Pod Preview: Vernon

Photo credits: Garrett James Photography

Our last preview before the season starts is the Vernon Pod, featuring the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Vernon Vipers and West Kelowna Warriors.

Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Record:

2019-20: 30-23-4-1
2020-21 exhibition: 3-9-1-0

Key returning players:

D Kieran Ruscheinski
D Hunter Sansbury
F Simon Tassy
F Drew Bennett
F Logan Shaw

Key additions:

F Danny Ciccarello
F Sullivan Mack
D Joaquim Lemay
F Nathan Morgan
D Tucker Hartmann
D Lucas Matta

Outlook:

The Silverbacks had a strong season last year, but have turned over a lot that roster heading into this season. In place of some of those players, they have added some high-end talent at both forward and defence and enter the pod campaign with eight players already committed to NCAA Division I schools.

Vernon Vipers

Record:

2019-20: 30-24-2-2
2020-21 exhibition: 4-6-2-2

Key returning players:

D Trey Taylor
F Jojo Tanaka-Campbell
F Cameron MacDonald
F Ryan Shostak
D Nicholas Kent

Key additions:

G James Porter Jr.
F Reagan Milburn
F Tyler Carpendale
D Sam Duerr

Outlook:

The Vipers goaltender is technically a new addition since he finished last year with a different team, but James Porter Jr. also spent time with Vernon early in the season before heading to the WHL. In nine games with the team in 2019-20, he had a save percentage of .922. Tanaka-Campbell and MacDonald were two of Vernon’s top offensive players last year and will look to expand on that with larger roles this year.

West Kelowna Warriors

Record:

2019-20: 15-33-6-3
2020-21 exhibition: 7-5-0-1

Key returning players:

D Nick Ardanaz
F Carter Wilkie
F Elan Bar Lev Wise
F Tyler Cristall
G Johnny Derrick

Key additions:

D Tyson Jugnauth
F Marcus Joughin
F Chase Sandhu
D Bryden Sinclair

Outlook:

During the exhibition campaign, West Kelowna appeared to be a much-improved team compared to the year before when they were the last team to qualify for the postseason. Returning defenceman Nick Ardanaz, who made the BCHL All-Rookie Team last year, will look to build on his strong first season in the league when he led the team in points from the blueline with 32 in 58 games.