Update: Young Stars Classic returning to Penticton

Top prospects of four NHL clubs will visit this September for fourth annual tournament and mini training camps

Watching top NHL prospects in the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic is turning into an annual event for Okanagan hockey fans.

“We would sure like to see it that way,” said Stan Smyl, senior advisor to the Canucks general manager.

“That’s the way we see the future of the Classic going.”

The hockey club announced Thursday the event would return to Penticton in September for the fourth time. Rookie squads from the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets will attend.

“We are quite excited. It’s turning into a signature event,” said event chair and city councillor Andrew Jakubeit.

“We really want to showcase that.”

Smyl said it’s because of the great support from Okanagan residents and the Penticton area coming out and watching the younger players.

With the Oilers selecting third overall, the Flames fourth, Canucks sixth and the Jets ninth in this year’s NHL draft, Smyl said Penticton fans could potentially see highly touted prospects such as Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart or Michael Dal Colle.

The 2014 Canucks Young Stars Classic will run Sept.12-15. Ticket packages will go on sale on Friday, July 11, at 10 a.m.

“We are excited to host the Young Stars Classic, now in its fourth year, in beautiful Penticton,” said Trevor Linden, president of Canucks Sports and Entertainment, in a statement.

“This is an excellent tournament to develop and assess our prospects in competitive game situations. We have amazing fans in the Okanagan and look forward to sharing an NHL experience with them while celebrating the rich hockey history of Penticton.”

Tournament ticket packages include six games for $60. This all-event package offers best value to fans with savings of 30 per cent until Aug.15. A new offering this year are two VIP ticket packages for $85 and $180, respectively, plus applicable fees.

Jakubeit noted that deal is aggressively priced to get packages out the door.

“Especially considering the calibre of hockey that is coming here,” he said.

“The more tickets we sell early the more buzz there is. We want the building full.

Jakubeit also said the Young Stars Classic will continue a hockey festival theme, making it a “must attend” event while also providing significant economic impact and exposure for the community and facilities.

This year’s festivities include a Canucks Town Hall Breakfast, Minor Hockey Day, which will include a Party on the Plaza event with games, food, music and entertainment and a skills and development camps for minor hockey players.

While not part of the Classic, a ticket to the Penticton Vees’ exhibition game will be included in tournament packages. Jakubeit said it’s an opportunity to showcase those players and a way to involve the Vees, who in previous years have been in Chilliwack at the same time for the Bauer BCHL Showcase.

“We want to be partners to them, they give up their dressing room for the Canucks to use,” said Jakubeit. “It’s sort of a give back.”

2014 Young Stars Classic schedule*





Game 1

Calgary vs Winnipeg

Sept. 12

4:00 pm

Game 2

Vancouver vs Edmonton

Sept. 12

7:30 pm

Game 3

Calgary vs Edmonton

Sept. 13

7:30 pm

Game 4

Vancouver vs Winnipeg

Sept. 14

2:00 pm

Game 5

Penticton Vees’ Exhibition

Sept. 14

5:30 pm

Game 6

Edmonton vs Winnipeg

Sept. 15

11:30 am

Game 7

Vancouver vs Calgary

Sept. 15

5:30 pm

*Game dates, times and opponents subject to change.