Vernon Vipers head coach and general manager Jason McKee has been busy, landing five new player recruits. (File photo)

Vernon Vipers head coach and general manager Jason McKee has been busy, landing five new player recruits. (File photo)

Vernon Vipers land quintet of players

Three defencemen and a pair of teammate forwards coming to the Snakes’ Den

No start date has been announced for the 2020-21 B.C. Hockey League season but Vernon Vipers bench boss and general manager Jason McKee has been busy.

McKee has announced five more player additions to the squad for the upcoming season, including three defenceman and a pair of teammate forwards.

The teammates are Logan Lorenz and Ethan Mercer, who played last season with the Northern Alberta Xtreme in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League’s Midget Prep Division. The team went 32-3-1, tops in the CSSHL.

Lorenz, 17, from Consort, Alta. spent the last two seasons with the Xtreme. Last season, Lorenza scored 29 goals and 49 assists in 33 games, tops among the Xtreme and second in league scoring.

“Logan is a skilled, intelligent player who has a strong hockey IQ,” said McKee.

Mercer, 17, had 17 goals and 14 assists in 36 games played and is described by McKee as a “heavy power forward with raw potential to improve quickly.”

McKee criss-crossed North America to land three prime blueliner recruits.

Liam Cavan, 18, is from Ottawa. He has committed to the NCAA’s Merrimack College Warriors of North Andover, Mass. Cavan is six-feet, 169 pounds who had nine goals and 29 assists in 53 games last season with the St. Andrew’s College Saints of Aurora in the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario Athletic Association.

“Liam is a competitive player that can break pucks out with his smarts or his feet. He is very mobile,” said McKee.

Cavan was second in points by defenceman for his team.

Sam Duerr, 17, is from Chicago, and played last season with Shattuck St. Mary’s Midget Prep in Minnesota. He finished with 13 goals and 23 assists in 44 games played.

“Sam is a new-era defender that can play it any way you want to,” said McKee. “He’s got a great upside and we are expecting a very productive season.”

Duerr is committed to the University of Maine.

Desmond Johnson, 18, is from Windsor, Ont. and played last season with the Chicago Mission U18 team. He had four goals and seven assists in 14 games played.

“Desmond is a right-shot defenceman that skates extremely well and plays with great anticipation,” said McKee, also impressed with Johnson’s solid Macs Tournament in Calgary with four assists in four games.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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