D-man returns to Warriors

A key piece of the West Kelowna Warriors RBC Cup championship team of 2016 is set to return to the club.

Defenceman Jake Harrison, who left for the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League prior to the \start of last season, will rejoin the team for the 2019-20 campaign.

Harrison, 20, had two goals and eight assists in 49 games with the Force.

“We are very excited to have Jake back in West Kelowna for next season”, said Warriors coach and GM Brandon West. 

“Jake is a leader who has a wealth of experience in our league and our program. Jake has always been a fan favourite and everyone will be excited to see him back on Royal LePage Place ice.”

Harrison says being away from home for the first time was a great life experience that pushed him to grow and mature as a person.

"The Fargo Force coaching staff played a big part of improving my defensive game and further my skating abilities.”

“But, there is no greater feeling than being able to play for your hometown team. It is awesome to have the opportunity to play my fourth and final year of junior hockey with the Warriors.”

Harrison and the Warriors open training camp at the end of August.

Vees sign top prospect

The Penticton Vees have signed a top NHL prospect for the upcoming season.

Forward Jay O’Brien, 19, has committed to the Vees for the 2019-20 season, the team announced Thursday.

O’Brien was the 19th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. He comes to the Okanagan after spending last season with the Providence Friars in the NCAA.

Before college, 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.

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.

The Vees also announced Thursday 1999-born defenceman Steven Holtz has committed to the team. Holtz, from White Lake, Michigan, stands an imposing 6’4’’ from the blue line weighing in at 190 pounds.

Training camp starts in August.

New playing rights for Vees

The Penticton Vees have acquired the CJHL playing rights to forward Colton Kalezic from the Toronto Patriots in exchange for future considerations. 

Kalezic, born in 1999, spent the 2018-19 season with the Tri-City Storm in the USHL. 

He scored 11 goals and added 10 assists in 47 games with the Storm last season. 

In the 2018 OJHL playoffs, Kalezic scored 10 goals with 15 assists in 17 games to help the Ontario Junior Leage's Patriots reach the third round. 

He also represented Canada as part of Team Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge in Truro, Nova Scotia, where he tied for team lead in scoring and was teammates with Vees alum Mason Snell. 

Kalezic will bring over 200 games of junior hockey experience with him to Penticton, as well as an NCAA commitment to Northern Michigan University for the fall of 2020. 


Vernon player on Vees

The Penticton Vees have added a local Okanagan player to their 2019-20 roster. 

Scott Gilowski is a Vernon-born, 6'6" defender who Vees fans may remember from three games last season when he suited up as an affiliate player. 

He has spent the last two seasons with the Okanagan Rockets of the British Columbia Major Midget League in Kelowna. 

During his first season there, he scored three goals and seven assists in 40 games. This past season, he scored twice and had 14 assists in 34 games. 

Gilowski is familiar with Penticton, having played his bantam season at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in 2016-17, scoring three goals and adding 12 assists in 25 games. 

He will join his new teammates at training camp in Penticton in August. 

Son of NHLer joins Vees

The Penticton Vees have nabbed a new forward for the 2019-20 season. 

American Tristan Amonte, born in 2000, has spent the last season with the Youngstown Phantoms after the previous four years at Thayer Academy. 

He is the son of long-time NHL player Tony Amonte, who racked up 1,174 games between 1991 and 2007 with the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers and Calgary Flames.

Vees fans may remember Tristan's older brother Ty, who spent one season in Penticton in 2016-17, scoring 17 goals and 20 assists to help the Vees on their way to the Fred Page Cup. 

Tristan is a six-foot-tall, right-shot forward who scored 23 goals and 93 assists over 121 games at Thayer Academy. 

He will join his new Vees teammates at training camp in mid-August. 

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