Vancouver Canucks young stars defenceman Cole Candella dives to prevent what would have been the tying goal by the Winnipeg Jets in 2017’s Young Stars Classic. After a year’s absence the tournament is returning this September once again with four NHL clubs. (file photo)

NHL prospects returning to Penticton for Young Stars Classic

After a one-year absence the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic is returning to the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) for the ninth time in September, the Canucks announced Tuesday.

The 2019 event was cancelled in February of that year by the Canucks who thanked the City of Penticton for its support of the event the previous eight years. The reason given for the cancellation was “due to a lack of participating NHL teams,” according to a Canucks statement, which added that options for future tournaments would continue to be explored.

Initially four teams, the Canucks, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers took part but in 2018 the Flames and Oilers dropped out and were replaced by the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and University of Alberta Golden Bears.

READ MORE: 2019 Young Stars Tournament in Okanagan cancelled

This year’s four-team, round-robin tournament is set to take place from Friday, Sept. 11 to Tuesday, Sept. 15.

“We are very excited to once again hold the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, B.C.,” said Canucks general manager, Jim Benning in a news release. “The Young Stars tournament provides an opportunity to evaluate top NHL prospects in competitive, high-caliber games. We’re grateful to the South Okanagan Events Centre and the City of Penticton for providing their first-class facility and hospitality.”

The schedule is as follows:

  • Game one, Vancouver vs. Winnipeg – Sept. 11, 7:00 p.m.
  • Game two, Calgary vs. Winnipeg – Sept. 12, 4:00 p.m.
  • Game three, Vancouver vs. Edmonton – Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.
  • Game four, Edmonton vs. Calgary – Sept. 13, 4:00 p.m.
  • Game five, Edmonton vs. Winnipeg – Sept. 15, 4:00 p.m.
  • Game six, Vancouver vs. Calgary – Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said that today’s announcement is great news for the City, the SOEC, and the region as a whole.

“Hockey has a long and established history in Penticton, and this tournament, marking the 9th time it will have been held in our community, continues our tradition of being a popular and welcoming community to host great hockey events,” he said in the release.

“On behalf of City Council and all our residents, I’d like to welcome the players, coaches, families and visitors to Penticton.”

Ticket information will be announced at a later date.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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