The Penticton Vees Jr. A Hockey Club held a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC), where they made several announcements, including launching their 2017-18 season ticket membership program.
New for the 2017-18 season is a 12-month interest free payment plan for Vees’ Season Ticket Memberships, which now includes exhibition, regular season and playoff tickets- which includes potential Doyle Cup games. Payment options are just $28, $30 and $32 per month! Fans still have the option to pay in full and those packages start at just $189. The Vees are only releasing 300 new season ticket memberships for the upcoming season.
“We continue to push the envelope when it comes to the value we offer to our dedicated fans. Year after year, we have a team that’s competing for championships and in the one of best facilities in junior hockey, and all of it’s at arguably the best value in the entire league. Our new monthly payment plan makes it easier than ever to become a member of Vees Nation,” said Director of Corporate Sales David Michaud.
Season Ticket Memberships save fans 40-50 percent on regular season ticket prices and 25 percent on playoff pricing. Season Ticket Members will also receive discounts on Vees’ merchandise on select nights in the team store and access to exclusive merchandise items.
The Vees’ announced outgoing Captain Nicholas Jones as their 2017 Playoff MVP. The 20-year-old, bound for the University of North Dakota, led the Vees in playoff scoring with 44 points in 32 games. The Edmonton, Alberta, product was second in the BCHL scoring race, helping lead the Vees to their 12th Fred Page Cup championship in franchise history, beating the Chilliwack Chiefs in an epic seven-game series in April. Jones continued his dominance at the Western Canada Cup, where he was named the tournament’s Top Forward after recording 11 points in six games, and had another six points in five games at the RBC Cup in Cobourg, Ontario. Jones is a repeat winner, as he was the team’s Playoff MVP in 2016.
The team has also named Grant Cruikshank and Owen Sillinger as Co-Captains for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Sillinger will wear the ‘C’ for all home games and Cruikshank for every road game. The Vees will solidify the remainder of their leadership group closer to the start of the 2017-18 regular season.
“When you look at Vees’ Captains in my time here they all have the same characteristics and Owen and Grant are cut from that mold. They’re natural leaders and will work well together,” said President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson.
Sillinger, who will turn 20 in September, is returning for his third season with the Vees and served as an Alternate Captain this past season. In two seasons in Penticton Sillinger has compiled 33 goals and 86 points in 115 regular season games, and another 22 points in 43 playoff games. The Regina, Saskatchewan, native is committed to Bemidji State University.
Cruikshank just completed a very successful rookie season, where he led the Vees with 32 goals in 57 regular season games, and finished second in team scoring behind Jones with 53 points. His standout season didn’t go unnoticed, as Cruikshank was named to the BCHL’s All-Rookie Team. The future Wisconsin Badger had another 11 goals and 21 points in 32 playoff games.
To go along with over a dozen returning players, the Vees are excited to announce several recruits for the upcoming season.
Goaltender Adam Scheel (99) comes to Penticton after spending the past two seasons with the US National Team Development Program (USNTDP) in Plymouth, Michigan. Scheel, who’s from Lakewood, Ohio, recently won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2017 Under 18 World Hockey Championship in Slovakia. Scheel is committed to the University of North Dakota.
Reinforcing the blue-line are defencemen Garrett Ewert (99), Ryan O’Connell (99) and Luke Reid (01).
Ewert, 18, played with his hometown Kamloops Storm in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League this past season, where he led the team in scoring with 42 points in 39 regular season games. Ewert also played 10 games with the Vees this past season as an Affiliate Player.
O’Connell, who’s also 18, spent the past two seasons playing prep hockey at St. Andrew’s College (SAC) in Aurora, Ontario. O’Connell hails from Gloucester, Ontario, had 37 points in 54 games this past season for SAC and is committed to Boston University. He’s a projected late round pick by NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago.
Reid, who turns 16 in September, is in the process of relocating with his family to Penticton from Warman, Saskatchewan. Reid played the last two seasons with the Battlefords Stars in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. This past season Reid had 23 points in 39 games and he is verbally committed to the University of North Dakota.
Some familiar names highlight the forward crop that is coming in for the 2017-18 season, as Jack Barnes (00), Cassidy Bowes (99), Cameron Hillis (00), Ryan Sandelin (99) and Lukas Sillinger (00) will play for the Vees in the fall.
Barnes 17, and Bowes, 18, both played next door at the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) for their Midget Prep Red team. Barnes, the son of former NHLer Stu Barnes, had 26 points in 24 games in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL), and 51 points in 60 games at OHA over the past two seasons. Bowes had 21 goals and 49 points in in 30 games with OHA Prep Red and had two goals and five points in 18 playoff games for the Vees as an Affiliate Player.
Hillis, who turns 17 next month, played with Ryan O’Connell at St. Andrew’s College. The Enniskillin, Ontario, product had 37 goals and 99 points in 73 games with SAC. Hillis also played for Team Canada Red at the 2016 World Under-17 Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Hillis is committed to Providence College and his family will relocate to Penticton in the coming weeks.
Sandelin, 18, comes to Penticton after a successful high school career in his hometown of Hermantown, Minnesota. In March, Sandelin helped the Hermantown Hawks repeat as Class A Minnesota State Boys’ Hockey Champions and he was named to the All-Tournament Team. As a senior, Sandelin led Hermantown in scoring in the Minnesota State High School League, with 27 goals and 63 points in just 25 games, and was a finalist for the Mr. Hockey Award, which is given out to top senior boys’ high school player in Minnesota. Sandelin is committed to Minnesota State University, Mankato.
16-year-old Lukas Sillinger, is the younger brother of Vees’ Captain Owen Sillinger, and he played for the Regina Pat Canadians in the SMHL. Lukas lead the Pat Canadians and the league in scoring, with 78 points in 40 games, and was also named to the SMHL First All-Star Team. Sillinger and the Pat Canadians won the SMHL championship and they finished fourth at the TELUS Cup, the National Midget Championship in Prince George. Sillinger and his family will be moving to Penticton over the summer.
For further information on Season Ticket Memberships, visit our website www.pentictonvees.ca, or phone Laura Carleton in the Vees office at 250-493-8337 (extension 4).