Vees Add Offensive Punch

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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.

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Zac Dalpe Signs with Sabres

Sabres

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.

 

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Vees 2014-2015 Schedule Released

schedule

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.

SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS

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.

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NEWS: Vees Restructure Hockey Operations

 

File Photo: Coach Hengen focused in on a Vees practice in 2013

File Photo: Coach Hengen focused in on a Vees practice in 2013

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.

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Miska’s Hidden Talent

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.

 

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Two Vees Chosen at NHL Draft

 

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Photo Courtesy of: Ottawa Senators Instagram Account

Newest Ottawa Senator Miles Gendron takes a moment to pose for photo earlier Saturday, after the Senators took him in the third round, 70th overall at the NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia. Later in the morning, Gendron’s future teammate Jack Ramsey was scooped up by the Chicago Blackhawks in the seventh round, 208th overall.

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Friday morning, I wrote that we could see anywhere from 1-6 former & current Vees drafted today but we’ll happily settle for two. Now, for those that didn’t get drafted, it’s not the end but merely the beginning. They have next year’s draft in Florida or they can go the free agency route once they’re done their collegiate career.

For the second straight season, the Vees had two players taken in the NHL Entry Draft, as last June Wade Murphy and Jedd Soleway were seventh round selections of the Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes respectively. In all, five players who played in the BCHL last season were taken and another two, including Gendron, who are coming in as fresh recruits; nine in total with BCHL connections. For a good recap on who from the BCHL got drafted, check Brian Wiebe’s blog here. As he wrote, “It was a red-letter day for the BCHL” and he’s right. Another strong representation of past and current players getting drafted on Saturday.

Vees Press Release 

Senators Media Scrum with Gendron

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Vees at the NHL Draft

NHL Draft_2014

It’s finally here. The 2014 NHL Entry Draft from Philadelphia gets going tonight around 5pm PST on TSN (Canada) / NBCSN (United States) and the NHL Network. The first two rounds will be broadcasted live on those two networks tonight, with rounds 3-7 going tomorrow.

There’s a handful of new, current and former Vees that may have their name called this weekend by an NHL team. Incoming defensemen Miles Gendron and Mike Lee have a strong chance to be taken in one of the seven rounds this weekend. Those two have been profiled on SB Nation’s College Hockey website, as they did features on college recruits who may be chosen this weekend. Click HERE for the Gendron profile and HERE for the Lee profile. Both features were written by Jeff Cox, who covers the junior and college hockey circuit for SB Nation. He’s one to follow on Twitter throughout the weekend and his Twitter handle is @JeffCoxSports 

Other Vees names to keep tabs on are defensemen Brett Beauvais and Paul Stoykewych from this past season and also alum Troy Stecher. Beauvais was the highest ranked Vee by NHL Central Scouting this season and could be a late round steal. Speaking of steals, one NHL team should come to its senses and scoop up Stecher, who’s in his third year of eligibility. Remember, another former Vees defenseman had to wait his third year of eligibility, when Joey Laleggia was taken by the Oilers in 2012. Stoykewych is another “dark horse” pick and I mean that in the best way possible; he could be solid 6-7 round pickup this weekend.

Hunter Miska was ranked among the top 35 goalies in North America earlier this season, in NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Term rankings. He’s coming off a very solid rookie campaign and still has two years of eligibility left in junior; high ceiling for the Vees goaltender. Jack Ramsey is another Vee that could have his named called late in the draft, as the two-way forward really came into his own during the BCHL playoffs. He was flirting with a point per-game pace in the Vees 11 playoff games last spring and was one of their best penalty-killers.

A good crop of current and former Vees this season could see themselves selected by an NHL team this weekend. The BCHL ran a story on its website, profiling current and recent BCHL players who may be selected this weekend; that story is below.

BCHL NHL DRAFT STORY:

“Last year matched a record high for BCHL players taken at the NHL Entry Draft since the event went to seven rounds. In all, seven players heard their names called, mostly the ones everyone thought but a few surprises as well.

 This year, it will be tough for the BCHL to match that number but there are sure to be at least a few BCHL products snapped up by NHL teams.

 NHL Central Scouting listed the following players this at some point over the last 10 months:

Jason Cotton – F – West Kelowna Warriors

6-foot-1, 180 pounds   HOMETOWN: Plano, TX
23G – 39A – 59Pts   

Committed to NCAA Northeastern, returning to West Kelowna for 2014-15

 Alec Dillon – G – Victoria Grizzlies

6-foot-5, 170 pounds   HOMETOWN: Victoria, BC

21W – 7L – 2 T/OTL   .910sv%   2.76GAA

Committed to NCAA RPI but returning to Victoria for 2014-15

 Dylan Chanter – D – Vernon Vipers

6-foot-3, 205 pounds   HOMETOWN: Armstrong, BC

11G – 22A – 33Pts in 128 career BCHL games

Headed to NCAA U. of New Hampshire for 2014-15

 Jeff Wight – F – Merritt Centennials

6-foot-2, 180 pounds   HOMETOWN: Coquitlam, BC

22G – 27A – 49Pts

Committed to NCAA Connecticut but returning to Merritt for 2014-15

 Jeff Smith – G – Powell River Kings

6-foot-2, 205 pounds   HOMETOWN: Maple Ridge, BC

20W – 10L – 1T/OTL   .923sv%   2.25GAA

Headed to NCAA UMass-Lowell for 2014-15

 Evan Anderson – F – Salmon Arm SilverBacks

6-foot-3, 205 pounds   HOMETOWN: Denver, Colorado

21G – 31A – 52Pts   

Headed to NCAA Michigan Tech for 2014-15

 Brett Beauvais – D – Penticton Vees

6-foot-1, 185 pounds   HOMETOWN: Summerside, PEI

13G – 45A – 58Pts

Headed to NCAA Bemidji State for 2014-15

 Jack Ramsey – F – Penticton Vees

6-foot-2, 185 pounds   HOMETOWN: Chanhassen, MInn.

9G – 16A – 25Pts

Headed to U. of Minnesota for 2014-15

Players not listed but possible selections:

Liam Coughlin, F, Vernon Vipers
Danton Heinen, F, Surrey Eagles
Matt Ustaski, C, Langley Rivermen
Connor LaCouvee, G, Alberni Valley Bulldogs

From the NCAA:

Shane Hanna, D, Michigan Tech (Penticton/Salmon Arm, 2011-13)
Devon Toews, D, Quinnipiac (Surrey Eagles, 2011-13)
Troy Stecher, D, North Dakota (Penticton Vees, 2010-13)
Kevin Guiltinan, D, Harvard (Vernon/Prince George, 2012-13)”

 

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