Brennan Nelson suited up as an AP with the Warriors during the 2019-20 season versus the Vipers and registered two assists. Tonight he slots into the lineup as a full-time member of the Warriors. (Tami Quan Photography)

Warriors to face-off against Vipers in first game of Okanagan Cup

The Warriors won last year’s season series against the Vipers 4-2

The West Kelowna Warriors begin their quest for the Okanagan Cup when they take on the Vernon Vipers on Friday night.

The Warriors come into this season with a new-look roster featuring a few highly touted newcomers and some prominent returning players.

Beginning with the returning players upfront, John Evans, Carter Wilkie, Elan Bar Lev Wise and Deegan Mofford will look to build off of last season. On the back end, the returning players include Nick Ardanaz, Corey McCann, Skyler Cameron and Ryan Novecosky. The Warriors will also have starting goaltender Johnny Derrick back between the pipes.

The new recruits were much of the buzz this summer, adding a number of skilled players to the fold. In June, It started with Tyson Jugnauth signing with the Warriors after playing some games as a 15-year-old last season. Then, the flood gates opened with signing of Sacred Heart NCAA commit Marcus Joughin. The skilled forward is expected to centre a line with Josh Evans.

Forwards Connor Joyce, Felix Trudeau later joined the mix and Pat Lawn was added as a much-needed addition on the back end. The additions were made via trade, which included power forwards Zach Brooks and Jarrett Penner.

On the back end, the Warriors acquired the 6’6 Kyle Pow, followed by the signing of 2003 born blue line prospect Charles Alexis Legault. Finally, the Warriors concluded the Brandon Dent trade from early last season by acquiring veteran netminder Zach Bennett to solidify the Warriors goaltending.

READ MORE: BCHL hockey is back with announcement of Okanagan Cup

Then, from the result of NCAA Ivy league play being suspended, the Warriors were able to add Harvard forward Wyllum Deveaux and Cornell forward Matthew Stienburg. Both Deveaux and Stienburg grew up close friends in Nova Scotia. With the conclusion of camp the Warriors would announce the commitments of Carter Schmidt, Riley Sharun, Brennan Nelson, Damon Jugnauth and Jay Thomson.

This weekend the Warriors will kick off the Okanagan Cup Tournament versus the Vernon Vipers, a team the Warriors figured out late last year winning the season series 4-2. Players like John Evans had notable games scoring his first career hattrick versus the Vipers and even set a Warriors record for most shorthanded goals in a single season after a game versus the Vipers.

The Vipers on paper have some notable returnees of their own featuring blue liners Hunter Donohue and Trey Taylor and Warriors fans will not forget the Vipers have forward Max Bulawka upfront. Head Coach Jason McKee made a couple additions in the offseason as well as adding Bulawka’s close friend and Kelowna native Kjell Kjemhus and former Quebec Major Junior League forward Jeremy Rainville.

Warriors Head Coach Simon Ferguson said his team is more than excited to get the Okanagan Cup Tournament underway,

“The players are ready. They’ve been waiting six months to play some competitive games. We cannot wait to challenge ourselves against three very good hockey teams,” said Ferguson.

This evening’s game will be broadcasted on both HockeyTV and the Warriors Mixlr Network. Puck drops at 7 p.m. from Royal LePage Place in Vernon. A reminder that no fans will be allowed in the building. HockeyTV has a sale that ends this evening where you get $80 off a subscription. Use coupon code BCHLWARRIORS20 at hockeytv.com/subscriptions.

READ MORE: Former Kelowna Rocket Leon Draisaitl named NHL’s best


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Contributed - City of West Kelowna)
City of West Kelowna to consider endorsing Smith Creek project

Smith Creek neighbourhood plan proposes 900+ housing development on 154 hectares

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
15 cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna Francophone school outbreak

Three other schools in Kelowna are also dealing with potential exposure events

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

City of Kelowna crews are cleaning city hall after it was vandalized overnight. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

West Kelowna Panthers. (Contributed)
West Kelowna minor hockey team raising money to broadcast games

No spectators are currently allowed at minor hockey games in BC

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
UPDATE: Flames doused for second time at fatal Penticton apartment fire

The Elm Ave. building first caught fire around 4 a.m., killing two people and displacing dozens

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two have been taken to hospital following a vehicle crash north of Vernon on Highway 97 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Crash north of Vernon causes Highway 97 traffic delays

Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle incident near Swan Lake; occupants taken to hospital

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)
Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

Most Read