Restocking the Penticton Vees for the 2014-15 British Columbia Hockey League season begins with their spring camp May 22-25 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Vees invited 128 players born between 1995-99 giving them a chance to make an impression on the organization.
“I think it’s going to be a strong camp,” said Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson, adding that they have young kids coming in to provide a potential glimpse of the future. “We’re really excited about the talent level that we have.”
Players will be divided into eight teams of two goalies, five defenceman and nine forwards. A large number of the players will be extended invites to the Vees’ main training camp in August. With the 10 returning players, Harbinson said they should be able to assemble an exciting hockey club.
Returning to the Vees are goalie Hunter Miska, defenceman Patrick Sexton, Jarod Hilderman and Alexandre Coulombe with forwards Cody DePourcq, Steen Cooper, Matthew Serratore, Riley Alferd, Jack Ramsey, Max Coatta and Cam Amantea. Josh Blanchard is now a Surrey Eagle as the Vees moved him to complete the future considerations part of the deal that landed them Nic Pierog for Anthony Conti. The Vees have also picked up blueliner Mike Lee. The 18-year-old from Hamden, Conn., spent the last two seasons with The Gunnery Prep, according to his profile on Eliteprospects.com. Lee, who is committed to the University of Vermont for the 2015-16 season, brings something Harbinson felt they lacked a bit last season.
“He’s a good, puck-moving defenceman,” said Harbinson. “We were built more on defending than maybe moving the puck. This year we want to be able to move the puck a little quicker out of our own end.”
Harbinson said the toughest part of their spring camp will be speaking to all of the players at the end. He said the organization feels it’s important to have one-on-one meetings even though a lot of teams don’t do that. The Vees also plan to use half of their 19 affiliate player cards after the weekend. The remaining AP cards will be used as the season progresses.
The games will be in the OHA Training Centre Friday through Sunday, with exit interviews being conducted after each game on Sunday. Friday’s games begin at 8 a.m. with the final played at 4:45 p.m. Games resume Saturday at 7:45 a.m. with the last one at 4:30 p.m. Sunday games are at 8 a.m., 9:35,
11:10 and 12:45 p.m.