Anderson makes Viper debut tonight

Mark Ferner says towering winger Keith Anderson plays hockey the right way.

Former Victoria Royal winger Keith Anderson has signed with the Vernon Vipers.

Former Victoria Royal winger Keith Anderson has signed with the Vernon Vipers.

Mark Ferner says towering winger Keith Anderson plays hockey the right way.

And after watching the 19-year-old Oregon farm boy practise the last 10 days in Vernon, Ferner like Anderson’s hustle and grit so much he signed him and released 19-year-old local product Levi Johnson.

The rugged Anderson, released by the Major Junior Victoria Royals, will play left wing on a line with fellow WHL veteran Austin Adamson and Hunter Zandee tonight as the Vipers entertain the Trail Smoke Eaters in B.C. Hockey League action. Cole Demers gets the start in net.

“From what I’ve been told, he’s a big, heavy body who has some skill and plays hard,” said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner, of Anderson. “He may be lacking a little bit of confidence right now. He skates well and he’s a really friendly and personable kid.”

Vernon traded Johnson to the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations.

Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 201-pound Vernon native who rang up 19 points in 45 Junior B Kamloops Storm games last year, recorded one goal and one assist in 11 games with the Snakes.

Johnson was dealt since the BCHL only allows a 22-man roster and the Vipers had to make room for Anderson.

Anderson, of Hermiston, Ore., pocketed six points and 37 penalty minutes with Victoria last year and was released after three tilts this season. He is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound right winger.

Anderson compiled 52 points in 46 Midget games with Compete Hockey prep in Spokane over two seasons.

It’s another $5 Friday tonight for all kids and students. Game time is 7:00.

Vernon visits Trail Saturday night. The Smokies have ex-Viper Blaine Caton and North Okanagan Knights’ grad Zach Dyment in their lineup and are fourth in the Interior Division at 6-7-1, three points back of the Vipers.

Caton, a Vernon resident, has one goal and three points, while Dyment, an Abbotsford product, is 4-6 with a 3.28 GAA and .908 save percentage.

In Thursday night action, the Surrey Eagles stunned the league-leading Wenatchee Wild 6-1, while the Prince George Kings grounded the Chilliwack Chiefs 4-1.