Vernon Vipers add WHL 20-year-old veteran

Austin Adamson brings grit, moxy and experience to the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL.

Austin Adamson has signed with the Vernon Vipers.

Austin Adamson has signed with the Vernon Vipers.

Austin Adamson brings grit, moxy and experience to the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL.

The Snakes obtained the 20-year-old Richmond product in a Wednesday morning trade with the Chilliwack Chiefs, who owned Adamson’s rights. The Vipers gave up future considerations.

Adamson, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound winger who may play centre for the injury-riddled Vipers, was released by the Portland Winterhawks due to an influx of 20-year-olds. The WHL teams are allowed to carry three overagers, while BCHL clubs may use six.

“We needed to add some older guys and he’s played for (Brent) Sutter and Mark Lamb so he’s got something going on,” said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “He led the Winterhawks in fitness testing so he’s a worker and skater. We’re hoping he can be like a Dave Robinson type player. I know he can play right wing, but I’m hoping he can play centre. It will be nice to get a healthy body.”

Veteran forwards Hunter Zandee, Nick Rasovic and Brett Stapley are on injured reserve and doubtful for the Vipers’ first game of the regular season, Friday, Sept. 9 in Salmon Arm.

Rookie prospect F Chase Stephenson of Kelowna is also sidelined with a broken collarbone and is unavailable for least the first month of the season.

The Vipers go into tonight’s exhibition game against the Vees in Penticton with four goalies, a dozen defenceman and 18 forwards (14 healthy) in camp. They must trim the roster to 22 by Sept. 9.

Christian Cakebread, Steven Jandric, Jagger Williamson and Jimmy Lambert are veterans expected to play up front tonight, while Darren Rizzolo will be the lone returning d-man suiting up.

The Vipers dressed Williamson, Rasovic and Lambert at forward and second-year d-man Callum Volpe in Merritt Saturday night, losing 4-3.

New York 19-year-old bruising blueliner Cameron Kuhl, Rasovic and ‘99-born d-man Sol Seibel of Kamloops supplied the Viper goals at the Nicola Valley Arena.

Chase Bell, John Stein, Mark O’Shaughnessy and Henry Cleghorn handled the Merritt offence.

There Vipers vist the Silverbacks Friday and the teams play their final preseason tilts Saturday in Vernon (6 p.m., Kal Tire Place).