Losing a Family Member

The Penticton Vees organization lost a member of its family over the weekend. After a very courageous battle with cancer, team Chaplain Jamie Weberg passed away on Sunday.

Jamie was the team’s Chaplain for the past four years and touched so many people in the organization and in the community

Jamie was a truly inspirational personal who had so much love and compassion for those he interacted with. On behalf of the team, I would like to send our condolences to the Weberg family.

Jamie will always be with us.

#DIFJ

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2015-16 BCHL Schedule is Out

BCHL Schedule

The BCHL released the regular season schedule for the 2015-16 on Friday and the puck drops on Friday, September 11th. On that night the Vees open their season in the North Shuswap as they face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the Shaw Centre.

The Vees home opener is earlier than in years past, as they lift the curtain on the home schedule Wednesday, September 16th against the Vernon Vipers.

SCHEDULE 

VEES PRESS RELEASE 

BCHL PRESS RELEASE 

Schedule Footnotes 

  • Vees start the season on the road Friday, September 11th at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm. They also closeout the regular season in Salmon Arm on Saturday, February 27th.
  • Home Opener is set for Wednesday, September 16th at the SOEC. The Vees are facing the Vernon Vipers and will also be raising their championship banners from the 2014-15 season. That will be the first game between the Vees and Vipers since that epic 2015 Interior Division Final.
  • The BCHL Bauer Showcase is September 24th-27th in Chilliwack. The Vees face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Thursday, September 24th and the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday, September 25th. It’s an afternoon game against the ‘Dogs at 4 pm and they face the Chiefs in prime time at 7:30. New for this year is the event being over four days as opposed to a three-day Showcase.
  • The Vees have two Island Division road trips this season. The first is a two-game jaunt to Powell River and Cowichan Valley on October 23rd and 24th. The Vees are in Powell River on the 23rd and Cow’ Valley on the 24th. The Vees have a three-game swing in February which seems them stop in Victoria, Nanaimo and Alberni Valley. Thursday, February 4th, their in Victoria, Friday, February 5th in Nanaimo and Saturday, February 6th they’re at the Dog Pound.
  • The Vees and Clippers hookup for the first time on Saturday, November 7th, at the SOEC. That will be the first game against the two since game six of the Fred Page Cup Final in April.
  • The Vees face the Wenatchee Wild at home on Wednesday, January 13th, and they make their first ever cross-border trip on Saturday, January 23rd. I think every has that game circled on their calendars. I’m excited to checkout the Toyota Town Centre and call hockey south of the 49th’.
  • The Christmas break starts after a home and home set with the West Kelowna Warriors on December 19th & 20th. The Vees return to action on New Year’s Day in Vernon and I wonder if we can play that one outdoors?
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Bauer BCHL Showcase Schedule Released

2015 Showcase

Wednesday, the BCHL released its schedule for the Bauer BCHL showcase in September. The Vees play the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Thursday, September 24th and the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday, September 25th.

Of note, this marks the third straight season the Vees face the Bulldogs at the Showcase; they won the previous two. Also this is the second time in four years the Vees are playing the Chiefs at the Showcase as well. Another item worth noting, is the fact the Showcase is NOT the kick-off to the BCHL season. The regular season will start two weeks prior to the event, that would be Friday, September 11th. All I can divulge at this point is the Vees will be on the road that night and against another Interior Division team. That means teams will go to the Showcase with three to four games under their belts. That means fans and scouts will see a more polished product at the event; win-win.

Bauer BCHL Showcase Schedule CLICK HERE 

The complete BCHL schedule will likely be released late next week after Canada Day (July 1st for my American readers). The NHL released it’s schedule today and the Western Hockey League unveiled theirs yesterday, so now BCHL teams will do a last check over before making their schedules public. My money would be on Friday, July 3rd as a release date.

 

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Three Vees Invited to Hockey Canada National Teams’ Summer Showcase

Photo: Hockey Canada

Photo: Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada announced its rosters for their Summer Showcase for their World Junior, Under-18 and Under-17 programs and of the 194 players invited, three are Penticton Vees. Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro have been invited to the Under-18 camp and incoming defenseman Griffin Mendel has been invited to the Under-17 camp.

As Hockey Canada notes in their press release, this is the inaugural Summer Showcase and the first time they’ve brought together all three of Canada’s national men’s programs in the same city at the same time.

These camps kickoff the process of constructing rosters for the three Canada national men’s programs. Hockey Canada uses these camps to get a feel for which players will suit up for the World Junior team in December, the Under-17 team  at the World Under-17 Challenge and the Under-18 at the World U-18 Hockey Championship in April.

Here’s more from Hockey Canada:

Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp

From July 31-Aug. 4, 43 players – four goaltenders, 15 defencemen and 24 forwards – will participate in practices and three Red-White intrasquad games at the Markin MacPhail Centre.

Of the 43 players who have been invited to the selection camp, 22 will be selected for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team for the 2015 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, Aug. 10-15 in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia. Canada has won the summer under-18 tournament seven consecutive years and 10 of the last 11.

Canada’s national under-17 development camp

From July 29-Aug. 4, 111 players – 12 goaltenders, 36 defenceman and 63 forwards – will participate in practices and a nine-game mini-tournament on one of six teams: Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Red and White.

From the development camp, 66 players will be selected to represent Canada on one of three national teams – Black, Red and White – at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, which is scheduled for Oct. 30 – Nov. 7 in a yet-to-be-determined host city.

