Vees Add to Blue-Line Depth

Photo: Toronto Lakeshore Patriots

The Vees made another trade just 48 hours after the blockbuster that  saw them land Sam Mellor and Rob Mann. Today the team officially announced the acquisition of defenseman of James De Haas from the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots of the OJHL. I say officially because you may recall I wrote about the deal a couple weeks ago. Then the trade wasn’t officially, some dotting of T’s and crossing of I’s were still in order. However, after a long process, De Haas is finally a member of the Vees.

The press release touches on his junior career and so far it’s been very good. This past June he was snagged by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL Entry Draft in the 6th round, and we all know how well the Red Wings draft in late rounds (Lindstrom, Zetterberg and Datsyuk ring a bell?). I’m not stating that he’s going to be at that level but what I’ve been told is he’s quite the player. The Vees are getting a defenseman who has the rare tools of both size (6’3 200 lbs.) and speed, not to mention a hockey IQ that hockey personnel rave about. I’m not going out and saying this is the next Mike Reilly, that would be comparing apples to oranges. De Haas will be a player and quite the player at that for the Vees and will only get better better as the season progresses. With Mann and now De Haas the Vees have bulked up the blue-line ahead of September; this won’t be an easy team to play against in their zone.


July 26th, 2012


PENTICTON, BC – The Penticton Vees Hockey Club has acquired defenseman James De Haas (94) from the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots, for the rights of forward Mike Sones (92).

De Haas played 45 games in 2011-2012, where he collected 10 goals, 29 points and 32 Penalty-Minutes. In 21 playoff games, De Haas accumulated five goals and 12 points, helping the Patriots to a Conference Championship appearance. The 18 year-old was drafted this past June by the Detroit Red Wings in the sixth round, 170th overall. De Haas is committed for Clarkson University, for the fall of 2013.

Vees Head Coach and GM Fred Harbinson says De Haas is someone the Vees had on their radar for a while, “We’ve been hard at work on this deal for quite some time. James has all the tools, size, quick feet and smart puck moving ability. We are very fortunate to add a player with James skill set and determination.”

Clarkson University is located in Potsdam, New York and play in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference in NCAA Division l Hockey. The Golden Knights have made 20 NCAA postseason appearances, winning five ECAC tournament titles and 10 regular-season championships in their 90 year history. Former Vee, Ben Sexton will captain the Golden Knights in 2012-2013. Notable NHL alumni include Erik Cole and Willie Mitchell, both Stanley Cup Champions.

De Haas checks in a 6’3 and 200 lbs. adding more size to the Vees blue-line. The De Haas trade comes on the heels of another acquisition, where the Vees added another sizable defenseman Rob Mann, from the Markham Waxers.

The first chance to see the new acquisitions will be August 23rd, when the Vees open their Main Camp at the SOEC.


About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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