The Penticton Vees have successfully recruited a 16-year old defenceman that they believe will immediately contribute to the team’s success.
Brady Smith, a defenceman from Prince Albert, Sask., has committed to the Vees for the 2022-2023 season, the team announced on Tuesday (Jan. 11).
Smith will come to Penticton after spending time with the Saskatchewan Contacts in the province’s midget AAA league.
Instead of pursuing a junior hockey career, perhaps in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Smith has opted to go in a different direction.
“Choosing the college route is an avenue that I thought would be the best for me in the long run,” he said. “Everyone that I talked to have said the Vees are where I want to go and get to the next level and I am excited to join a program that will help me develop while looking to win a championship.”
Smith’s assistant coach in Saskatchewan is former Vees defenceman Michael Hengen, who played in Penticton during the BCHL’s 2007-2008 season.
And as Smith gets ready to join Fred Harbinson’s program in Penticton, the Vees are just as eager to welcome him into the lineup.
“It is very rare to find a player of Brady’s size that can skate as well as he can,” said the team’s assistant general manager and coach Steve Cawley, “Combined with his offensive skills, we believe Brady will immediately contribute to our team’s success next season.”
Smith will join the team in the fall ahead of the 2022-2023 BCHL. campaign.
The Vees (21-4-0-2) are slated to return to the ice on Wednesday (Jan. 12) when they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (22-4-1-0) in a battle for first place at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Penticton paused all team activities on Jan. 5 because of COVID-19 and as a result, hasn’t played since New Year’s Day.