Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees are excited to announce they have received commitments from 2000-born forward Drew Elser and 2000-born defenceman Conner Hutchison for the 2018-19 season.
Elser, from Hopewell Junction, New York spent the 2017-18 season with the Central Illinois Flying Aces of the United States Hockey League, scoring eight goals and eight assists in 36 games before having his season cut short by a sports hernia.
Elser is the youngest of four brothers and is committed to the University of Connecticut in the future.
Hutchison, from Hicksville, New York, played last season at the Selects Hockey Academy U18 program, helping them win the USPHL U18 league championship while scoring nine goals with 42 assists in 49 games. He also dressed for two games with the Chicago Steel of the USHL, registering one assist. Additionally, Hutchison helped his team win the U18 Nationals, which sees the top U18 programs in the United States compete for a championship.
The 5’11’’, 181-pound defenceman has a scholarship to the University of Vermont. His brother Nick spent two seasons with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks from 2014-2016 and now plays at Canisius College. His sister Cailey is about to enter her senior year at the University of Maine.
Elser and Hutchison spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons as teammates on the Selects Hockey Academy U16 team, and both decided to pursue their junior hockey careers in Penticton rather than the USHL.
The two players will join the rest of their teammates in Penticton in August for training camp ahead of the 2018-19 season.