Rookie Penticton Vees player Niedermayer following in his father’s skates

Rookie Penticton Vees player Niedermayer following in his father’s skates

One of the newest members of the Penticton Vees has plenty of hockey history

Hockey for Penticton Vees rookie Jackson Niedermayer truly is a family affair.

Not surprisingly, the son of four-time Stanley Cup champ Scott Niedermayer, who also has a pair of Olympic gold medals and a World Championship trophy on the mantle, the 17-year-old has lived and breathed the sport for most of his life — and loves it.

“I’ve really enjoyed myself, it was a blessing,” said Jackson about his experiences growing up with three relatives, including uncle Rob Niedermayer and cousin Jason Strudwick, all playing in the National Hockey League at the same time.

His first and fondest hockey memory as a kid?

“Probably ‘07,” he replied quickly. “I was six years old and my dad won the cup. It was pretty cool just experiencing that and being able to do it with him and all my brothers and my family. It was awesome.”

Scott was a defenseman and captain, and Rob was the alternate captain and forward on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who defeated the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 at home June 6, 2007 at the Honda Centre.

“It was cool just being around my dad’s teammates and just kind of growing up like that and having those guys to reference off of and talk to, just going into locker rooms after games and seeing my dad.”

And it was those trips to the dressing rooms that really motivated him to follow in his father’s skates.

“You know, talking to the guys that have been through it before when you’re younger pushes you to where you want to be,” said Jackson. “You see how hard they work and you work that much harder when you’re young because you look up to them.”

Checking in at six feet, 194 pounds, the left winger scored 23 goals and added 19 assists in the 34 games he played in the midget Tier 1 Elite Hockey League for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks last season.

His own favourite hockey memory came that season as well with the club tying for third place in the U.S. nationals.

“A team from California, nobody really expected us to do that well,” he said.

As to why he and his family, who have moved to the Peach City with him and now call Penticton home, decided on the Vees, Jackson said: “Just the history here and the coaching and everything, is second to none. Where they put their guys on to the next level, it’s the best there is. There’s no place I’d rather be than here.”

Related: Leaner, meaner hockey machine – Penticton Vees 2018/19

He added the transition to the B.C. Hockey League and moving to a new city for the first time has been made a lot easier thanks to the help of the Vees staff and senior players.

“They’ve really did a very good job of bringing everyone in and making us feel at home and it’s nice to have a group that you can always lean on in the dressing room,” said Jackson, who is in his senior year at Penticton Secondary School.

And about any pressure relating to his all star family hockey background?

“I guess there is some pressure, people would say, but I don’t look at it like that,” he said.

“I just play my game and it’s just the name on the back of a sweater, that’s all.

“It’s not really that big of a deal to me I just look forward to playing and working hard do my best for the team and try and do everything I can to help us get some wins here this season but the pressure, I don’t feel it that much.”

Looking ahead to his future in the sport, Jackson just takes things one day at a time.

“Just keep it simple, looking short term, not long term, because I know things will come, keep working hard and things will come your way,” he said.

Vees head coach and president Fred Harbinson likes what he sees in his new recruit, both on and off the ice.

“I think first off he’s a great kid he seems like he’s a well rounded individual and does well in school,” said Harbinson.

“The one thing I can see, meeting his family, meeting his father, they’re very grounded people and that has definitely been passed on to Jackson.

“He knows that he has to earn everything himself and he wants it that way and any pressure that’s there he’ll deal with it.”

Harbinson compared the rookie to Vee’s sophomore Lukas Sillinger this time last year. He also started with the club as a 17 year old.

“He’s (Jackson) got lot of talent, has great hands as far as his hockey ability goes,” said Harbinson.

“He’ll learn how to play the junior game, a faster pace and he has the ability when he gets going.”

Related: Miller named Penticton Vees newest assistant captain

He added it will be a little tougher for the Vees’ younger players right now with only three 20-year-olds on the playing roster and forwards captain Massimo Rizzo and Cassidy Bowes out indefinitely due to injuries.

“In the past we probably had a little more depth up front and we put the younger guys with the older guys and right now we’ve got a lot of youth in the bottom half of our forward group,” said Harbinson.

“So it’s a real learning curve for some of these kids but Jackson has the ability to do it and we have all the confidence he’ll get there.”

Heading into the annual Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack this week the Vees have a record of one win and a pair of losses.

They dropped their first game of the season 5-1 in Langley, won 4-2 over Cowichan Valley Capitals and lost 4-3 to Victoria Grizzlies in last weekend’s stops on Vancouver Island.

The Showcase, which is a proving grounds for players hoping to catch the eyes of the many hockey scouts who will be in attendance during the four days, begins for the Vees with a 10 a.m. match against the Merritt Centennials Thursday and a 4 p.m. game Friday against the Prince George Spruce Kings.

Each team will play two games with the results counting in the regular season standings.

Penticton will then travel to Merritt Sept. 28 for a game there before returning to the South Okanagan Events Centre on Saturday, Sept. 29 for the home opener against the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 6 p.m.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter

BCHLPenticton Vees

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victory Church homeless shelter had the highest calls for police service above everywhere else, at 290 calls for service, in the first three months of the year. (Jesse Day Western News)
UPDATE: Human error doubled data about calls for police to Penticton’s homeless shelters

Police have now partnered with Interior Health to have a nurse come with them to calls

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Fun in Penticton is being promoted through banners going up along Main and Westminster. (Suzanne White Western News)
Banners go up in downtown celebrating fun in Penticton

From beach or biking time to dining or shopping, the banners promote things to do

(File photo)
Penticton, Summerland RCMP having success with online crime reporting

They have also added new crimes that can be reported online

Parkway Elementary Gr. 4 and 5 students have created an art project displayed for sale at businesses around Penticton with money raised going back to the school, local charity and internationally. (Submitted)
Penticton elementary students artwork displayed around Penticton

Parkway Elementary Grade 4/5s have art at Lakeside Resort, Blendz and Dragon’s Den

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

Most Read