Adding Bryce Gervais from the Salmon Arm SilverBacks to the Penticton Vees does bring more offence.
However, when Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson made the deal, he wasn’t concerned with that area.
Harbinson made the move because he likes what the Battlefords, Sask., native can bring.
“He fights for the puck, competes for the puck,” said Harbinson, during Thursday’s Coach’s Corner segment at the Best Damn Sports Bar. “He gets to the scoring areas and defends his end well. He has good speed.”
With 16 goals and 27 points in 20 games, Gervais, whose twitter tag is @gervechkin, comes to a team that leads the BCHL with 105 goals entering their Friday game against the SilverBacks. The next closest team in terms of offence in the Interior Conference is the Prince George Spruce Kings at 73 goals. In the Coastal Conference it’s the Victoria Grizzlies with 92.
Harbinson spoke to Gervais on Thursday and the 19-year-old told his new coach he is excited to come to Penticton. He is eager to help them win a championship.
One of the questions posed to Harbinson during the show is who Gervais will play with to start. Harbinson’s plan is to play him on his off-wing as a right-winger with Curtis Loik and Ryan Reilly. Harbinson added that Gervais, who will make his Vees debut Saturday against Merritt, can also play the centre position. The Mario Lucia, Travis St. Denis and Connor Reilly line had been too dangerous to break up. When captain Logan Johnston returns, which is in the final game against the Chilliwack Chiefs on Nov. 26 in celebration of the BCHL’s 50th anniversary, he will play with Joey Benik and Steven Fogarty. An all energy line will feature Grant Nicholson with Cody DePourcq and Mark McLellan.
Ice chips: The Vees will play 16 games in 32 days leading up to the Christmas break. Defenceman Mike Reilly was named the Vees Player of the Month for October after scoring 10 goals. The Vees have five players with 10 or more goals … Fogarty and Ryan Reilly are both one goal away from hitting double digits in goals … St. Denis leads the Vees in points per game average at 2.3 followed closely by Lucia at 2.2.