The Vernon Vipers are always thinking ahead in recruiting.
The B.C. Hockey League Snakes today announced the commitment of Nick Ardanaz of the Delta Wild Midget Prep team for the 2019-2020 season.
The 2002-born defenceman from Surrey compiled 31 points in 33 games last season with Delta Hockey Academy Elite 15s.
Viper head scout and assistant coach Kevin Pedersen is high on the 5-foot-8, 150-pound Ardanaz.
“The decision to commit to Nick a year out was based on his development as a player,” said Pedersen. “Nick is a gifted skater with dynamic edges and ability to control the puck. He has great vision and excels in the offensive side of the game. These attributes will be pushed while playing for the Delta Hockey Academy Midget Prep team this season.”
Pedersen expects Ardanaz to step into the Vipers’ lineup the year after next with more confidence and with a larger role.
“We thank Nick and his family for the commitment to be a part of the Vipers organization and we know our fans will love watching him play in the future. Our staff are excited about helping Nick earn an NCAA scholarship in the future and we believe his ability will help achieve that goal.”
Pedersen, meanwhile, is headed to the NHL awards ceremony, Wednesday, June 20, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
“I’m going with Matt Barzal and his family,” said Pedersen. “I coached him when he was with Burnaby Winter Club. He’s going to win rookie of the year (Calder Trophy).”
Barzal rang up 22 goals and 85 points with the New York Islanders this season. The former Seattle Thunderbird was drafted 16th overall by the Isles in the 2015 amateur lottery.