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BCHL Next Generation: Vernon Vipers

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2021-22 regular season, we will be going team-by-team to profile new players coming in for the upcoming year. This will include recaps of offseason commitments and acquisitions, as well as scouting reports from the coaches.

Next up is the Vernon Vipers.

The Vernon Vipers hosted their pod last year and were crowned champions after finishing their season with a 13-5-1-1 in what was the most competitive of the five pods top to bottom.

They tied for the fourth-fewest goals against in the league, allowing 55 in 20 games, but also produced well offensively, finishing in the top half of the league in goals for.

Despite losing some 2000-born talent, the Vipers are returning a strong group of players, including seven of their top-nine scorers from last year. Head coach Jason McKee has also added some new recruits to the mix. We connected with him to get the details on each new player.

New recruits

Seiya Tanaka-Campbell (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Mill Bay, B.C.
  • Previous team: Shawnigan Lake School Prep U18 (CSSHL U18)
  • College commitment: Yale University (2022-23)

In 2019-20, Tanaka-Campbell was Shawnigan’s second-leading scorer after he put up 25 goals and 33 assists for 59 points in 35 games. He already has some BCHL experience playing alongside his brother and current Vipers forward Jojo Tanaka-Campbell. He suited up for four games with Vernon two seasons ago and had a two-point night in a game against the Penticton Vees, scoring his first goal in the league and adding an assist.

McKee’s scouting report:

“Seiya is a speedy, tenacious forward. He really gets after it and turns pucks over. He works up and down all over the ice. He fits the mold really well here.”

Ethan David (2003, G)

  • Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Shawnigan Lake School U18 Prep (CSSHL U18)

In 2019-20, David posted an immaculate .943 save percentage and a 1.45 goals-against average for Shawnigan while going 12-4-1 in 17 appearances. His goals-against was tops in all of the CSSHL and his save percentage was second. He also added five shutouts.

McKee’s scouting report:

“He played some good minutes with Shawnigan over the last couple years, even through COVID. He’s a guy that has developed extremely well in recent years. He has good size and tremendous athleticism. He’s someone who just wants to get better.”

Tyler Chan (2005, F)

  • Hometown: Burnaby, B.C.
  • Previous team: Burnaby Winter Club Prep (CSSHL U18)

Chan had seven points in just four games last year in a shortened season, which was the most on his team. In 2019-20, he tied for second in team scoring on BWC’s U15 team, finishing with 36 points in 30 games.

McKee’s scouting report:

“He’s an explosive forward. We think he’ll be able to come in and contribute to our team right away. There will be a learning curve for him to adjust to the strength and speed of the league, but we really think there’s a lot of upside there with Tyler. We expect him to become an elite player in the BCHL at some point.”

Luke Ashton (2005, D)

  • Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Burnaby Winter Club Prep (CSSHL U18)

In Ashton’s most recent full season in 2019-20, he led Burnaby Winter Club’s U15 Prep team in defencemen scoring by collecting 25 points in 29 games. He also led the team overall in assists with 22.

McKee’s scouting report:

“He’s a big, spatial defenceman. He’ll be a young player in the league at 16-years-old. He has tremendous upside. It will be an adjustment for him, coming from midget hockey to junior, but we’re really excited about the opportunity to work with him. He’s going to bring a lot to the table.”

Luke Buss (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
  • Previous team: Shattuck St. Mary’s 18U Prep (USHS-Prep)

Buss spent his last four years in the Shattuck St. Mary’s program. Last year, he was his team’s fifth-leading scorer after putting up 36 points on 13 goals and 23 assists in 33 games played.

McKee’s scouting report:

“He’s a skilled, speedy and competitive forward. He’s coming out of Shattuck, which is a really good program. We’re excited to add him to our group up front. He should be able to help us in lots of different ways throughout a hockey game.”

Jason Siedem (2002, F)

Hometown: Madison, N.J.
Previous team: Avon Old Farms School (USHS-Prep)

Siedem played 10 games with Avon over the past two years and contributed a goal and four assists.

McKee’s scouting report:

“He’s an older forward we brought in from a good program in Avon. He’s a skilled guy. He skates really well. He makes plays in traffic. We wanted to add a little offence to our group and we think he’s a guy that can do that for us.”

Adam Bourgeois (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Kelowna, B.C.
  • Previous team: Cariboo Cougars (BCEHL U18)

Bourgeois did not get any significant game action with the Cougars last year. In 2019-20, he suited up for the Okanagan Rockets U16 squad and averaged nearly a point per game, finishing his year with 19 in 21 contests.

McKee’s scouting report:

“He’s a really steady, stay-at-home defenceman. He’ll bring some offence with his game as well. He’s very predictable and dependable. We expect him to come in, defend hard and be really good in his own end.”

Daniel North (2003, F)

  • Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
  • Previous team: Greater Vancouver Canadians U18 AAA (BCEHL U18)

North tied for fifth in team scoring with the Canadians in 2019-20 with 17 points in 32 games, finishing his year with six goals and 11 assists.

McKee’s scouting report:

“He’s a big, strong forward. He should be able to contribute up and down the lineup and be very responsible. He’ll bring some size to our group up front, which we really wanted to add this offseason. He’s just a really high-character kid who handles himself extremely well.”

Greye Rampton (2004, F)

  • Hometown: Chilliwack, B.C.
  • Previous team: Yale Hockey Academy U17 Prep (CSSHL U17)

Rampton had six points in just five games last year. The year prior, with Yale’s Elite 15s team, he notched five goals and nine assists in 34 contests.

McKee’s scouting report:

“He’s a talented, crafty player. He sees the ice really well and also skates well. He’s very competitive. He’ll play a complete 200-foot game. He works hard away from the puck. He already has those good habits. It should transition to junior really well.”

Photo credits: Lisa Mazurek (Tanaka-Campbell), Dan Hickling (Buss, Siedem), Trent Rolfe (Bourgeois)