Canucks, young stars return to Penticton

For the third year, a city with a rich hockey history will host a tournament showcasing the game's top prospects.

Representatives from the Vancouver Canucks, as well as local dignitaries, were on hand at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton Thursday, to announce the return of the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic.

"Penticton has been an excellent host city and venue for our first two young stars classic tournaments, and we are thrilled to be returning to this city for an exciting event again this fall," Stan Smyl, senior advisor to general manager Mike Gillis, told those in attendance.

The round-robin tournament will feature prospects from the Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets from Sept. 5 to 9.

Jonathan Wall, director of hockey administration for the Canucks, described it as a must attend event for hockey fans in Penticton and the entire region.

The festivities will include a Canucks alumni game against other Young Stars teams' alumni and local police and fire department members, a Canucks business leaders' day, a minor hockey day and a Canucks alumni and team personnel meet and greet.

Councillor Andrew Jakubeit, who was instrumental in bringing the past tournaments to the city in 2010 and 2011, (2012 was cancelled due to the NHL lockout), said the tournament will bring energy and excitement to Penticton, as well as give the city an economic boost.

"These young stars are a pleasure to watch as the hockey is fast, hard hitting and intense," he said. "And it is great for our community with a lot of exposure, as about 100 media people come here."

Tournament ticket packages, which include a ticket to each of the eight games, are $70 plus applicable fees and go on sale June 14 at 10 a.m.

Tickets will be available at www.valleyfirsttix.com or by phone at 1-877-763-2849, or in person at the Valley First box office at the SOEC or at the Penticton & Wine Country Visitor Centre.

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