A great infographic from College Hockey Inc. on the impact BC born players have had on NCAA hockey.
A great infographic from College Hockey Inc. on the impact BC born players have had on NCAA hockey.
Monday the Vees made it official, adding Nick Fuher to the staff as an Assistant Coach. Fuher replaces the departed Michael Hengen. Fuher comes to the Vees with a wealth of coaching experience, having been behind the bench at a variety of levels for the past 15 years.
Most recently Fuher was in Winkler, Manitoba as an Assistant Coach with the Flyers in the MJHL. Fuher actually started his junior hockey career in the late 90′s with the Flyers and spent the 2013-2014 season on Ken Pearson’s staff. Prior to his time in Winkler, Nick was the Head Coach of the North Dakota Development Team and was an Assistant Coach at Grand Forks Central High School. His first stop in coaching was with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL and has worked at University of North Dakota Hockey Schools as an instructor/coach for eight years.
Fuher will be responsible for the Vees defensive corps and they’ll be in good hands. Fuher was a defenseman when he played, splitting his junior career between Winkler and Lincoln. He was the MJHL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 1998-1999 and was named to the USHL All-Star Game in 2000. He earned himself a scholarship to the University of North Dakota where he patrolled the blue-lines for four years. In his senior season (2005) he put up 27 points in 41 games and in the process was named to the WCHA and NCAA Regional All-Tournament teams. His “Fighting Sioux” were NCAA national runners-up that year losing out to Denver in the championship game. After he graduated from UND, Fuher signed a professional contract with the Phoenix Coyotes organization but his career was cut short after an eye injury while playing with their AHL affiliate in Utah.
Recently Fuher returned to playing and won an Allan Cup senior men’s national championship in 2012 with the South East Prairie Thunder and the 2013 Manitoba provincial championship with the Altona Maroons.
The Vees also announced Jack Ramsey as an Assistant Captain for the 2014-2015 season. Ramsey is coming off a successful rookie season, where he had 25 points in 56 regular season games and developed into one of the Vees best defensive forwards. The future Minnesota Golden Gopher elevated his play in the BCHL playoffs, where he compiled eight points in 11 games. Ramsey was drafted this past June by the Chicago Blackhawks in the seventh round, 208th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Ramsey is an excellent choice to wear an “A” for the Vees this upcoming season. He’s got a year under his belt and plays the game the right way. Fred Harbinson has said to me several times that he never has to worry about Ramsey when he’s on the ice. He’s always in position, he’s always busting his butt and he does so many little things right. He’s the type that will say a few words when called upon but for the most part, he’ll let his play do most of the talking. A player who’s developed into an excellent penalty-killer and defensive forward but also has underrated hands around the net. I think we’ll see more offensive out of Ramsey this year and he’ll be a handful around the opposition’s net with his big frame. He comes from a great hockey family and I stress family because the way he carries himself is a direct reflection of his parents. His father Mike was defenseman in the NHL and longtime assistant coach and you can see that rub off on Jack, as he has a professional team-first attitude around the rink.
The Vees added some offensive punch to the line-up today, as the officially announced the signing of forward Patrick Newell. The 18-year-old spent the last two seasons in the USHL and NAHL south of the border. In May Newell and the Indiana Ice won the USHL Clark Cup championship over the Waterloo Blackhawks.
An odd twist to that story, as earlier last season the Ice announced they would be suspending operations for the 2014-2015 season; they definitely went out with a bang. The USHL held a dispersal draft shortly after the season was over and Newell was picked third overall by the Tri-City Storm. Rather then play his final year of junior with the Storm, Newell elected to come to Penticton before heading to St. Cloud State.
What the Thousand Oaks, California lacks in size (listed at 5’9) he makes up for in speed, skill and vision. Newell was nearly a point per-game player in the USHL last year, posting 13 goals and 43 points in 59 games. In a league that is known to be defensively minded, those are very impressive numbers. The scouting report I got on Newell is that he’s a speedy forward who has excellent vision that makes him a natural play-maker. He’ll bring experience at the junior level; championship experience. That will help a Vees squad that’s dotted with plenty of young faces.
Vees Press Release:
The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the signing of forward Patrick Newell (96) for the 2014-2015 season.
President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson on the addition of Newell, “Patrick’s skill set will only add to our depth upfront and he’ll be looked upon as an impact player for us. It’s always a great benefit to an organization to add a player with championship experience.”
