Sunday, June 30, 2019

Ex Vipers Goaltender Hanson Invited To Sabres Development Camp:

Former Vernon Viper goaltenders Darion Hanson is one of 40 players attending the Buffalo Sabres development camp.

Hanson will be entering his third year at Union College. In 28 games last year Hanson went 13-9-5 with 3 shutouts and a 2.33 GAA Hanson played one season in Vernon (2016-17) after coming over in a trade with Youngstown. The Youngstown Phantoms traded Hanson to Vernon November 18 2016 (No details on the trade were announced). In 21 games with the Vipers Hanson recorded a 14-4-2 record with 2 shutouts and a 1.84 GAA

Darion Hanson's Player Profile:

This was posted on the Sabres website:

Sabres announce 2019 development camp rosters

by Sabres PR @SabresPR /

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Beast Add Former Vipers Forward Marino To Teams Protected List:

The ECHL announced their Protected Lists as submitted by each of its member teams. The Brampton Beast have twenty three players listed on their protected list one is former Vernon Vipers forward Brandon Marino.

Entering the 2019-20 season Marino will be entering his fifth season with the ECHL Brampton Beast. Marino has spent the previous four seasons playing in the ECHL & AHL with the Brampton Beast and American Hockey League's Utica Comets and Syracuse Crunch. In 46 games last year with the Brampton Beast Marino collected (9-goals-34-assists-43-points). 

After four years at Bemidji State University Marino has spent the past ten seasons playing in five different leagues (IHL, CHL, ECHL, AHL & EBEL) with seven different teams (Quad City, Fort Wayne, Norfolk, Szekesfehervar, Utica, Syracuse & Brampton).

Marino played two games with the 2002-2003 Vernon Vipers.

Brandon Marino's Player Profile:

This is posted on the ECHL website:

ECHL announces Protected Lists

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Friday, June 28, 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:

Wagner Commits To Prince George Spruce Kings:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the commitment of Forward Henry Wagner (01) from the St. Louis AAA Blues of USHS-MO. Wagner, a 5’9”, 150 pound native of St. Louis, Missouri, scored 28 goals and added 23 assists in in 37 games last season. Henry is committed to Yale University, where he will join the Bulldogs after his time in Prince George

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Vernon Vipers Alumni Stapley Invited To Montreal Canadiens Development Camp:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Brett Stapley is one of 39 players attending the Montreal Canadiens development camp.

Stapley will be entering his second season at Denver University. In 32 games last year Stapley collected (5-goals-14-assists-19-points).

Stapley played three years in Vernon (2015-2018) Played in 153 games with the Vipers collecting (47-goals-74-assists-121-points) was drafted 190th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in round 7 of the 2018 NHL draft.

Brett Stapley's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Canadiens website:

Canadiens will hold their annual development camp from June 26-28

A total of 39 players will participate in the development camp

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Vernon-Kanata Trade:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Vipers Acquire Sleeth from Kanata Lasers

June 26, 2019
Vernon, BC:   The Vernon Vipers have swung a deal with the Kanata Lasers of the CCHL to acquire 20 year old Connor Sleeth in exchange for Tyler Ho, Will Dow-Kenny, the Junior A playing rights to Coleton Bilodeau and future considerations.

Sleeth, from Markham Ontario, spent the last two seasons with the Kanata Lasers.  This past season he finished 3rd in league scoring with 33 goals and 39 assists.

“Connor will add a veteran presence to the club,” says Head Coach and GM of the Vipers Jason McKee.  “He clearly has a nose for the net and knows how to finish.  We are extremely excited to have Connor in the fold.”

“I’m very excited to be joining a great organization with a great coach and players in Vernon,” says Sleeth.  “Hopefully this season, we can build on a great playoff run the Vipers had last season and bring a BCHL and national championship to Vernon.”

Sleeth is looking to build off a good season last year and commit to a strong Division 1 program.

The Vipers would like to thank Coleton, Will and Tyler for their contributions and wish them luck in the future and welcome Connor to Vernon.

Connor Sleeth's Player Profile:

Tyler Ho's Player Profile:

Will Dow-Kenny's Player Profile:

Coleton Bilodeau's Player Profile:

Barracuda Sign Ex Vernon Vipers Goaltender Shortridge To Amateur Tryout Contract:

The American Hockey League San Jose Barracuda signed former Vernon Vipers goaltender Andrew Shortridge to an amateur tryout contract.

Shortridge finished his third season at Quinnipiac University recently was named ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year, CCM/AHCA Hockey Division I Second Team All-American & was one of five finalists for the 2019 Mike Richter Award. 

Shortridge attended the Los Angeles Kings development camp in June 2018 signed a one year contract with the San Jose Sharks April 3rd 2019. Shortridge reported to the San Jose and finished the 2018-19 season with the San Jose Barracuda. Shortridge made his Barracuda debut April 13th 2019 made 33 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Eagles.

Shortridge played one season in Vernon (2015-16). In 44 games with the Vipers Shortridge went 19-25 with two shutouts posting a 3.15 GAA

Andrew Shortridge's Player Profile:

This was posted on

Quinnipiac goaltender Shortridge gives up senior year, signs with Sharks

By USCHO Staff -

April 3, 2019

The San Jose Sharks announced Wednesday that the club has signed Quinnipiac junior goaltender Andrew Shortridge to a one-year contract.

Shortridge will report to the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda on an amateur tryout contract for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

An Anchorage, Alaska, native, Shortridge posted an 18-7-2 record, a 1.51 GAA and a .940 save percentage with four shutouts this season for the Bobcats.

Shortridge set single-season program records in GAA and save percentage, and is a finalist for the Mike Richter Award.

In 74 games with Quinnipiac, Shortridge went 41-24-4 with a 1.93 GAA and a .924 save percentage.

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:

This was posted on the Mariners website:


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:

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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:

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:

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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:

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.