Penticton Vees captain Troy Stecher has found a home for the 2013-2014 season.
The Vees defenceman has accepted a scholarship to the University of North Dakota for next season.
He joins teammate Wade Murphy who will also suit up for North Dakota next season.
“We are very happy for Troy, as he has been a great leader, teammate and role model for our organization in the past three years,” says Vees head coach/gm Fred Harbinson.
“Troy’s presence on our blue-line will be greatly missed next year; but we are excited to watch his career continue at UND.”
In his third and final season with the Vees, Stecher has established career highs in goals (8), assists (38) and points (46). In three seasons in Penticton, Stecher has 108 points in 158 games.
Stecher says UND’s track record speaks for itself.
“The development of NHL players is second to none. The way they run things is like a pro hockey team. There are a lot of positives, and I couldn’t be happier for the opportunity they are giving me next season as a freshman.”
Last May, Stecher helped guide the Vees to their first national junior ‘A’ Championship in 26 years and was named the Royal Bank Cup’s top defenseman.
Stecher is a two-time World Junior ‘A’ Challenge medalist, winning a gold medal in 2011 and a silver medal with Team Canada West this past November.
Most recently Stecher was named a first team all-star in the Interior Conference by the BCHL.
UND is one of the most decorated programs in men’s college hockey.
The team has appeared in the NCAA tournament 27 times and the Frozen Four 19 times, and won seven NCAA Division l Championships, 15 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular Season Championships and 10 WCHA Tournament Championships.
The “green and white” are playing in their final season in the WCHA, and along with seven other schools, will play in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) next season. Recent Vees alumni to have played at North Dakota include Brett Hextall, Evan Trupp, Mark MacMillan and Brendan O’Donnell.