Garrett James Photography

Vees in the offseason: June 2020


As the start of the silly season began, the Vees were in full throttle and with some brotherly love.

On June 2, the Vees traded Jack Barnes and future considerations for Luc Wilson, who played for Cowichan Valley. Wilson led the Capitals with 53 points in 55 games in 2019-20. In his first three seasons in Cowichan, Wilson combined for 75 points in 110 games. The Vees needed to get younger, which played a role for the 20-year-old Barnes.

“I believe this is a positive hockey trade for both teams and both players,” said Vees president, general manager, and head coach Fred Harbinson, “Jack has been a great solider that brought an honest effort to the rink day in and day out. Unfortunately, with the number of 20-year old players we have, we are forced to make difficult decisions. However, the Vees will still have the firepower offensive skill upfront with Wilson. 

Another player the Vees had to offload due to the 20-year-old rule was Darwin Lakoduk to the Prince George Spruce Kings. Lakoduk came over for the final 34 games of the season after being acquired from the Victoria Grizzlies and posted six goals and five assists during his time in Penticton.

The second-to-last trade of the month came on June 23 as the Vees and the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League swapped netminders. The Vees acquired Kaeden Lane in exchange for Carl Stankowski. Lane posted a 3.22 goals-against-average along with a .897 save percentage in 74 career games with the Storm while registering 31 victories in that span, including four shutouts.

Stankowski came to the Vees in late October and played in 18 games after making his way from the Western Hockey League. The Calgary product had a record of 14-3 with a 2.08 GAA and a .915 SV% during the season.

The final trade of June

Finally, the last trade of the month saw the Penticton Vees, Powell River Kings, and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Notre Dame Hounds complete a three-team deal. The Vees traded forward Liam Noble and defenseman Carson Hemenway in exchange for defenseman Olivier Lepine and forward Ryan Upson from the Hounds. The Vees then flipped Lepine to the Kings for defenseman Ben Wozney. When all was done and dusted, Wozney and Upson are the two newest members coming to Penticton.

Wozney, who’s from Richmond, BC, has played in 86 career BCHL games while tallying four goals and 29 assists for 33 points. Wozney is also committed to Bowling Green State University for the 2021-22 season. West Vancouver product Upson played for the West Kelowna Warriors last season. In 54 games, Upson had three goals and nine assists for 12 points. 

Takeover Tuesday (on a Thursday)

Last month’s Takeover Tuesday the Vees was run by David Silye and Jay O’Brien, and it was a massive hit among Vees fans. This month the Vees had some brotherly love with Jackson and Josh Niedermayer. Jackson played two seasons in Penticton, tallied 51 points in 88 games, and committed to Arizona State University for the 2021-22 season. Josh will be making his full-time BCHL debut in 2020-21. 

Q: Favourite place to play in the BCHL?

A: Jackson, “Trail, I think it’s always fun to play, and they pack the barn pretty well, and we’ve got a lot of family there too.”

Q: The hardest place to place in the BCHL?

A: Jackson, “All are good teams, (you’re always) gonna get everyone’s best, but the teams I liked playing against were Coquitlam and Trail.”

Q: What’s it like to be one of the few 16-year-olds on the team?

A: Josh, “It will be a great opportunity to play for this team next year and (I’m) definitely looking forward to the season ahead.”

Q: How have you guys been dealing without playing hockey?

A: Josh, “Its been tough not going on the ice.” Jackson, “We’ve been getting into the gym but definitely missing the rink.”

Q: Do you guys prefer outdoor or indoor workouts?

A: Josh, “I prefer the outdoors because you get a bunch of cardio and fresh air.” Jackson, “Yeah, definitely nice having the luxury of both.”

Q: Biggest food weakness?

A: Jackson, “Ice cream.” Josh, “Sushi.”

Q: Favourite hockey memory?

A: Josh, “(A) tournament in Quebec a few years back.” Jackson, “(Carson) Kosobud scored the overtime winner to clinch the series (against West Kelowna).”

Josh will also don a virtual Team Canada jersey as Hockey Canada has added the defender to its U17 Development camp.

With another month in the books, the Vees made significant improvements to their roster. The return of the BCHL is still unknown, however, the players are doing their best to be in the best shape as possible when training camp opens.