The Vernon Vipers have amped up their B.C. Hockey League offence with two speedy forwards.
The Vipers traded F Luke Gingras and future considerations to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for the the rights for F Jordan Sandhu and then acquired F Keyvan Mokhtari from the Victoria Grizzlies.
“We feel we’re putting a pretty good group together,” said Vernon head coach and director of player personnel Mark Ferner. “We’ll have to see what kind of chemistry evolves in camp.”
Sandhu, an 18-year-old from Richmond, has already earned a scholarship from Arizona State University Sun Devils. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound roadrunner racked up 70 points, including 55 assists, in two seasons with the Alberni Valley. He was captain last year.
“He can play anywhere, up the middle or on the wing, and I know he played the point on the powerplay in Alberni Valley,” said Ferner. “He’s a good, little player, very competitive. He’s really tight with (Viper goalie) Ty Taylor and I coached his older brother, Tyler, in Everett (WHL Silvertips). Great family, great work ethic.”
Sandhu, who turns 19 next May, rang up five goals and 40 points in his rookie year with the Dawgs.
Mokhtari compiled 19 goals and 36 points in just 47 games with the Grizzlies last year. He will also be playing NCAA hockey in 2018-19 after earning a scholarship to Colorado College Tigers.
“He can absolutely fly,” said Ferner. “He has a great shot and I think he might have led the league in shorthanded goals (four).”
A 5-foot-8, 160-pounder out of Burnaby, Mokhtari supplied 11 goals and 30 points in his rookie season with Victoria. He also celebrates his 19th birthday next May,
Viper forwards Jimmy Lambert and Steven Jandric (both going to Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks) and d-man Cameron Trott (Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves) have decided to play NCAA hockey this fall.
The Vipers camp opens Aug. 21 at Kal Tire Place with three teams scrimmaging. Vernon’s returnintg core is led by forwards Jagger Williamson, Brett Stapley and Niko Karamanis and defencemen Michael Ufberg and Chris Jandric. Taylor is back in net.