Penticton Vees players vying for spots on national teams

Vees vie for national spots

Two Penticton Vees players have earned spots in prestigious development camps vying for spots on national junior hockey teams. 

Incoming 16-year-old Josh Niedermayer, brother of the Vees' Jackson Niedermayer, has been selected for Hockey Canada's virtual Under-17 development camp in late July. 

The camp boasts 113 players in total with 64 forwards, 37 defensemen and 12 goaltenders, who will be split up into six teams for the week-long virtual camp, participating in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education.

The 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is set to take place in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I. in November. 

Vees forward Stefano Bottini has earned a spot in Switzerland's National Under-20 Camp, looking to nab a spot on the Swiss World Junior Hockey Championship team for 2021. 

The camp consists of 36 players vying for a spot on the Swiss Under-20 National team with 18 forwards, 14 defensemen and 4 goaltenders making their way to Cham to challenge for a roster spot.

Bottini, 18, is one of ten 2002-born players to crack the selection camp roster after having a tremendous season as one of the youngest players on his Under-20 Lugano team during the 2019/20 campaign.

The 2021 World Junior Hockey Championship takes place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta. slated for December 26th, 2020 to January 5th, 2021.

Penticton Vees announce multiple trades, aquisitions

Vees welcome new players

The Penticton Vees have been busy this week, announcing several trades and acquisitions to the team. 

Goaltender Kaeden Lane is joining the club from the Grande Prairie Storm in exchange for Carl Stankowski. 

Lane, 18, has played each of the last two seasons with the Storm after a stellar two seasons with the Burnaby Winter Club. The 5’11”, 170-pound netminder has posted a 3.22 goals-against average along with an .897 save percentage in 74 career games with the Storm while registering 31 victories in that span, including four shutouts.

The Vees have also announced a three-team trade that resulted in the acquisition of defenseman Ben Wozney and forward Ryan Upson. 

Wozney, 19, has played each of the last two seasons in Powell River, suiting up in 86 career BCHL games including a contest as an affiliate player with the Prince George Spruce Kings. The 6’2”, 170-pound rearguard has tallied four goals and 29 assists for 33 points in that span. Wozney also secured his collegiate future in committing to Bowling Green University for the 2021/22 season during the year.

Upson, 19, played last season with the West Kelowna Warriors in his first season of junior hockey, registering three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 54 games after making the transition from the West Van Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL).

Former Vees Liam Noble and Carson Hemenway were traded in the exchange. 

The Vees welcome all the new players and their families to the South Okanagan. 

Penticton Vees announce forward trade deal with Prince George

Vees trade forward Lakoduk

The Penticton Vees have announced a trade of forward Darwin Lakoduk to the Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for future considerations. 

Lakoduk, 20, came to the Vees for the final 34 games of the 2019/20 season after being acquired from the Victoria Grizzlies and had six goals and five assists during his time in Penticton. 

“Darwin was a huge reason we had success last season,” said president, general manager and head coach Fred Harbinson.

“He is going to be missed on the ice and in the locker room. Unfortunately, our abundance of 20-year-olds placed me in a situation where we had no choice but to move him.”

The Vees would like to thank Darwin for his time with the organization and his contributions to the team and the City of Penticton.

BCHL bring in new rules and penalties around player safety

BCHL crackdown on fighting

The BC Hockey League has brought in new penalties and harsher suspensions for on-ice incidents in the upcoming 2020-2021 season.

In a series of meetings, the league's board of governors approved three new measures and, through the newly established Department of Player Safety, will review all accumulative penalties that fall within the Junior A Supplement to ensure the correct assessment at ice level was called on the play.

New penalties revolve around fighting, slew foots and blindside hits that do not target the head.

The league will crack down on repeat offenders when it comes to fighting. Players will now receive an automatic suspension following their second fight. The previous threshold was after the fourth fight during a season.

Suspensions will increase with further fights. There will also be a zero-tolerance stance on instigator and aggressor penalties, both receiving suspensions on first offence and will significantly increase on accumulation.

Specific wording has also been added to Rule 6.3 which addresses hits outside an opponents line of sight.

"Any hit that occurs from a player’s blindside, meaning outside a 90-degree angle of their line of vision, with significant force, will be called charging. Addressing this type of hit with a minor, major and game misconduct or match penalty, will allow the DOPS an opportunity to review the hit for further possible discipline," the league stated.

Players committing a slew foot will be assessed an automatic double minor, or match penalty, depending on the severity of the incident. A match penalty will be assessed if a player is injured as a result of the incident.

The league has also made it mandatory for teams to have a portable defibrillator on hand in case of an emergency involving a player or team staff member. These will be required at every game, practice and team event.

As the league plans for a new season, just when that season will remains in question.

The BCHL has formed a return-to-play task force, which will prepare various scenarios on how, and when the league could resume play.

The task force is working closely with provincial health officers to develop return-to-play guidelines and safety measures.

“Once we are told we are allowed to resume play from Hockey Canada and the Provincial Government, we want to make sure we are ready to go,” said BCHL executive director of competition and events, Steven Cocker.

“This involves planning for several different scenarios, including start dates and attendance capacities, as directed by the health authorities. Creating the task force allows us to be as prepared as possible for a safe return to play, whenever we get the green light.”

Future considerations from earlier deals made known

Warriors see their future

The West Kelowna Warriors have announced players it has received as part of deals made toward the end of last season.

The Warriors received "future considerations" as part of deals made with Cowichan Valley (Austin Chorney), Nanaimo (Brandon Dent) and Coquitlam (Wyatt Head).

The Warriors will receive 6'2" power forward Zach Brooks to complete the deal for Chorney. Brooks, 18, spent the past two seasons with the Capitals.

In 60 games last season, Brooks scored 13 goals and added 17 assists.

“Zach brings much needed size and speed to our lineup alongside having a great skill set," said head coach Simon Ferguson.

Nineteen-year-old goaltender Zach Bennett comes to West Kelowna to complete the Dent deal with the Clippers.

In 17 games last season, the Winnipeg native posted a 2.49 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.

"Zach brings experience and has been a top goalie everywhere he has played," said Ferguson.

"We feel with (Johnny) Derrick and Bennett we have the potential to have the best goalie duo in the league."

The Warriors also receive the junior rights to 6'1" forward Adam Trotman to complete the Head transaction.

Trotman has been accepted to play at Queen's University, but the Warriors say they are open to him returning to the BCHL if he chooses to.

“This is a strong, veteran trio. They are high-character individuals who will certainly bring leadership and compete to the group.” said team president Chris Laurie

“We are pleased with how our roster is shaping up. There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes by ownership, staff, and players.”

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