Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Vipers will use tonight’s international friendly exhibition with EC Red Bull Salzburg of Austria as a chance to see some top prospects in action.
The Vipers, who still have several players battling the flu, have recalled forward Jake Toor of Yale Academy in Abbotsford and defenceman Carter Stephenson and Chris Jandric from the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League.
Stephenson, 17, has played three games with the Vipers, picking up a beauty assist as Vernon shaded the West Kelowna Warriors Friday night at Kal Tire Place. He has four goals and 33 points in 24 games with the Vancouver NW Giants.
Jandric, whose older brother, Steve, plays for the Vipers, has four goals and 27 points in 26 games with the Cariboo Cougars. The 17-year-old enjoyed a stellar training camp with the Vipers.
Toor is a 16-year-old with eight goals and a dozen points in 24 games with Yale Academy.
“We might bring in one more AP (affiliate),” said Viper assistant coach Kevin Kraus. “It should be n exciting game. We just want the guys to stick to our systems and not get into any bad habits.”
Tickets are just $7 for adults/seniors and $5 for students and children. Game time is 7 p.,.
Last time the Vipers played a European team was 2009 when Gabriel Landeskog and a Swedish U18 side met the Vipers in a Sunday matinee.
D-man Kyle Bigos scored in a shootout as the Vipers won 3-2 in a thrilling, fast-paced tilt.
Salzburg outlasted West Kelowna Warriors 8-6 to jumpstart their four-game tour a week ago. Salzburg then lost 6-1 to the first-place Penticton Vees last Wednesday. The Red Bulls finish their tour Wednesday night in Victoria versus the Grizzlies.
Salzburg is third in Group A of the Erste Bank Young Stars League at 16-11-1. Their top scorer is Patrick Hagler with 12 goals and 36 points in 25 games. Left winger Valentin Busch is ranked 132nd among International skaters in Central Scouting’s mid-term ratings.
Centre Florian Baltran amassed five goals and 19 points in 69 games with the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds and Lethbridge Hurricanes last year.
Red Bull Salzburg has several familiar faces in its executive including club director and former NHL head coach Pierre Pagé and skills coach, former NCAA star and NHLer Brian Savage.
Salzburg is coached by former Boston College standout and Carolina Hurricanes draft pick J.D. Forrest as well as former Clarkson University defenceman and Bentley University assistant coach Matt Curley.