Former Vernon Vipers Kellen and Connor Jones will finish the hockey season with the Edmonton Oilers’ American Hockey league farm team.
The 23-year-old twin forwards signed Friday with the Oklahoma City Barons. The Kootenay products inked amateur tryouts for the rest of this season, and a one-year standard players contract for next season.
The Oilers drafted Kellen from the Vipers with their seventh-round selection in 2010 and effectively drafted Connor at the same time, as the twins have shown up together for every Oilers summer camp since. They were a powerful offensive force with Quinnipiac University Bobcats of the ECAC the past four years, being the squad’s co-nominees for the Hobey Baker Award this past season when they combined for 80 points in 40 games. Similarly, in their sophomore years they were named co-MVPs of the Bobcats.
Their stats over the past four years in NCAA hockey shows there has been little to choose between them. Kellen racked up 53 goals and 127 points, while Connor produced 49 snipes and 129 points.
The twins sparked Vernon (coached by Mark Ferner) to back-to-back Royal Bank Cup national titles in 2009 (in Victoria) and 2010 (in Dauphin, Man.).
Oiler draft Jujhar Khaira, a former Prince George Spruce King who played for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL this year, also showed up in Oklahama City this week.
Meanwhile, former Viper forward Cory Kane (Irvine, Calif.), who recently concluded his senior campaign by helping the Ferris State Bulldogs to the NCAA Elite Eight, played for the AHL Providence Bruins on Sunday, April 6.
Kane signed a PTO (player tryout) contract with the Boston Bruins’ AHL affiliate on Friday and tallied his first professional point with an assist in Providence’s 7-2 victory over the Portland Pirates at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.
The ex-Bulldog standout joined former teammate Garrett Thompson in the professional ranks after he signed an ATO contract earlier in the week and made his pro debut with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL. Thompson tallied his first professional goal as well on Sunday, the same day in which Kane played in his first pro game.
Kane had a team-high tying 32 points for the Bulldogs, who reached the regional title game this campaign only two years after advancing to the national championship game at the NCAA Frozen Four during his sophomore season. He notched a team second-most 14 goals and added 18 assists in 38 games in 2013-14 as the Bulldogs won the WCHA regular-season championship in its debut campaign.
Kane was also with the Vipers for those two national titles. He pocketed 49 goals and 97 points in two seasons in Vernon.