Vernon Vipers forward Nick Remissong crashes into Penticton Vees goalie Kaeden Lane with help from Vees defenceman Owen Simpson during Penticton’s 4-3 come-from-behind BCHL win Saturday, Nov. 27, at Kal Tire Place. It would be Remissong’s last game with Vernon as he, two defencemen and future considerations were sent to the Merritt Centennials for two veteran players. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photgraphy)

Vernon Vipers forward Nick Remissong crashes into Penticton Vees goalie Kaeden Lane with help from Vees defenceman Owen Simpson during Penticton’s 4-3 come-from-behind BCHL win Saturday, Nov. 27, at Kal Tire Place. It would be Remissong’s last game with Vernon as he, two defencemen and future considerations were sent to the Merritt Centennials for two veteran players. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photgraphy)

Vernon Vipers shake up roster with huge trade

Three players and future considerations go to Merritt Centennials; two veteran players head to Vernon

In the midst of a six-game B.C. Hockey League losing streak, the Vernon Vipers have shaken up their roster with a major trade.

The Vipers sent forward Nick Remissong, defencemen Desmond Johnson and Braden Smith and future considerations to the Merritt Centennials in exchange for d-man Talon Zakall and forward Luke Lavery, two players who have NCAA commitments.

Zakall, from Merritt, has spent the last three seasons with his hometown Centennials. During his time there he amassed 14 goals and 46 assists in 134 career regular season games. Zakall had 3-8-11 in 14 games for the winless Cents this season. He has a commitment to Dartmouth.

Lavery, from Nanaimo, spent last season with his hometown Clippers. He had three goals and eight assists in 20 games during the Pod season. He’s only suited up for three games so far this season. Lavery has a commitment to Providence College.

Remissong, from Lake Forest, Ill., played all 20 games for the Vipers in the pod season, and appeared in 17 of the team’s 18 games thus far in the 2021-22 season. He had 2-2-4 for Vernon.

Johnson, a native of Phoenix, played 36 games for Vernon in the pod and 2021-22 seasons. He has five assists this season.

Smith, from Valemount, has suited up for 16 games this season, and is still looking for his first point.

The day before the deal with Merritt, the Vipers acquired forward Max Borovinskiy from the Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for forward Logan Lorenz.

Borovinskiy, from West Vancouver, spent last season in the pod with the Spruce Kings and compiled three assists in 12 games. This season in 11 games, he has four assists. Borovinskiy was a key member of the Burnaby Winter Club prep team scoring 12 goals and 14 assists in 34 games.

Lorenz had 14 points with the Vipers in 38 games. He had four points this season in 18 games.

Zakall and Borovinskiy are expected to make their Vipers debut tonight, Wednesday, Dec. 1, as Vernon hosts the West Kelowna Warriors. Game time is 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place. Lavery will not be in Vernon’s lineup.

The Snakes are 1-6-2-1 in their last 10 games. Vernon sits seventh in the nine-team Interior Conference, six points behind the expansion Cranbrook Bucks and three ahead of the Wenatchee Wild.

The Warriors (13-5-0-0) are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They are third in the Interior, five points behind the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and six ahead of the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The Vipers made another trade of sorts swapping weekend opponents as per the BCHL’s rescheduling of games due to travel limitations caused by flooding.

Out are Coastal Conference opponents Langley Rivermen and Coquitlam Express, and in are conference rivals Trail Smoke Eaters and Cranbrook.

Vernon takes on Trail Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. at KTP, then host the Bucks for the first time ever Saturday at 6 p.m.

Vernon was supposed to host Langley Friday and Coquitlam Saturday but, for the third week in a row, the league has rescheduled or postponed several upcoming games due to continued travel issues and highway closures in the province.

Due to ongoing floods, road closures and the approaching winter weather, the BCHL will remove all out-of-conference games for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

The league will continue to revise the schedule in the coming weeks to make up postponed games later in the season.

Editor’s note; This story was updated at 4:35 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, to include the trade with Prince George.

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