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.

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