More positive news for next year and maybe the biggest, as both Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost have confirmed they’ll return for their second season with the team in 2015-2016. Fabbro and Jost are considered two of the top ’98-born players in Canada and are entering their first year (and very likely only year) of draft eligibility. So Penticton and BCHL fans can now see two potential first round NHL draft picks next year.
Both garnered plenty of interest at the NCAA and major junior level but chose to come back to Penticton for their second year of junior; that says something about the program Fred Harbinson has built. Many NHL draft websites and publications have both players projected as first round picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The last first round’er to play on the Vees was Beau Bennett, as he was taken in the first round by Pittsburgh in 2010, after his only season in Penticton. The last time two players on the same BCHL team were picked in the first round was in 2004, when Salmon Arm’s Travis Zajac and Kris Chucko had their names called. Zajac was picked 20th overall by New Jersey and Chucko went four picks later to Calgary. So, as he can see it doesn’t happen often so it tells you how special these two are.
Jost and Fabbro are two more key pieces to what looks like a very promising roster in 2015-2016. The Vees are restocking the cupboards very nicely with their recent recruiting announcements and with today’s announcement of Jost and Fabbro. I’m already looking forward to September.
Tyson Jost: ’98 Centre / 6’0 – 195 / 14-15 Stats: GP 46 23-22-45
Jost, 17, had a terrific season up front for the Vees finishing fourth in team scoring in the regular season, as he averaged nearly a point per-game, with 23 goals and 45 points in 46 games; his 23 goals were tied for the team lead. Those numbers didn’t go unnoticed, as he was named to the BCHL All-Rookie team this spring. Jost found another gear in the playoffs, scoring a team-best 10 goals in 21 BCHL playoff games, en route to the Vees Fred Page Cup Championship win over Nanaimo. He turned heads at the Western Canada Cup (WCC), compiling five goals and six points as the Vees won their first ever WCC Championship in franchise history. Jost was also named the tournament’s Top Forward and Top Scorer.
He shined on the national stage as well, picking up three goals and four points at the 2015 RBC Cup in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. He also is the first player to have played in all four Hockey Canada tournaments. He won bronze at the 2014 Telus Cup with the Okanagan Rockets, suited up for Canada at both the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, and helped the Vees to a semi-final berth at the RBC Cup. Including the BCHL regular season, playoffs, Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup, Jost had an impressive 41 goals and 69 points in 76 games.
Dante Fabbro: ’98 Defenseman / 6’1 – 185 / 14-15 Stats: GP 44 4-29-33
Fabbro excelled on the Vees blue-line this year, despite what his birth certificate says. The 16-year-old was the third-highest scoring defensemen on the Vees roster this year, compiling 33 points in just 44 games; international duty had him miss 12 games. That regular season earned him a spot on the BCHL All-Rookie team alongside Tyson Jost. Despite being the Vees youngest rear-guard, Fabbro excelled in the BCHL post-season, as he was the highest-scoring Vees defenseman, notching four goals and 15 points in 21 playoff games, helping the Vees captured their second league championship in four years. Fabbro, like Jost, wore the maple leaf at both the World Under-17 Challenge and World Junior ‘A’ Challenge.
Fabbro continued his strong play in Alberta and Manitoba at the Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup. At the WCC, the blue-liner had a pair of goals and three points in five games, and another three assists in five more games at the RBC Cup. Fabbro played a key role on the Vees blue-line in the post-season and his performance at the RBC Cup led to him being named the tournament’s Top Defenseman.