Penticton Vees defenceman James Miller was the BC Hockey League player of the week helping his team to five of a possible six points in three games. Mark Brett/Western News

Penticton Vee player of the week, new assistant coach joins team

Penticton’s James Miller named BCHL player of the week, former Surrey coach joins Vees

Six points in two games earned Penticton Vees defenceman James Miller the nod as the B.C. Hockey League’s (BCHL) player of the week.

The Spruce Grove, Alta. native had a personal best night last Wednesday scoring a pair goals and adding two assists against the visiting Merritt Centennials in a 6-2 Penticton win.

It was the first time he recorded more than two points in a single game in his junior career.

Related: Miller named Penticton Vees newest assistant captain

In his other game of the week the 20-year-old was held pointless in 3-2 Friday shootout loss in Salmon Arm

He did however bounce back with a goal and an assist the following night in Penticton’s 4-1 home-ice win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

In just 12 games this year Miller’s five goals and eight assists surpassed his 20-game output as a Vee last year.

In 2017/18 after returning to Penticton from the University of New Hampshire he had two goals and eight assists in 20 games.

Related: Penticton Vees take advantage as Cowichan Capitals unravel

Miller leads all BCHL defencemen in points and power play goals and boasts just over a point-a-game average.

In other Vees news, the team announced Monday it has hired Kelowna native Brandon West as assistant coach effective immediately.

West has four years head coaching experience in the BCHL, most recently during the 2017-18 season with the Surrey Eagles.

In his four years he compiled a record of 91 wins, 77 losses 12 ties and 16 shootout or overtime losses.

“Brandon will be a great addition to our already strong support staff,” said Vees head coach, general manger and President Fred Harbinson in a news release. “Our organization has always taken pride in the development of our players and Brandon’s experience will be a benefit to achieving our goals.”

Related: Vees drop a 3-2 shootout against Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Last season West led the Eagles to the Mainland Division final where they lost to the Prince George Spruce Kings in seven games. It was the first time Surrey had advanced to the second round since they won the Fred Page Cup in 2013.

In the 2012-2013 season, West was an assistant coach for Team Canada Pacific at the World Under-17 Challenge, and will be behind the bench for Team Canada West at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge this year in Bonnyville, Alberta from December 9-15.

“This is a premiere organization not only within this league, but in hockey as well,” said West in the new release. “I’m very excited for this opportunity. It’s an honour to be here and I’m looking forward to it.”

The Vees have games this week in West Kelowna Friday against the Warriors and returning home to the South Okanagan Events Centre Saturday at 6 p.m. for a date with the Chilliwack Chiefs.


 

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The Penticton Vees have hired Brandon West of Kelowna as an assistant coach effective immediately. Photo courtesy the Penticton Vees/Garrett James.

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