Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Vipers have re-stocked their roster with the commitment of five players for the 2014-2015 B.C. Hockey League season.
Local 17-year-old products Linden Hora and Ryley Booth, along with Americans Johnny Coughlin and Thomas Aldworth, and Ontario’s Kyle Tanev, all 19, signed Monday with the Snakes.
Booth, a defenceman from Armstrong, posted five goals and 22 points with the North Okanagan Knights of the KIJHL. He also played a few games last season for the Vipers, including one in the Fred Page Cup final.
“Ryley got better and better as the season progressed,” said Viper head coach/GM Jason Williamson. “He has good patience with the puck and also has good size. We’re excited about the tremendous potential in Ryley.”
Hora, a forward from Kelowna who started his career in Vernon, played last season with the Okanagan Major Midget Rockets. He was a huge part of the most successful season in the history of the national bronze-medalist Rockets, pocketing 18 goals and 27 points.
Hora is a two-way player that is very physical and can score.
“Linden played a few games for us and we think he can step in and contribute right away,” said Williamson. “He plays the game the right way and will be a fan favourite.”
Coughlin, a defenceman from Massachusetts, played last season with Trinity-Pawlings Lions. He was the co-captain of his Prep school team and recently committed to the Holy Cross Crusaders of NCAA Division 1. He is no relation to former Viper Liam Coughlin.
“Coughlin is an offensive-minded defenceman we have been after for a while. He has great size at 6-foot-3 and skates very well. We will lean on John to be a key contributor to our back end right away.”
Tanev, a forward from Ontario, played last season in the Greater Ontario Junior League. He is the younger brother of Vancouver Canuck Chris Tanev.
“Kyle is a very smart player. He sees the ice very well and is very mature. He’s the type of player we were looking for, a player we can play in all situations.”
Aldworth, a forward from Texas, split last season between the Tri-City Storm of the USHL and the Lone Star Brahmas of the NAHL.
“Thomas has elite level speed and offensive abilities. He will be a player that will be hard on the forecheck and will be able to create offence.”
Meanwhile, Williamson completed a few trades from last year. Ben Butcher’s rights were acquired from the Chilliwack Chiefs in exchange for future considerations. His rights, along with Demico Hannoun’s, were then traded to the Surrey Eagles for future considerations, to finalize the deal which brought Surrey captain Brett Mulcahy to Vernon.
Matt Saharchuk’s rights were traded to the Battleford North Stars of the SJHL in exchange for future considerations, finishing a trade for Josh Betinol.
Please see Wednesday’s Morning Star for further details.