Vipers land Thunder Bay scoring leader

Thunder Bay's Todd Skirving has committed to play with the Vernon Vipers for the 2010-11 season. Skirving

He has gone from one of the Vernon Vipers’ biggest fans to one of their most highly-prized prospects.

Thunder Bay’s Todd Skirving was glued to his computer monitor this spring, making use of the B.C. Hockey League’s Pay Per View feature to witness the Snakes’ impressive run to a second straight Royal Bank Cup crown.

A standout with the Thunder Bay AAA Midget Kings last season, Skirving has committed to play with the Vipers for the 2010-11 season. As excited as the Vipers are to have him, Skirving is equally thrilled to be coming to the Okanagan.

“If you wanted a kid that was more excited to play here, I don’t think you could find one,” said Vipers’ assistant coach Jason Williamson. “He had lots of schools on him, but this was his first choice.”

In 76 games as the Kings’ captain, Skirving collected 46 goals and 63 assists to lead Northern Lakes Hockey League scoring with 109 points, earning league MVP in the process.

The 18-year-old centreman says the BCHL brand of hockey, and the Vipers’ winning credentials are what drew him to the club.

“They’ve got a winning tradition and great coaching in Mark Ferner and Jason Williamson,” said Skirving. “It’s good hockey out there, probably the best Junior A hockey in Canada by far.”

While he has yet to visit Vernon, Skirving has twice played with the Kings at the Kelowna International Major Midget Tournament. He collected 2-5-7 in five games at the most recent tourney, held over the Christmas holiday.

“He was one of the best players at the tournament, and one of the best we’ve scouted all year,” said Williamson.

Describing the 6-foot-2, 175 pounder as a solid all-around player, Williamson says Skirving skates well for a big player and offers sound offensive instincts and leadership skills.

Skirving was sought after by numerous USHL, OHL and other Junior A organizations across North America, and is already being courted by NCAA schools.