Penticton Vees have announced returning player Troy Stecher as team captain for the 2012-2013 season.

Penticton Vees have announced returning player Troy Stecher as team captain for the 2012-2013 season.

Penticton Vees name captain and add two more players

Penticton Vees defenceman Troy Stecher has been named team captain for next season.

One thing Troy Stecher learned from former Penticton Vees captain Logan Johnston was that he did everything.

“He wasn’t the greatest skilled guy but he works hard on and off the ice,” said Stecher, who is Johnston’s successor as Vees captain. “He’s a good guy in the community. I want to adapt my role to what he did. You don’t need to be the best player but you need to lead by example.”

Stecher, 18, will return for his third season for the Vees, before heading to the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2013. The Richmond native was an assistant captain for the Vees last season, which was a banner year for the rear-guard. Stecher registered career highs in both regular season and playoff scoring. He picked up 42 points in 53 games and won a gold medal with Team Canada West at the WJAC. He had a memorable post-season as well, chipping in 15 points in 26 playoff games, and was named the top defenseman at the RBC Cup in Humboldt, Sask.

Stecher said it’s humbling knowing the company he’s joining by being named captain.

“It truly is an honour to have the C on my jersey this upcoming season, knowing the tradition and history involved with the Vees,” said Stetcher. “This is one of the reasons why I came back, to be a leader both on and off the ice. It’s a big step but one I look forward to.”

Last summer Stecher worked out with assistant coach Michael Hengen. During that time Stecher gained most of his strength. Stecher again will stay in Penticton for the off season for training. There is one other thing that keeps him in the Okanagan.

“I love Penticton, you can’t really beat the weather here except for right now,” he joked of the rainy conditions.

Vees GM/coach Fred Harbinson said the decision was simple.

“Troy has grown leaps and bounds as not only a hockey player but as a young man. Given the fact he is only 18 years-old speaks for his maturity and leadership capabilities,” said Harbinson.

The Vees also announced commitments for next season from forwards Bradley McClure and Mike Rebry from the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. McClure,18, spent three seasons playing for his hometown Stratford Cullitons. The forward led the Cullitons with 78 points in 51 games, including finishing second in league goal-scoring with 45 goals. In 144 career games in the GOJHL, McClure amassed 95 goals and 162 points. McClure had 12 points in 13 playoff games this past spring, pushing the Cullitons to the Mid-Western Conference final.

Rebry, also 18, completed a successful rookie season with the Brantford Golden Eagles. The Clear Creek, Ont., product led the Eagles in scoring with 28 goals and 58 points in 48 games. Rebry had a breakout performance in the playoffs, leading the Eagles to the Ontario junior B championship final with 24 points in 29 post-season games. Rebry was named one of three Ontario Hockey Association Top Prospects award recipients.

Harbinson said the two signings address a need for the upcoming season.

“We knew we had to address the departure of a great deal of offense out of our lineup. Both Brad and Mike are players who will bring a high skill set to our program,” said Harbinson. “Brad has a track record of scoring goals, something that is not easy to find. Mike is a player that exhibits high-end speed along with a desire to play in the trenches.”

On the Vees’ blog, it was  reported that forward Wade Murphy will return. Lou Nanne, who visited the Vees near the end of the regular season, will be coming in the fall. The former Edina Hornet was chosen by the Minnesota Wild in the seventh round of the  2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Harbinson likes Nanne’s well-rounded game.

When you talk about Louie Nanne within the hockey circles the one constant variable that comes up is work ethic,” said Harbinson. “Louie is a strong two-way player that has the ability to shoot the puck like a pro.  I feel very fortunate that Louie has decided that the Vees and the BCHL will be his next step in his hockey career.

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