Vees Hire Michaud, Set to Host Bandits, Jost and Fabbro Still Exploring NCAA Options, Warriors and Blades Swap Goalies, Smokies Bring Back Kauppila, Povelovskie Retires from BCHL:

In an article posted on Sunday, Hockey Now looks at next weekend’s NHL Entry Draft and which BCHL players could be drafted. It makes note of the fact that Langley’s Marcus Vela is the only BCHL player ranked in the top 220, but that’s only according to International Scouting Services. As was announced back in April, there are five BCHLers ranked among the top 210 North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings for the draft. Regardless, Michael Potestio’s article on the Hockey Now website is here.

The Penticton Vees will host the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits for two pre-season games this September. The first game is Friday, September 4th at 7 pm while the second is the following night, Saturday, September 5th at 6 pm, both at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The games are the first time the Vees and Bandits face each other since they met in the final edition of the Doyle Cup in 2012.

Ryan Kennedy, a writer for The Hockey News, created some waves on Friday when he Tweeted that Penticton forward Tyson Jost has narrowed his NCAA options down to either the University of North Dakota or Denver University, The 17-year-old was a first round bantam draft pick by the WHL’s Everett Silvertips in 2013 and had 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists) in 46 games with Penticton last season. It has been confirmed that Jost will return to the Vees in 2015-16 and will serve as Penticton’s captain.

According to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, Vees defenseman Dante Fabbro is considering an NCAA commitment to Denver University among other schools. Fabbro, who just turned 17 on Saturday, had 33 points (four goals, 29 assists) in 44 games as the youngest player on Penticton in 2014-15. He was chosen eighth overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft by Seattle and will also return to the Vees for this coming season. Chambers article is here.

Meanwhile, Jost and Fabbro are also both projected to be first round picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by Future Considerations. The website issued its preliminary rankings on Sunday, Jost is ranked 12th overall and Fabbro is ranked 20th overall. The complete rankings are here. If Jost and Fabbro are selected in the first round next June, it will be the first time a BCHL team has had two players from the same team chosen since 2004. That year Salmon Arm saw teammates Travis Zajac and Kris Chucko selected 20th and 24th, respectively.

The Vees have snagged Okanagan Rockets GM David Michaud as their new Director of Player Development and Corporate Sales. Michaud has been with the BC Major Midget League team since 2010 and guided the Rockets to a 116-56-28 record over those five seasons. He will stay on with the Rockets in an advisory role in 2015-16.

West Kelowna was forced to shuffle its staff late last week, with word that Brent Gough had stepped down as Associate Coach to join the Arizona Bobcats AAA program as Head Coach. The 31-year-old, who had been behind the Warriors bench since the 2010-11 season, will remain as West Kelowna’s Assistant GM and also adds the Director of Player Personnel title to his role. In Gough’s place behind the bench, Shae Naka returns to the Warriors as Assistant Coach, which is a role he had during the 2012-13 season. Naka spent last season with the Pursuit of Excellence program.

The Trail Smoke Eaters nabbed a player from their past late Thursday, with the signing of 20-year-old Jake Kauppila. The Gurnee, IL product spent 2014-15 with the US Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers, where he had 19 points (nine goals, ten assists) in 60 games. Kauppila last played in the BCHL with Alberni Valley. He put up nine points (four goals, five assists) in 18 games with the Bulldogs after being traded by Trail on January 10, 2014. In 41 games prior to the trade, Kauppila posted 27 points (ten goals, 17 assists) with the Smoke Eaters. He was slated to attend Michigan Tech this September, but will now head to the NCAA Div. I school in the fall of 2016.

West Kelowna picked up a veteran goaltender in a trade with the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. Coming to the Warriors is netminder Daniel Mannella while heading east is 19-year-old goalie Scott Patton and future considerations. Mannella is a veteran of 122 junior A games in the OJHL with Oakville, Stouffville and Georgetown. The soon to be 20-year-old has a career record of 53-53-6, a 2.82 goals-against-average, a .910 save percentage and seven shutouts. He also represented Team Canada East at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge. Meanwhile, Patton, who’s from Cambridge, ON, had a 10-7 record with the Warriors last season along with a 3.66 goals-against-average and an .885 save percentage. 

Alberni Valley forward Tyler Povelofskie has hung up his skates at the age of 18, with an eye on his future. The Williams Lake, BC product will attend Thompson Rivers University in the Heavy Duty/Transport Mechanic program. “With a shop giving him the opportunity to have his education paid for, it is like a scholarship to him,” said Bulldogs GM and Head Coach Kevin Willison in a release. Povelofskie retires with 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 80 career BCHL games with Prince George, Vernon, and Alberni Valley.

Forward Shawn Horcoff (Chilliwack, 1995-96) won’t be re-signed by Dallas and is an unrestricted free agent come July 1st. The 36-year-old from Trail had 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 76 games with the Stars in 2014-15. He’s 51 games away from playing in his 1,000th career NHL game.

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