Vees sniper Brad McClure scores captaincy

Brad McClure is the new captain of the Penticton Vees, replacing Troy Stecher. McClure had 27 goals and 46 points last season.

Brad McClure

Brad McClure

Brad McClure is the new captain of the Penticton Vees.

The Vees announced Wednesday afternoon that he will take over from the departed Troy Stecher, while his assistant will be Travis Blanleil.

The new captain said this was the next step in his five-year junior career.

“I’m really excited to be given the captaincy,” said McClure in a release. “This was an opportunity I’ve been waiting for since the season ended.  It’s humbling and a privilege as this organization has a rich history and has had so many great leaders in the past. It’s an honour to join their company.”

The Stratford, Ontario product was the Vees’ top goalscorer with 27 and added another seven in the playoffs. He finished the season with  46 points in 53 games and 12 points in the playoffs helping lead the Vees to their second consecutive Fred Page Cup Final. Prior to joining the Vees, McClure spent three seasons with the Stratford Cullitons of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. McClure is committed to Ferris State in 2014.

Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson said anointing McClure as captain wasn’t a difficult decision.

“Brad is more than a talented hockey player,” said Harbinson. “He exemplifies all the characteristics we as an organization want in a captain. Brad possesses a strong worth ethic and is a fiery competitor that has a natural leadership quality that was evident throughout last season.”

Taking on this leadership role to McClure means making those around him better.

“I want to be the guy who leads by example on and off the ice, whether it’s during a game or in practice, in the dressing room, in the gym or in the community,” he said. “I want to establish a standard that reflects upon the quality of this program.”

Blanleil also said he’s proud to be part of the lineage of great leaders.

“It’s an honour to be looked upon as a leader by your coaches, especially with the Vees as there have been so many great players before me that have worn a letter,” said Blanleil. “I want to be judged by my play on the ice but if something needs to be said, I won’t be afraid to pipe up.”

Blanleil, 19, is entering his second season with the Vees and fourth in the BCHL. Last season, Blanleil collected eight goals and 19 points in the regular season on the Vees Trench Line. His determined worked ethic and ability to shut down the oppositions’ top players on the checking line earned him the team’s playoff MVP award. Blanleil is set to join the Vermont Catamounts in the fall of 2014.

The remaining leadership group will be named at the conclusion of main camp in August.