The Penticton Vees made one deal before the December 1st roster deadline, as they acquired center Steen Cooper from the Cowichan Valley Capitals in exchange for defenseman Clint Filbrandt, and the playing rights of defenseman Matt Berry-Lamontagna.
Cooper is 18 but in his third season and nearing the 150 career games played mark (131), so despite his age he will bring plenty of experience to the Vees fold; something that’s a plus for a young squad. His numbers won’t necessarily jump out at you but he has a lot of offensive upside. A play-making centerman that has the skill to be a top-six guy and one that will likely be a special teams player once he gets acclimated. Not sure which line he will slide on but that will get sorted out over the next two days of practice.
Cooper won’t be phased about playing in a market that always has high expectations, as he was “the face of the franchise” for the Caps; a local boy playing on his hometown team. How popular was he? Well:
(A screen grab of the Cowichan Valley Capitals website this morning.)
Cooper will be able to handle the riggers of playing for an organization that is always looked at as a contender and in market that is passionate about their team; Cowichan Valley has one of the most passionate fan bases.
Obviously he likely had mixed emotions about not only leaving his hometown but the only place he has played junior hockey. However, by judging the Tweet he sent out last night, Cooper is excited to be joining the blue & white
Cooper isn’t totally unfamiliar with the Vees, as he was teammates with Paul Stoykewych on Team Canada West at the 2013 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge. The two won a bronze medal with TCW and knowing one person inside the Vees dressing room will make things that much easier. Plus, Cooper is committed to Minnesota State, Mankato and so too his his new teammates in Brad McClure and Max Coatta; something to connect with.
Cooper is expected to arrive some point this afternoon in Penticton and when he does, I’ll get an interview about the trade, and posted up on here as soon as possible. Cooper will wear number 17 and will make his debut on Wednesday versus Merritt.