It’s been a busy start to 2022 for Fred Harbinson and the rest of the Penticton Vees’ front office.
After trading forward Trevor O’Brien to the Coquitlam Express on New Year’s Day, the team has since made a transaction with the Chilliwack Chiefs while having a number of its players commit to NCAA schools.
The Vees made three separate announcements on Monday (Jan. 3), starting with the news that defenseman Josh Niedermayer has committed to Arizona State University.
Niedermayer, the son of NHL Hall of Famer and four-time Stanley Cup champion Scott, will join his brother Jackson with the Sun Devils in Tempe, AZ.
Meanwhile, Niedermayer’s teammate, Stefano Bottini, has made a commitment himself by announcing his pending move to Canisius College in Buffalo, NY after his junior hockey career in Penticton comes to a close.
Both Niedermayer and Bottini are playing in their second season with the Vees.
Penticton’s busy Monday continued after the team traded Anthony Allepot to the Chiefs in exchange for future considerations. The transaction was made as a corresponding move after the Vees signed former Los Angeles Kings draft pick Braden Doyle.
Doyle, a 20-year old blueliner, was selected by the Kings in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Draft.
For the Vees president, head coach and general manager, trading Allepot wasn’t easy.
“Parting ways with someone like Anthony is never easy,” said Harbinson. “He is a leader and someone who has a tremendous amount of character. Unfortunately, given our 20-year-old situation, we had to make room for Braden and could not pass up adding a player of his caliber.”
Doyle comes to the Vees after spending the first of the 2021-2022 campaign in his home state of Massachusetts playing for Boston College.
Penticton closed out its busy start to the week by adding Adam Eisele, a 20-year old forward from Minnesota who most recently played in the United States Hockey League (USHL).
On the ice, the Vees (21-4-0-2) started 2022 with a 4-3 shootout loss to the West Kelowna Warriors. The New Year’s Day showdown marked the third time in the last four tries Penticton has lost to its rivals to the north.
Harbinson’s team was slated to play West Kelowna (18-10-0-0) for the fifth consecutive time on Friday (Jan. 7) before the BCHL sidelined all activities for the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Langley Rivermen and the Vees until Jan. 9., per the league’s COVID-19 protocols.