NHL’s 2017 draft. Zablocki was drafted 79th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in Round 3 of the 2017 NHL draft.

The Vipers acquired/signed Lane Zablocki on January 10th 2019. Zablocki started the 2018-19 season with the Western Hockey League's Victoria Royals before being traded to the Kelowna Rockets September 29th 2018 joined the Vernon Vipers on the BCHL trade deadline. 

In 22 games with the Rockets Zablocki collected (4-goals-8-assists-12-points) while in 11 games with the Vipers collected (7-goals-5-assists-12-points). 

Lane Zablocki's Player Profile:

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/247919/lane-zablocki

This was posted on Gregg Drinnan's Blog:

Ex-WHLers don’t get signed

greggdrinnan
Posted on June 2, 2019

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Grizzlys Sign Former Vernon Viper Festerling:

The  Deutsche Eishockey Liga Grizzlys Wolfsburg have signed former Vernon Vipers forward Garrett Festerling. The Grizzlys Wolfsburg are a professional ice hockey club of the German professional ice hockey league Deutsche Eishockey Liga. They play their games at Eisarena in Wolfsburg.

Festerling spent the past four seasons playing with the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) Adler Mannheim Eagles. The Eagles are an ice hockey team that play in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the highest ice hockey league in Germany. The Eagles are based in Mannheim, a city in the north of Baden-Württemberg.

After four seasons in the Western Hockey League with Portland & Regina Festerling has spent the past twelve seasons playing in Germany with four different teams (EV Fussen, Hannover, Hamburg & Adler Mannheim) Festerling spent the past three seasons with Adler Mannheim. In 52 games last year with the Eagles, Festerling collected (16-goals-17-assists-33-points).

Festerling played parts of two seasons in Vernon (2002-2003). Festerling played in 43 regular season games with the 2002-03 Vernon Vipers before leaving the team in his second season with the Vipers after playing just 34 games with the 2003-04 Vernon Vipers. Festerling left the Vipers in December 2003 for the Western Hockey League Portland Winterhawks. In 77 regular season games with the Vipers Festerling collected (12-goals-25-assists-37-points). 

Garrett Festerling's Player Profile:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=11628

This was posted on the Grizzly's website:

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Vipers Acquire Nicholas Kent:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Acquire Nicholas Kent

June 14, 2019
 
Vernon, BC:  The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce they have acquired the Junior A playing rights to defenceman Nicholas Kent for future considerations.

“He’s a very dynamic skater who has an extremely high hockey IQ and makes a fantastic first pass,” says Head Coach and GM of the Vipers Jason McKee.

McKee goes on to say, “We’re extremely excited to have Nick join the Vipers and know he will fit in well on our blueline.”

Kent, a product of Ladera Ranch, California spent last season splitting time with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL and the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL.

The 2001 born defenseman is committed to Quinnipiac  University and is no stranger to the BCHL having played 24 games with the Wenatchee Wild in 2017-18.

Williamson Named Athlete Of The Year:

This is posted on VernonMatters.ca

Best in sports honoured at Tim Hortons Awards 

26th annual By Pete McIntyre

Jun 14, 2019 

Jagger Williamson called it a “true honour,” and “a cherry on the top” of his B.C. Hockey League career.

The retiring Vernon Vipers centre was presented with the Athlete of the Year award at the 26th annual Tim Hortons North Okanagan Sports Awards Thursday evening at Lakers Clubhouse.

A couple dozen family members and supporters of the 20 year old Lumby native were on hand for the ceremony.

The centre and team captain scored 54 goals and 173 points in 233 regular season games, tying the club record for career games played, and playing a big role in the Vipers reaching the BC Hockey League Final this past season.

Williamson was also honoured for his contributions in the community and his dedication to the game.

Other nominees were Landon Currie (volleyball), Elena Gaskell (freestyle skiing), Trinity Hansma (high jumper), and Charles Lemay (football).

The awards, which has been handed out since 1994 to recognize achievement in sports and community contributions, were presented at Lakers Clubhouse Thursday evening.

The winners are chosen by a panel of media and community reps.

“We we’re very pleased with the calibre of nominees this year, and the award winners are very deserving,” said Committee Chair Jack Gilroy.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Vernon-Buffalo Trade:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

12-Jun-19 The Vernon Vipers have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Nicholas Kent(01)(D) from the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL in exchange for future considerations

Nicholas Kent's Player Profile:

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/369936/nicholas-kent

Jr. Sabres acquire Kent from BCHL's Wenatchee Wild 

http://buffalojrsabres.pointstreaksites.com/view/buffalojrsabres/news-archive/news_509344

2016 WHL Bantam Draft Recap 

http://saskatoonblades.com/article/2016-whl-bantam-draft-recap

Nicholas Kent - The Scouting News

https://www.thescoutingnews.com/index.php/article/show/69608

Ex Viper Forward Swetlikoff Listed By NHL Central Scouting In Final Rankings:

Central Scouting revealed its final list April 15 2019 of the top North American skaters and goalies, and top International skaters and goalies, with former Vernon Vipers forward Alex Swetlikoff on their final listings. Swetlikoff is listed 175th.

Swetlikoff was in his second season with the Vipers (2017-2018) before jumping to the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets December 18th 2018. 

In 78 games with the Vipers Swetlikoff collected (11-goals-23-assists-34-points). In 32 games last season with the Rockets Swetlikoff collected (6-goals-8-assists-14-points). 

Alex Swetlikoff's Player Profile:

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/407589/alex-swetlikoff

This was posted on the Rockets website:

Five Rockets Listed By NHL Central Scouting In Final Rankings 

April 15, 2019

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