Another significant move by the Vees in the last 48 hours, as the team announced today they’ve acquired power-forward Nic Pierog from the Surrey Eagles, in exchange for Anthony Conti and future considerations.
Pierog leaves the Eagles as their leading goal-scorer and is third in the BCHL in goals (26) behind Salmon Arm’s Landon Smith (34) and Brad McClure (29). Vees fans will remember Pierog from the 2013 Fred Page Cup Final last spring. He had nine goals in 17 playoff games, matching his regular season output, helping the Eagles to their first BCHL championship since 2005. Pierog is your prototypical power-forward, standing at 6’2 and checking in a 200 pounds. He’s tough to get off the puck and his numbers show he knows how to finish. He adds more depth at the Center position for the Vees, who just signed another 20-year-old Center in Erik Benoit on Friday.
To get a player like Pierog, you’re going to have to give up something pretty good in return and that’s the case in Anthony Conti. Just in his 18-year-old season, Conti has all the tools to be a Pierog-esk player in this league in the near future. In his first full rookie campaign, Conti had nine goals and 26 points and was known for his hard-nosed style of play. He’ll reunite with former Major Midget teammates in Bo Didur and Domenic Masellis in Surrey. Conti is joining a team that still holds a playoff spot but is looking to make a big push in 2014-15 and he’ll be a key piece for that squad.
I’ll catch up with the newest Vee at the rink tomorrow morning. For now you can find the team’s official press release below.
Official Press Release:
The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club has acquired forward Nic Pierog (93) from the Surrey Eagles, in exchange for forward Anthony Conti (95) and future considerations.
Vees President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson says two things standout with the newest acquisition, “Nic played a big part in stopping us short of repeating as Fred Page Cup Champions last spring. The addition of Nic not only adds scoring to our line-up but he also gives us much-needed size at the Centre position.”
Pierog, 20, is in his second season in the BCHL and was third in scoring on the Eagles with 26 goals and 38 points in 39 games. His 26 goals are third-best in the BCHL behind Salmon Arm’s Landon Smith and Vees Captain Brad McClure. The Georgetown, Ontario native won a Fred Page and Western Canada Cup championship last spring with the Eagles, en route to a semi-final appearance at the 2013 RBC Cup in Summerside, PEI. Last season, Pierog picked up nine goals and 24 points in 54 regular season games, and followed that up with nine goals and 10 points in 17 playoff games; Pierog brings plenty of experience.
Conti, 18, was in his first season with the Vees and compiled nine goals and 26 points in 37 games. The North Vancouver, BC product committed to the Vees this past summer after graduating from the Northwest Giants of the British Columbia Major Midget League last season. Conti helped guide the Giants to their fifth consecutive league championship last spring and finished fifth in team scoring with 18 goals and 48 points in 35 games. Conti is committed to Alaska-Anchorage for the 2015-16 season.
Pierog will wear number 61 with the Vees and will make his debut tomorrow afternoon when the Vees host the Merritt Centennials at 3pm. The Vees would like to thank Anthony for his contributions to the organization both on the ice and in the community.