The Penticton Vees have been announcing some new players to their bench and one heading off to a new team this week.
Joining the Vees is forward, Max Heise (’06), along with defencemen, Leon Matthiasson (’03) and Brock Reinhart (’04) for the 2023-24 season.
Vees’ President, General Manager & Head Coach Fred Harbinson said Heise is player whose game trended upwards each month last season to a point where he was one of the main reasons his team won the Alberta championship.
Heise played for the Calgary (NW) Flames in the Alberta Elite Hockey League’s (AEHL) U18 AAA Division this past season and finished second on the team with 16 points (10G, 6A) in 11 games, as the Flames won the AEHL U18 Provincial championship over St. Albert.
Matthiasson comes to Penticton after playing last season for the Växjö Lakers’ junior team in the Swedish J20 Nationell. Before playing for the Lakers, Matthiasson played for the Malmo Redhawks in the 2021-22 season and is the Vees’ first non-North American signing, following the BCHL’s new roster rules ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Reinhart joins the Vees after playing the last two seasons with the Elmira Sugar Kings in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). The defender earned 49 points (8G, 41A) in 86 career regular-season games in the GOJHL.
The Vees also announced that they traded defenceman Gabriel Guilbault (’06) to the Langley Rivermen, in exchange for future considerations.
Guilbault appeared in 33 regular season games, posting six points (1G, 5A) in his rookie season in the B.C. Hockey League (BCHL). He hit the ice for 14 of the Vees’ 17 playoff games, helping Penticton capture the 2023 BCHL Fred Page Cup championship.
He also earned a silver medal with Team Canada Red at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Langley in November.
The Vees organization would like to thank Gabe for all his contributions to the team and the community of Penticton and wish him all the best going forward with the Rivermen.