Penticton Vees 2024-25 regular season schedule released

A look at Vees next season

Local junior hockey fans can now plan the games they’d like to sit in on as the Penticton Vees regular season schedule was released via the B.C. Hockey League.

Starting on Sept. 20, the Penticton Vees open the 2024-25 season against Spruce Grove Saints in Alberta, according to the BCHL's schedule released Thursday.

“There’s a new look to the Interior Conference, as five Alberta teams have been added: Brooks Bandits, Blackfalds Bulldogs, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders, and Spruce Grove Saints,” reads a Penticton Vees press release.

Meanwhile, the Penticton team will be opening at home against the Okotoks Oilers at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Oct. 4.

The Vees are slated to play 26 home games with 23 prime nights. Of those, 14 are Friday dates, nine are on Saturdays, one is on Sunday, and two are on holiday Monday games.

In total, the BCHL has scheduled 52 games in the 2024-25 regular season. However, not yet included is the BCHL Showcase, where each team plays two regular-season contests.

Key Dates:

  • Friday, September 20th, Regular Season opener at Spruce Grove
  • Friday, October 4th, Home Opener versus Okotoks
  • BCHL Showcase October 13th-17th
  • Monday, November 11th, Remembrance Day versus Trail Smoke Eaters
  • Friday, December 6th, Teddy & Toque Toss versus Sherwood Park Crusaders
  • Friday, February 7th, Pink the Rink versus Vernon Vipers
  • Monday, February 17th, Family Day versus West Kelowna Warriors
  • Saturday, March 29th, Regular Season finale versus Salmon Arm Silverbacks

To view the Penticton Vee’s full 2024-25 regular season schedule click here.

West Kelowna Warriors will host rival Vernon to kick off 2024-25 home schedule

Warriors open on the road

The West Kelowna Warriors will play a majority of their home games on the weekend during the upcoming 2024-2025 season.

The schedule, released Thursday features 23 Friday and Saturday home dates, with one each on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Warriors open the new season Friday, Sept. 20 in Cranbrook before hosting Vernon a week later for their home opener Sept. 27.

The schedule includes six games with each of their Interior West rivals Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Trail.

The Warriors will also face teams from the new Interior East Division featuring Cranbrook and the five new Alberta teams four times each except for Brooks who clash with the Warriors on three occasions.

The first Alberta trip is scheduled for Oct. 25 and 26 in Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove.

The Brooks Bandits will be the first Alberta team to invade Royal LePage Place Friday, Nov. 1.

Over the course of the 54 game schedule, the Interior West teams are not scheduled to face the Coast East Division unless games are scheduled for the Showcase which have not been included in the schedule.

The Warriors longest homestand is five games taking up much of the month of January. They have several three game road trips scheduled.

The regular season concludes March 29 with the post season expected to begin April 4.

New captain named for Penticton Vees

New captain for Vees

The Penticton Vees will have a new captain next season.

On Monday the team announced forward Conyr Hellyer will lead the team in the 2024-25.

Defencemen Nolan Stevenson and Brock Reinhart will be the alternate captains.

“We have had great captains in the past and that tradition will continue. Conyr plays the game the way I want all our players to play and brings a professional presence off the ice,” said Vees president, general manager, and head coach Fred Harbinson.

“Nolan and Brock each will provide support to Conyr in their own ways. I have complete confidence in this leadership group and believe the rest will follow as we face the new challenges of the BCHL’s new-look Interior Division.”

Hellyer will be returning for his second season in Penticton.

He earned 28 points (12G, 16A) in 43 games last season, and nine during the playoffs.

“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to be the captain for such a special program like the Vees. What I learned last season is leadership is a collective effort and guys with or without letters will help in their own way, as we look to bring back a Fred Page Cup to Penticton,” said Hellyer.

The Vees came very close to the cup this year, losing to the Surrey Eagles in the final round.

