Vees rookie commits to Sun Devils

Rookie Owen Sillinger has earned a scholarship to play for the Arizona State University Sun Devils in 2017-18

In two seasons, Owen Sillinger will be a Sun Devil.

The Penticton Vees announced Sillinger’s commitment to Arizona State University Monday morning.

“Owen has come in and has had an immediate impact with our hockey club,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson, adding that Sillinger will be a great fit for Arizona State. “Owen has the makeup to be a great NCAA player, and ASU definitely got better with his addition.”

Sillinger, 18, is in his rookie season has two goals and four points in eight games. The Regina, Sask., native scored his first career BCHL goal on Sept. 18 in Surrey in the Vees 6-2 win. Before making the jump to junior hockey, Sillinger was a standout at the Major Midget level in Saskatchewan. Last year he captained his hometown Pat Canadians and racked up 25 goals and 64 points in 42 regular season games in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL).

Sillinger had another 11 points in six playoff games as the Pat Canadians won the SMAAAHL championship. Sillinger helped guide his midget team all the way to the national midget championship, the Telus Cup, in Quebec last spring. There he was named the tournament’s top scorer and MVP after finishing with six goals and 17 points in seven games.

Sillinger is the son of retired NHL player Mike Sillinger, who played over 1,000 in 15 seasons.

Arizona State was granted Division l status last November and are playing a hybrid schedule this season with a mix of NCAA an ACHA teams. Next year will be their first full season in Division 1 men’s ice hockey as an independent, before joining a conference for the 2017-18 season. The Sun Devils are coached by Greg Powers who’s entering his seven season with the ASU hockey program. ASU has seven BCHL alumni on their roster this year, including Vees alum Wade Murphy, who’s eligible to play next year in Tempe, Arizona.