Founded in 1961, Penticton’s BCHL franchise has gone through a few name changes and a lot of players. Over the past weeks, TSN made an all-time list of all seven Canadian teams. Now, what would an all-time team look like in Penticton?
For TSN’s all-time teams, they had rules and regulations, but the only rule for this will be the players must have appeared in at least 45 games.
The forward group ranges from players as early as the 70s and includes a handful of Hockey Hall of Fame members.
Gordie McKay, who donned the Vees sweater from 1973-77, holds the BCHL record for all-time goals with 208 and only trails Shane Kuss for first in all-time points. McKay is a sure-fire player to make the team.
Scott Boucher ranks ninth all-time in BCHL assists with 194. Boucher played for three teams during his time in the league but played 91 games in the South Okanagan, racking up 141 points from 1994-96.
Despite only playing in one season, Ron Vincent is a name you cant leave out. Vincent is in the top five in single-season records for goals, assists, and points. He played in 65 games and registered 74 goals and 102 assists in the 1977-78 season.
— BC Hockey League (@GoBCHL) September 18, 2014
The golden Brett Hull, one of the most celebrated alumni for the Vees, is a shoo-in for the all-time team. Hull is ranked eighth in goals in the history of the BCHL, which is impressive considering he only played in the league for two seasons. He still holds the best single-season record for goals with 105.
Joe Murphy was drafted first in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings and played professionally until 2001. Murphy played in 51 games in Penticton and had 152 points playing on the wing.
Ray Ferraro takes a spot on the team. In the one season with the Knights before moving on to the Western Hockey League, Ferraro skated in 48 games and had an astonishing 135 points.
Tyson Jost skated in a total of 94 games throughout three seasons in Penticton and managed to rack up 149 points in that time. His performance in his draft year captured the collective eye of scouts and earned him the title of the highest-drafted Vees player into the NHL. Jost won the Vern Dye Memorial Trophy, which is given to the MVP of the BCHL in 2016 along with CJHL top forward and CJHL MVP.
Brendan Morrison played in one season in Penticton and had 94 points in 56 games. The Pitt Meadows native started his career playing for the team when they were called the Panthers and won the rookie of the year in 1993 before leaving to play for the University of Michigan.
— Penticton Vees (@PentictonVees) March 16, 2017
Paul Kariya made the move to Penticton in the 1990-91 season. In two seasons in Penticton, Kariya had 244 points in 97 games. During his time with the Panthers, Kariya won the rookie of the year, most sportsmanlike player, most valuable player, and 1992 Canadian Junior A player of the year.
Beau Bennett played in Penticton during the 2009-10 season, which was his draft year. That year, he had a whopping 120 points in 56 games, which was good enough to make him the 20th player taken in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. In his time in Penticton, Bennett won rookie of the year and was the top scorer in the BCHL in his lone season in the league.
Joey Benik made the South Okanagan home for two years from 2010-12, meaning he was part of the greatest Vees team. Benik played in 120 games over his two seasons and put up 152 points.
The final forward spot goes to UK-born Scott Conway. Born in Basingstoke, England before moving to and growing up in Penticton, Conway had a magical 2015-16 season. He appeared in 56 games and scoring 56 goals while adding 60 assists for 116 points.
As for the defense core, most currently play and are having quite the NHL careers but one thing they all have in common is they played a big role in Penticton.
Former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Ian Kidd played in Penticton from 1982-85 when the team was named the Knights. His last season anchoring the backend, Kidd tied Bruce Harris’s record for most assists in a season by a defenseman. Over his BCHL career, Kidd skated in 143 games and tailed 235 points.
FRED PAGE CHAMMMMMMPPPSS !!! #BCHLchamps .. Love this team !
— Dante Fabbro (@17Fabbro) April 18, 2015
Coquitlam native Dante Fabbro cracks the top six for the all-time Vees team. As a right-shot defenseman, Fabbro spent two years in Penticton and managed 100 points in 89 games. In his time, he earned RBC cup top defenceman in 2015. In 2016, Fabbro was named to the first all-star team and took BCHL top defenseman honours.
Former Vees captain and current Canucks defenceman Troy Stecher earns a spot on the blueline. Stecher was on the 2011-12 Penticton roster that won the RBC Cup as part of the greatest season in junior A history. In Penticton, Stecher played in 159 games and had 109 points.
Stecher’s defense partner on that 2011-12 season was Mike Reilly, who despite playing one season in Penticton had such an impact that it earns him a spot on the all-time team. In 51 games, Reilly had 83 points and won the BCHL best defenceman award that season.
Duncan Keith, who will one day end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame, started his hockey journey in the South Okanagan playing for Penticton for two seasons, starting as a 16-year-old in 1999-2000. Patrolling the blue line, Keith racked up 118 points in 119 games, nearly a point per game, during his tenure.
Rounding out the core is 2012 Edmonton Oilers draft pick Joey Laleggia. In the 2010-11 season, Laleggia had 82 points in 58 games. Overall, Laleggia played in 114 games and registered 147 points with the Vees.
Finally, the two goalies on our all-time Vees lineup haven’t had stellar professional careers, but both are BCHL legends.
Goalie Corey Milan had 72 career wins, all while wearing the Vees sweater. The all-time leader in Vees history also ranks fifth for all-time career wins among the BCHL.
Vaughn V7 setup pic.twitter.com/PKUQVconhB
— Tendy Gear (@Tendy_Gear) July 22, 2017
Backing up Milan is 2012 RBC Cup champion Michael Garteig. During that 2011-12 season, Garteig had five shutouts, which is seventh-best all-time in a single season and two off of the single-season record. Garteig also won the BCHL’s goaltending award for the lowest goals-against average with 1.93 in 2012.
With the number of standouts and accolades this organization has produced, there’s no doubt the Penticton Vees have the deepest rosters among any great BCHL teams.