Newell, 18, spent parts of the last two seasons with the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL), but earlier this year, that franchise announced they will suspend operations for the 2014-2015 season. Newell was selected third overall by the Tri-City Storm in the corresponding USHL dispersal draft, but has elected to play his final season of junior hockey in Penticton, before heading to St. Cloud State University for the 2015-2016 season.
Newell helped Indiana capture their second USHL Clark Cup championship in May when they bested the Waterloo Blackhawks in five games. On Indiana’s run to the championship, Newell finished second in team playoff scoring, putting up four goals and seven points in 12 games. In the regular season Newell finished fourth in team scoring, amassing 13 goals and 43 points in 59 games and was an impressive plus 24.
The dynamic forward split the 2012-2013 season between Indiana and the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). In 42 games with Fairbanks, Newell tallied 10 goals and 22 points before his move to the USHL. In 20 games that season with the Ice, he was nearly a point per-game player, finishing with 15 points in 20 games. For his USHL career, Newell finished with 16 goals and 58 points in 79 regular season games.
The entire Vees organization would like to welcome Newell to the team and the South Okanagan. Fans can get their first look at the newest forward when the Vees open their Prep Camp on Monday, August 25th.
The Buffalo Sabres, have signed former Vee Zac Dalpe to a one-year contract, the team announced on Monday. Dalpe was a Restricted Free Agent after spending last season in Vancouver and was not qualified by the team, thus making him a free agent. Now, the Sabres didn’t go into details about the contract, including if it was a NHL contract or a two-way deal between the Sabres and their farm team in Rochester; likely the latter.
Good to see Dalpe land on his feet with the Sabres after some uncertainty with the Canucks in the first few months of the NHL off-season. Dalpe did play a career high 55 games with Vancouver last season but his ice time was limited under John Tortorella. In 55 games with the Canucks, Dalpe collected four goals and seven points, while playing an energy role in their bottom six. Dalpe will be at Sabres Training Camp in September and likely will dress for some NHL exhibition games, trying to impress the new Sabres brass. If he doesn’t break camp with the big club, he’s most likely penciled in as go-to guy in Rochester. He’s got plenty of AHL experience, playing parts of the three seasons in the AHL in the Carolina organization, where he’s amassed 142 points in 186 regular season games.
Best of luck to Zac as he continues his professional career back east in upper state New York. Speaking of which, as I mentioned on Twitter, Zac and his younger brother Ben will once again be playing near each other. Last year it was Ben in Penticton with the Vees and Zac in Vancouver with the Canucks. Now it’s Zac in Buffalo and Ben in Potsdam, New York, as he enters his freshman season at Clarkson University. Again the Dalpe brothers will be roughly be four hours apart.
Sabres Press Release:
The Buffalo Sabres today announced that the team has signed forward Zac Dalpe to a one-year contract.
Dalpe (6’1”, 195 lbs., 11/1/89) played a career-high 55 NHL games as a member of the Vancouver Canucks during the 2013-14 season, recording seven points (4+3). A former second-round draft pick (45th overall in 2008), Dalpe has appeared in a total of 96 NHL games in his one year with the Canucks and three previous seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Prior to last season, the center from Paris, Ontario spent the better part of each of his professional seasons in the American Hockey League, earning AHL All-Rookie honors in 2011. In parts of five AHL seasons, Dalpe has totaled 142 points (68+74) and 52 penalty minutes in 186 regular-season AHL games, and added 19 points (9+10) in 29 postseason contests.
The Penticton Vees 2014-2014 BCHL regular season schedule has been released and it will have a similar look to last season. The schedule can be found on the Vees website (www.pentictonvees.ca) by clicking on the “schedule” tab.
The BCHL calendar had been pushed back this season, as the puck drops on September 19th with the third installment of the Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, BC. The Vees play the Surrey Eagles on Friday, September 19th, and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday, September 20th at Prospera Centre.
The traditional BCHL schedule starts the following weekend on Friday September 26th and Saturday, September 27th. The Vees play 58 regular season games, 28 home games and 28 road games, with one home and road game taking place at the Bauer BCHL Showcase.
Save the date! The Vees 2014-2015 Home Opener is on Friday, October 3rd at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC), as they welcome their North Okanagan neighbours, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The Vees have expanded their successful “Wicked Wednesday” promotion, as they’ll have eight Wednesday home games this season, the first on October 8th when they tangle with the Merritt Centennials. Once again, those nights will feature discounted tickets, food, beer and soft drinks, plus significant raffle giveaways.
