The Penticton Vees are gearing up for significant changes on the ice ahead of next season, with most of its current roster expected to graduate from the B.C. Hockey League this spring.
Fred Harbinson, the team’s head coach, general manager and president, says only two or three players from this year’s first-place squad will return to Penticton next season.
Eight new players have been recruited for the 2023-2024 campaign, as a result.
• Forward Anselmo Rego, 17, from Brampton, Ont.
• Forward Jonathan Castagna, 17, from Etobicoke, Ont.
• Defenceman Francesco Dell’Elce, 17, from King City, Ont.
• Forward Attila Lippai, 18, from St. Paul, Minnesota
• Defenceman Larry Keenan, 17, from Midhurst, Ont.
• Defenceman Landon Cowper, 16, from Whitehorse, Yukon
• Forward Noah Dziver, 17, from Winnipeg, Man.
• Defenceman Nolan Stevenson, 17, from Shaunavon, Sask.
“With likely just two, three players returning next season, it has been a priority for our coaching staff to identify players that will help continue to build upon the success we have had over the last number of years,” Harbinson said.
The eight players represent the Vees’ first wave of recruitments for the 2023-2024 season.
Castagna, Dell’Elce and Lippai have already committed to play for NCAA schools after their junior-hockey careers in B.C. conclude.
“We believe this group of players will bring a tremendous level of skill but more importantly excellent character,” Harbinson said. “They will be great ambassadors for our program.”
The Vees’ 2023 Spring Camp runs from May 26 to 28 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Penticton’s current squad is enjoying a record-breaking start to this season.
The team puts its 24-game winning streak on the line this Friday, Dec. 9, when they travel south of the border to battle the Wenatchee Wild.