Canucks’ Volpatti adds star power to Vernon Viper charity golf tourney

Aaron Volpatti of the Vancouver Canucks confirmed for Vernon Vipers’ inaugural golf tournament for KidSport next Sunday at The Rise.

Winger Aaron Volpatti of the Vancouver Canucks is the latest hockey celebrity confirmed for the Vernon Vipers’ inaugural golf tournament for KidSport next Sunday at The Rise.

Volpatti, 27, signed a new one-year, two-way contract with the Canucks in June. A Viper grad and Revelstoke product, Volpatti spends his summers in Vernon.

He joins Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, Jerred Smithson of the Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings’ scout Marty Stein as guest celebrities in the scramble tournament (1 p.m. shotgun start). Price, who recently signed a lucrative, longterm contract with the Habs, officially got engaged on Thursday.

Viper head coach Jason Williamson, and assistant coach and former captain Dave Robinson will join at least 15 of this year’s team in the charity classic. Williamson said the Vipers are putting up some high-end sticks and clothing on the prize table.

“We’re just past the 80-player mark and we’re shooting for 100,” said Rise pro Lee Ranger. “This is our first one and we hope to raise lots of money for KidSport. There will be some great prizes and tee gifts.”

To register, call The Rise at 503-4535 or the Vipers’ office at 542-6022.

Meanwhile, Viper grad Colton Cyr signed a letter of intent with the American International College Yellow Jackets of the ECAC on Thursday. The Jackets are based in Springfield, Mass.

Cyr joined the Vipers at the BCHL trade deadline and was a valuable leader and scorer up front as the Vipers fell short in a push for a playoff berth. He finished a five-year career with 56 goals and 107 points in 226 games, most with the Nanaimo Clippers, where he was a captain.

“It was a big relief,” said Cyr, 21, of Nanaimo. “It’s been a stressful summer trying to line something up. I was set up to play Division 3 (St. Norbert near Green Bay) and they (AIC) had a player leave and things ended up working out for me.”

Williamson sent the Yellow Jackets’ head coach Gary Wright a video and high recommendation, while Bill Bestwick and Mike Vandekamp, who coached Cyr in Nanaimo, also served as references.

“I can’t thank Jason and the Vipers organization enough for helping me get this incredible opportunity,” said Cyr, whose uncle, Paul Cyr, was a NHL forward. “Definitely, after five years of Junior, I wanted to find myself in Division 1 hockey.”

Cyr will join former Clipper teammate Brandon Fagerheim and two other ex-BCHLers – Nick Sandor (Trail) and Matt Cassidy (Cowichan Valley) – in Springfield. Cyr will study health with an eye towards a bachelor of science degree.