Familiar faces join Penticton Vees lineup

Former Vees player and OHA alumni join the team for the rest of the campaign

A West Kelowna Warriors forward battles Penticton Vees defenseman James Miller in BCHL action last season. Western News file photo

One of the last times James Miller was in a Penticton Vees jersey he assisted on the Fred Page Cup game-winning goal — nearly eight months later and he has returned.

“It’s definitely familiar. There is a lot of good memories here,” said Miller who suited up for the Vees practice on Monday after a trade brought him back to the friendly confines of the South Okanagan Events Centre. “It’s definitely the highlight of my career. This is the best junior hockey team in Canada, the best organization, so it is definitely nice to be back.”

Related: No-luck Penticton Vees battle through injuries

Miller, who was rostered with the University of New Hampshire, had played just two games due to the team having an over-abundance of defencemen.

“At this point in my career, I just thought coming back here to juniors would be best and no better place to come back to than Penticton. I thought coming back here to develop and play games is the right idea for me,” he said.

Miller said he hopes to take an active leadership role on the team with the experience he has from last year’s Fred Page Cup win and on to the RBC Cup.

“They have their leadership core and I hope I can add to that. I’m looking forward to getting going with the game on Wednesday and rolling through the rest of the season with these guys.”

Following back-to-back wins (over the Prince George Spruce Kings and Wenatchee Wild) on the weekend at the SOEC, the Vees announced three roster moves on Sunday night.

The Vees sent forward Ben Allen to the Melfort Mustangs in exchange for the rights to Miller and future considerations.

Wyatt Sloboshan, from Vanscoy, Sask., joins the team after spending three and half seasons in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs and Regina Pats. He served as the Blades captain for the first 30 games last season, when he was traded to the Chiefs. This season he played in 36 games with the Pats, scoring four times and adding 11 assists.

“He is a good two-way forward which we need. He is a feisty forward that can play both centre and wing. We will only benefit from him coming here,” said Vees head coach Fred Harbinson.

The forward spent the 2013-24 season at the Okanagan Hockey Academy scoring 48 points in 28 games. That season he also played with Vees forward Jackson Keane at the World Under-17 Hockey Championships.

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