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.”
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.
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.”