Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hadley Inks With Vipers:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Hadley inks with Vipers

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: March 21, 2010

Aaron Hadley likely won’t play a single minute with the Vernon Vipers this post-season, but that hasn’t stopped him from soaking up the B.C. Hockey League playoff buzz.

The 16-year-old Castlegar product committed to play with the Vipers for the 2010-11 season, and has been skating with the Snakes over spring break. Just learning from the Vernon vets, and receiving guidance from coaches Mark Ferner and Jason Williamson has been an experience in itself. Even riding the bus was a bit of a revelation.

“It’s been a great learning experience, just watching the older guys, especially in this playoff run. It’s going to be great for helping me out next season,” said the 6-foot-2, 185-pound power forward.

“The road trips up to Quesnel (in the Interior Conference semifinal) – that was a big eye-opener for me. I had never really experienced that kind of travel before.”

Added Ferner: “To be in this environment at this time of year is crucial to see how we do things. Gaining that experience before he even plays a regular-season game is invaluable. It’s just going to help our program down the road.”

Hadley put together an impressive rookie season with the KIJHL Beaver Valley Nitehawks, posting 25 goals and 22 assists for 47 points to go along with 94 penalty minutes in 47 games. It was good enough for fourth in team scoring, and 10th overall in the rookie points race.

“He had a very good season with (head coach)Terry Jones there in Beaver Valley,” said Ferner. “He’s everything that you want in an organization – he’s a great kid, he likes to be around the rink, he’s fit in real well with our group already.”

Hadley was one of a few non-Major Junior players to play with Team Pacific at the Under 17 World Championships in Timmins, Ont. The team comprised the top 1993-born players from Alberta and B.C. He recorded two goals in five games.

The easy-going teen, who is on the WHL Vancouver Giants’ protected list, is already receiving interest from NCAA scouts, and it looks like he is intent on going the scholarship route.

“Both routes (Major Junior and Junior A) are really good, it just depends what kind of player you are, what kind of student you are. I just thought getting high-level hockey and schooling in at the same time would be the best option for me,” said Hadley, who leaves today for Castlegar to resume a heavy Grade 11 course load.

The Snakes will likely lose a lot of their forward group this off-season as they move on to pursue scholarships and other ventures. It will leave an opening for the few returnees and newcomers like Hadley to step into significant roles.

Said Ferner: “We expect Aaron to come in here next year and continue to develop and be a big part of our hockey team.

“If he continues to develop and uses that big body to his advantage, he’s going to be very successful at this level.”

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