The first encounter with the Vernon Vipers is set for October 17th in Vernon, a rematch of the 2014 Interior Division Final. Vees fans get their first look at the Vipers on October 25th.
Penticton’s first Island road swing is set for early November, when they hop on the ferry to face Victoria, Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley November 7th-9th. Their other significant road trip is in early February when they make stops in Chilliwack, Powell River and Alberni Valley on the sixth, seventh and eighth.
The Vees Christmas break is from December 21st to January 2nd, as the face the West Kelowna Warriors in a home-and-home series before breaking for the holiday season. The Vees ring in the New Year at the SOEC on Friday January 2nd against the Vipers.
The Vees have two matinee games on the calendar at the SOEC. The first matinee is scheduled for December 14th against Chilliwack and then again on January 11th versus Prince George.
The Vees wrap up the regular season, the way they started it, hosting the Silverbacks, on Saturday, February 28th. The BCHL regular season concludes the following night on March 1st.
In total the Vees have 10 Friday home games, eight on both Saturdays and Wednesdays and two on Sundays. Friday & Wednesday home games are 7pm starts. Saturdays again are scheduled for 6pm, with the two Sunday games schedule for 3pm.
The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club have announced Assistant Michael Hengen has accepted a new role with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League and Assistant Coach Steve Cawley has been promoted to Assistant General Manager.
Also, Director of Scouting, Tom Hengen, will be stepping back from his role with the hockey club and Travis Deaust will now oversee the Vees scouting department.
President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson says the organization is grateful for the contributions made to the Vees by Mike and Tom Hengen, “Both have been instrumental in the success of our program and I feel very fortunate to have worked alongside both of them.”
Harbinson says Mike and Tom had family on their mind when making their decisions, “I believe family is extremely important. Tom stepping down to enjoy more time with his wife Linda and Mike’s move to Prince George allows him to continue his bright coaching career with the Cougars at a very positive time in their organizations history. Mike’s wife, Melody, can also take advantage of a promotion within her own field of work as well.”
As a player, Mike Hengen won a Fred Page Cup with the Vees in 2008, before moving into the coaching ranks in 2010. From behind the bench, he helped guide the Vees organization to their second national championship in 2012, as well as establish a new national consecutive wins record of 42.
Harbinson says the promotion of Steve Cawley will make for a seamless transition, “Steve has put in countless hours for our organization over the past four seasons and really stepped forward when I took on the role of team President. Steve is one of the most detailed conscious people I know and very deserving of this promotion.”
Harbinson also believes the Vees Scouting Department is in very capable hands under Travis Deaust, “Travis has worked on our scouting staff for the past two seasons. He has a strong eye for talent, a tireless work ethic and understands what it takes to be a successful player at this level and more importantly a Vee.”
The entire Vees organization wants to thank Mike and Tom for their contributions to the organization and wish them all the best in their future endeavors, and want to congratulate both Steve and Travis on their deserving promotions.
The search for a new Assistant Coach will begin immediately.
Via his Twitter account, Vees goaltender Hunter Miska showed his mask design for the upcoming 2014-2015 season, and what’s more impressive than the design, is the fact he painted it himself. Now, airbrushing runs in his family, as his dad Todd Miska is a professional mask painter who has an arsenal of NHL clients.
Last year Miska painted parts of his mask with the help of his dad but this off-season the puck-stopper took on this project and man, the results are eye-popping. The attention to detail is impressive. As you can see above, his mask has a ice-age /winte theme to it, with mountains and cracking ice and even snowflakes falling down each side. He’s got his trademark “MISKA” on his chin, with the Vees logo on one side and has an American and Canadian flag somewhat hidden underneath the cracking ice on the other side.
On the top of the helmet, the ice breaks away, revealing the night’s sky and his trademark shooting stars. There’s also a quote on the top that reads, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to purse them.”
As mentioned, this was Hunter’s first mask he painted entirely on his own and he says it was a bit nerve-racking with his dad overseeing the process,“I felt like a passenger taking over a jetliner and having the radio control tower (my dad) guiding me in for the landing.” A bit tongue-in-cheek but he says the process made him appreciate his dad’s work that much more, “It was tough, he made me paint it myself so I could see how hard it actually was.“
I can’t wait to see the mask in action come the fall.