All 111 players have been drafted or listed by CHL teams, including 45 from the Ontario Hockey League, 34 from the Western Hockey League and 32 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

All practices and intrasquad games during the Hockey Canada National Teams’ Summer Showcase, except for the four Team Canada exhibition games against the Czech Republic and Russia, will be open to the public.

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Early Look at the 2016 NHL Draft

Jost_Fabbro

Future Considerations, one of the more well-known hockey prospect publications, released it’s 2016 NHL Entry Draft projections and both Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro are projected as 1st Round picks next June.

'16 NHL Draft

As you can see, Jost is ranked 12th and Fabbro 20th but this is a fluid list, that will see players rise and fall as the season unfolds in the fall. Other publications have both Jost and Fabbro inside the top 10 for next year’s draft. There will certainly be a lot of debate throughout next season on where the two will be ranked but at least we know there will be a lot buzz around them and the Vees.

If you want to read about their early 2016 projections CLICK HERE 

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Keith Cup Champ + Conn Smythe & More

 

Photo: Chicago Blackhawks Twitter (@NHLBlackhawks)

Former Penticton Panthers Duncan Keith and Kyle Cumiskey  and the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup Monday night at the United Center, blanking the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0. For Keith, and a good chunk of the roster, it was their third Cup in six years.

Keith, who calls Penticton home in the off-season, played two seasons or 119 games for the Penticton Panthers from 1999-2001 before a season and a half of college hockey at Michigan State; he was drafted by Chicago out of Michigan State in 2002. Keith then played half a season with the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL and won a championship in 2003. Cumiskey played for the Panthers in the 2002-03 season, before winning a Memorial Cup in 2004 with the Rockets.

Keith also took home the Conn Smythe Trophy, the award that’s handed out to the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP. How good was he? From the NHL:

(Scored the game winning-goal) It was his 21st point of the playoffs, which tied Chris Chelios for the most points by a Blackhawks defenseman in a postseason. It tied Chris Pronger for the most points by a defenseman in the past 20 years; Pronger had 21 in 2006 with the Edmonton Oilers.

Keith, who led defenseman in the playoffs with 18 assists, became the first defenseman to win the Conn Smythe since Scott Niedermayer in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks. Keith has won the Norris Trophy twice and has two Olympic gold medals.”

So Lord Stanley should be getting another tan in Penticton this summer.

Now that the NHL season is officially over, former Vees defenseman Mike Reilly is now a Free Agent. Reilly is one of the most sought after UFA’s on the NHL market, as several teams are lining up for his services. Reilly did win a bronze medal at the IIHF World Hockey Championship with Team USA in May. He spent the last three seasons at the University of Minnesota and will forgo his Senior year to sign in the NHL.

The Score has an article on Reilly and what may lay ahead. CLICK HERE 

Allen2015Champs

Photo: ECHL.com

Keith wasn’t the only Penticton alum to get his hands on a Cup, as former Penticton Vees goaltender Joel Rumpel won the ECHL Kelly Cup Championship with the Allen Americans on Sunday afternoon.  The Americans beat the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 7 at home to capture their first Kelly Cup in their first year in the ECHL; they had won back-to-back CHL Championships before making the jump.

Rumpel was signed by the San Jose Sharks after his senior year at Wisconsin, then was reassigned to Allen for their playoff run. Rumpel did go to Worcester, the Sharks AHL affiliate, before finding his way to Allen; their ECHL affiliate. Rumpel played in seven playoff games for the Americans, posting a 3-2 record and 2.94 goals-against average.

For a full recap of the Kelly Cup and the Americans win, CLICK HERE.

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Keith, Reilly Making Headlines in June

pen-mreilly-dkeith

From the BCHL:

They both patrolled the blueline in Penticton. They both were named the BCHL’s Top Defenceman. And with the Stanley Cup Finals going on, both are dominant in the hockey headlines.

They are Duncan Keith and Mike Reilly, separated by 10 years in age but equally topical in the hockey world at the moment.

Keith, who won the BCHL Top Defenceman award in 2001 before going to Michigan State, is currently averaging about 29 minutes of ice time a night as the Hawks are in the hunt for a third Stanley Cup in five seasons.
Reilly, who got the hardware in 2012 as part of a Vees’ dream season and RBC Cup national championship, is garnering huge interest from several NHL clubs after de-registering from the University of Minnesota following his junior season.

Keith continues to wow fans and analysts alike by continually logging more ice than anyone else and continually producing at an all-world level with 20 points in 21 playoff games. In an air-tight series like this Finals against Tampa Bay has been, Keith’s performance has him listed as a favourite for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Reilly has generated his share of ink by making it known he’s exploring the free-agent market despite being drafted in the fourth round by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011. He could become one of Keith’s teammates soon as he was hosted by the Blackhawks on Monday for Game 3 of the Finals. The 6-foot, 185-pound defenceman was named BIG 10 Defensive Player of the Year this past season and suited up for Team USA at the World Championships where he helped the squad to a bronze medal.

Now, because he played a year of BCHL hockey before going to the University of Minnesota, he’ll be a free agent on June 15 and NHL teams – Columbus among them – are wasting no time in trying to land the top young talent.

Monday brings the official start of Free Agency for Reilly. It could also be the day the Stanley Cup is handed out. It could be a very exciting day for a couple of BCHL graduates.

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