West Kelowna Warriors are part of a new 5-team interior division

BCHL realign divisions

The BC Hockey League is shuffling the deck as it gets set to welcome five former Alberta Junior Hockey League teams to the fold on a full-time basis next season.

With the addition of Brooks, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, Blackfalds and Okotoks and the loss of the Merritt Centennials, the BCHL will open up the 2024-2025 season with 21 teams based out of two conferences and four divisions.

The West Kelowna Warriors will be joined by Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Trail to make up the Interior West Division while the Cranbrook Bucks will be slotted in with the five Alberta teams to make up the Interior East Division.

The four Vancouver Island teams, Victoria, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Alberni Valley will be joined by Powell River to make up the Coastal West Division while Prince George makes the leap from the interior to the coastal side joining Chilliwack, Langley, Coquitlam and reigning Fred Page Cup champion Surrey in the Coastal East Division.

The playoff format will remain the same with the top eight teams in each conference advancing to the post season.

The schedule is expected to be released next week.

During its recently completed annual general meeting, the board of governors adopted a coaches challenge which will be used on a trial basis at the league Showcase only.

Under the pilot, coaches would be allowed to challenge unpenalized plays to determine whether a double-minor, major or match penalty should be assessed.

Unsuccessful challenges would result in the team being hit with a delay of game penalty.

The board also approved using universal affiliate players, meaning affiliated players from the Junior Prospects Hockey League and Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League would be able to suit up for any team during the season.

In other news, Trail Smoke Eaters owner Rich Murphy was elected chair of the BCHL board, replacing Graham Fraser who stepped down after six years.

The contracts of commissioner Steve Cocker and VP of hockey operations Brad Lazarowich were also extended.

Penticton Vees announce signing of four players to next seasons lineup

Vees reveal new players

The Penticton Vees Junior Hockey has announced the signing of two defenceman and two forwards for the 2024-25 season this week.

Defenceman Julien Wasmer, defenceman Michael Fisher, forward Luke Posthumus and forward Caton Ryan will be suiting up for the BCHL team.

Wasmer comes to Penticton after spending the last two seasons with the Smiths Falls Bears in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) and won a silver medal with Team Canada East at the 2023 World Junior A Challenge in Truro, NS.

The 6’3, 185-pound defenceman earned 41 points (7G, 34A) in 88 career regular season games. He had 12 points (5G, 7A) in 19 career postseason games.

Fisher comes to Penticton after spending this past season playing NCAA Division l men’s hockey at Northeastern University.

The 6’3 195-pound right-shot defenceman was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the third round, 76th overall, in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Fisher, who turned 20 in May, suited up for 30 games with the Northeastern Huskies and finished with two points (1G, 1A) and was part of the Huskies 2024 men’s Beanpot championship squab, as the Huskies beat Boston University in the Final.

Prior to Northeastern, Fisher played for the Youngstown Phantoms in the United States Hockey League (USHL) in 2022-23.

Entering his third season of junior hockey, Posthumus spent the 2023-24 season with the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League (USHL).

In 38 regular season games with the Storm this past season, he posted three goals and 13 points. Prior to the USHL, the 5’11, 187-pound forward played for the Nepean Raiders in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL).

Posthumus led the Raiders in goals (19), assists (29), and points (48) during the 2022-23 regular season. He was named the CCHL Rookie of the Year that season.

Another product of the CCHL is joining the team, with Ryan who spent the 2023-24 season with the Carleton Place Canadians.

Ryan, who turns 18 later this month, led the Canadians in scoring this past season, after he posted 59 points (24G, 35A) in 55 games. He finished 10th in CCHL scoring. He added six points (2G, 4A) in five playoff games.

He was named to the CCHL All-Rookie Team in the 2022-23 season after he tallied 38 points (14G, 24A) in 55 games as a 16-year-old.

The Vees organization said they are excited to welcome all the players and their families to the South Okanagan for the upcoming season.

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