Vees name Arnott, Pichette Co-Captains; announce 2023-24 Leadership Group

PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Vees are pleased to announce forwards Callum Arnott (’04) and Thomas Pichette (’03) have been named Co-Captains for the 2023-24 season. Rounding out the leadership group is forward Conyr Hellyer (’04) and defenceman Nolan Stevenson (’05), who will serve as Alternate Captains.

“I believe your leadership group is an extension of your coaching staff. We wanted captains that understand the league, understand what this team means to Penticton, and understand our program’s high standards. Cal and Thomas have won championships and know what it takes,” said Vees’ President, General Manager & Head Coach, Fred Harbinson.

Arnott and Pichette are the 57th and 58th players in Vees’ franchise history to wear the ‘C’, as they succeed graduated Captain Frank Djurasevic.

It’s the third time in Harbinson’s tenure the team will have Co-Captains. Patrick Sexton and Cody DePourcq captained the 2014-15 squad and Owen Sillinger and Grant Cruikshank were Co-Captains during the 2017-18 season.

Arnott, 19, is back for his second season with the Vees after winning a BCHL Fred Page Cup championship a season ago. In his rookie season, the 6’0, 170-pound winger had 24 points (3G, 21A) in 49 regular season games. The King City, ON, product added five points (2G, 3A) in 17 playoff games last spring. Arnott is committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth.

“This organization has a long history of great leaders, and I am honoured to be a part of it and help lead this group,” commented Arnott. “Pich[ette] and I want to lead by example and set the standard, but it will also be important for us to speak up, as we have a whole new group,” said Arnott.

Pichette returns for this third and final season with the Vees. The product of Maskinonge, QC, had 29 points (15G, 14A) in 44 regular season games a year ago. The 20-year-old had nine points (6G, 3A) in 15 playoff games, which included an overtime goal. In two seasons in Penticton, the winger has played in 91 career regular season games and has posted 52 career points (23G, 29 A). Pichette is committed to the University of Maine.

Pichette is the most seasoned player on the Vees’ roster, and he says he will lean on that when guiding the team, “With Cal and I the only returning players, it’s like a whole new team. I think it’s great we have two captains, so we can take the lead and show these guys what it means to be a Vee.”

Hellyer signed with the Vees this off-season after playing the last two years with his hometown Okotoks Oilers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The 19-year-old led Okotoks in scoring a season ago with 61 points (30G, 31A) in 48 regular season games. He added six points, all assists, in 10 playoff games. He was an Alternate Captain for the Oilers. Hellyer is committed to Arizona State University.

Stevenson is set to embark on his rookie season in the B.C. Hockey League. The 18-year-old comes to Penticton after playing the last three years with the Regina Pat Canadians in the Saskatchewan AAA Hockey League. The Shaunavon, SK, product captained the Pat Canadians last season and posted 40 points (8G, 32A) in 43 games. Stevenson is committed to play at the University of Nebraska Omaha.