More offence is being injected into the Penticton Vees roster with the acquisition of Demico Hannoun.
The North Delta product was picked up in a deal from the Surrey Eagles in exchange for the Canadian Junior Hockey League playing rights of defenceman Alex Coulombe and future considerations, the Vees announced Wednesday.
“Demico is a player who we are very familiar with, and I look forward to working with him so he can achieve his maximum potential,” said Vees general manager and head coach Fred Harbinson in a team statement.
Hannoun, 18, joins the Vees after asking for a trade from Surrey two weeks ago when he learned that former Vancouver Canuck Peter Schaefer wouldn’t be coaching. Hannoun is now looking forward to learning under Harbinson, who he believes can improve his play in the defensive zone.
“Fred is probably one of the best coaches in our league,” said Hannoun. “I’m excited for him to help me develop, become a better player.”
Hannoun, committed to Michigan Tech for the 2015-16 season, said he will be able to help the Vees in the offensive department.
In 138 BCHL regular season games, he lit the lamp 41 times and assisted on 61 goals, for 103 points. He has also produced at a near point-per-game clip in the last two playoff seasons, scoring eight goals and finishing with 26 points in 44 games. Hannoun has played in two RBC Cups with the Eagles and last season with the Vernon Vipers. Hannoun also represented Canada as a member of Team Canada West at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Nova Scotia.
A cousin of Winnipeg Jets prospect Nic Petan, Hannoun should feel comfortable in the Vees’ dressing room early as he knows Steen Cooper, Dante Fabbro and co-captain Cody DePourcq.
After dealing with back problems that kept him out of some playoffs games with the Vipers, Hannoun said he is healthy and ready to get on the ice with his new team. He is also excited about playing in the South Okanagan Events Centre.
“It’s just an unreal atmosphere to play in that rink,” he said. “I always looked forward to playing against the Vees.”
Coulombe, from Granby, Que., played in 54 regular season games with the Vees last season while adding three goals and 19 points to go with 50 penalty minutes. Coulombe played in all 11 playoffs games, registering one assist.
The Vees are playing four exhibition games, two at home. Their first game is Aug. 30 in Vernon, then they have a home-and-home set with the West Kelowna Warriors starting at the SOEC on Sept. 5; they head to West Kelowna the following night. The Vees wrap up the pre-season with a home game against Merritt Sept. 14.
Vees notes: The team is seeking billet homes for its players. Anyone interested in welcoming a player to their home should contact Kevan Scott 250-809-4276.