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Vees in the offseason: May 2020

It may be hard to believe, but this month has passed by. A month that would have seen a junior hockey club lift the Centennial Cup and start preparations for the 2020-21 season if teams haven’t already started.

However, despite no hockey, the Penticton Vees remained busy in May.

We’ll take a look at the news and notes you need to know that made headlines.

As preparations began early in general due to the global pandemic, the Vees announced that 6’2″, 190-pound US-Canada dual citizen defenseman Frank Djurasevic has committed for the 2020-21 season.

Djurasevic spent last season between the American Youth Hockey League and the United States High School Prep League.

He started the year in the AYHL for North Jersey Under-18 Avalanche, where he tallied 19 points in 28 games and helped the team win the U18 Premier championship. After playing for the Avalanche, Djurasevic went on and played with Trinity-Pawling School in the USHS-Prep league, where he registered 20 points in 21 games from the blue line.

On May 4, the Vees announced that forward Tristan Amonte has committed to Boston University for the 2021-22 campaign. Tristan follows in the footsteps of former Vees forward and older brother Ty who is currently playing at BU.

In his first season in Penticton, Amonte had 15 goals and 19 assists in 34 games, contributing as more of a two-way player while adding a goal and assist in the five games against the West Kelowna Warriors in the playoffs. Amonte played a prominent role on the penalty kill and is excited to get next season going with the Vees.

“After how last season came to a close, I knew I wanted to come back and help this team compete for a championship,” explained Amonte in a news release. “I’m looking forward to getting back to Penticton and continuing what we had from last season.” 

Takeover Tuesday

On May 13, the Vees celebrated their eighth anniversary of the 2011-12 team, which had the greatest season in junior hockey history, in capturing the RBC Cup as national junior A champions by beating the Maritime Hockey League’s Woodstock Slammers. That season that saw records broken and a cabinet full of trophies won both individually and by the team.

On their Instagram account, the Vees have a “Takeover Tuesday” feature. 2019-20 captain David Silye, who is committed to Clarkson University for this fall, and Jay O’Brien, who will attend BU next year, have done in separate weeks. Takeover Tuesday gives a chance for fans to ask the player any question while he takes over their social media account.

Silye was first to partake, and some fans got creative in the questions like “What shampoo do you use?” since he’s rocking some serious flow during the quarantine and a few others.

Q: Who’s the best teammate to sit next to in the locker room?

A: “I got pretty lucky, and sat beside Jackson Niedermayer and Tristan Amonte. If you know them, they’re pretty funny guys.”

Q: Favourite memory of Penticton?

A: “Carson Kosobud scoring in overtime to send us on to round two, which was our last game.”

Q: Best summer sport?

A: “Have to say golf. There’s nothing better than going out with a couple of buddies and enjoying the outdoors.”

Jay O’Brien was up next or as his teammates would say, “OB” was next on Takeover Tuesday.

Q: Favourite book to read?

A: “The Great Gatsby, read it in junior year in high school. A lot of my teammates were in the class, and we enjoyed the book.”

Q: Best singer on the team?

A: “For sure is Danny Weight, he proved it on the bus trip back from PG on Rookie Idol.”

Q: Favourite TV show?

A: “There was one we watched his year with my roommate Tristan (Amonte), it’s called ‘The Boys’.”

Q: Funniest on the team?

A: “Had a ton of funny guys on the team, probably one of the closest teams I’ve been on. But definitely the top three would have to be my roommate Tristan Amonte, Conner Hutchison, and Yaniv Perets. They had us laughing all year.”

Q: What is one thing you’ll always remember from Vees nation?   

A: “One thing I’ll always remember from Vees nation is the fans. They were unreal this year, always had great showings and not just the rink, but around town. The culture in Penticton is unbelievable.” 

With no live hockey on the schedule, fans across the BCHL would welcome more Takeover Tuesdays from the Vees and any of the other 17 teams to pass the time.