The Penticton Vees’ front office elected to stay the course and not make any deals ahead of the B.C. Hockey League’s 3 p.m. trade deadline on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
Fred Harbinson, the team’s head coach, general manager and president, says the Vees’ current roster reminds him a lot of the last year’s Fred Page Cup-winning team.
The team, however, did make one transaction during the 2022-2023 regular season, acquiring the playing rights to Nicholas Degraves from Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits on Nov. 30.
“I have always tried to have our roster set prior to the trade deadline,” Harbinson said.
Degraves, who’s provided “balance within all four lines when healthy” and represents the team’s only addition since the offseason, has eight points in as many games since being dealt to the South Okanagan.
Penticton will aim to capture its second-straight Fred Page Cup this spring, a franchise feat yet to be accomplished since the start of the Harbinson era in 2007.
“We feel we have a team that has a great chance to compete for a championship and has the similarities of last year’s team,” Harbinson added.
“Time will tell if we will execute at the level we did during the playoffs as we did last season.”
The first-place Vees (30-3-0-0) battle the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday, Jan. 13, before returning to the SOEC one night later to host the Cowichan Valley Capitals.