The BCHL’s Penticton Vees will be bolstered next season by a significant part of the nucleus of the B.C. Major Midget League-champion Okanagan Rockets.
Last month, high-scoring Rockets forward Liam Finlay earned a commitment from the Vees for the 2014-15 campaign.
This week, two more key members of the Rockets—forward Tyson Jost and goaltender Brendan Barry—signed on to play junior A with the Vees.
Jost, a St. Albert, AB native, rewrote the record books in 2013-14, scoring a team and league record 44 goals, and winning the BCMML scoring title with 88 points in just 36 games.
In the playoffs, Jost was equally impressive tallying nine goals and 18 points in seven games as Okanagan won the league title, then advanced to the Telus Cup in Moose Jaw where they won the national bronze medal.
“Tyson Jost simply had the best season in the history of the Okanagan Rockets program,” said Rockets’ general manager David Michaud. “Arriving at the decision to join the Penticton Vees was a long process for Tyson and I’m sure he is thrilled to have it behind him and get his junior career started. As an organization, we are so excited to see what he can do with the Vees.”
Vees president, GM and coach Fred Harbinson said his club has thrilled to have a player of Jost’s talent on board.
“We have had the opportunity to build a relationship with Tyson and his family,” Harbinson said. “He has attended our camps in the past and we are excited to have the opportunity to be a part of his hockey development moving forward.”
Jost and Liam Finlay spent much of the past season on the same line with the Rockets, as the duo combined for 139 points.
Meanwhile, Brendan Barry, 16, posted solid numbers in the Rockets net this season as he went 15-1-2 during the regular season, then started every one of the team’s playoff games en route to the club’s BCMML final series win over the Northwest Giants.
Barry then helped the Rockets defeat Red Deer in the Pacific regional championship, and also started six of Okanagan’s seven games at the Telus Cup, where the Rockets earned national bronze.
“Brendan exceeded all expectations from a performance standpoint,” said Michaud. “Brendan pushed and pushed for more starts down the stretch and did a tremendous job for us in the post season. We don’t have a playoff MVP award, but if we did, Brendan Barry would have been the winner. His play, especially against the Giants and Red Deer is something that I will remember for a long time.”
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Barry has been on the Vees radar for some time.
“Over the years, we have had a chance to watch Brendan develop and believe that he has worked hard to achieve his recent success and know he will continue to do so in a Vees’ jersey,” said Harbinson. “Importantly, Brendan has demonstrated a clear ability to perform and win in high-pressure situations. It is these characteristics that solidified our desire to have him be a part of goaltending tandem, along with returner Hunter Miska.”