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How Penticton Vees alumni have fared so far this NHL season

 

Hockey is back as the National Hockey League has already wrapped up its first calendar month of the new season. While the start of the new BCHL is still a few weeks away (hopefully), the 2021 NHL season is underway in a flash.

Typically in a normal year, the NHL season would start in October, but as we know, the past year has been nothing but ordinary. With a 56-game schedule that will conclude in May, the NHL season is moving rather quickly.

With everything that is going on globally, we can take a break for a few hours and escape the cruel reality and enjoy some NHL hockey. Seven former Vees are with an NHL team this season, be it on the active roster or the taxi squad.

As we cross our toes and fingers waiting for the BCHL season to drop the puck, guys like Troy Stecher, Duncan Keith, Ryan Johansen, and more are all on for the quest of the Stanley Cup.

We start with a name that is familiar to all of BC – Troy Stecher. The Richmond native was on the Vees for their most dominant season to date, smashing records across the board led them to lift the RBC Cup. After leaving college, Stecher chose the team he grew up idolizing – the Vancouver Canucks as his NHL destination. After spending four years wearing the blue and green, Stecher left for the Motor City during the offseason last fall.

His first few games in Detroit haven’t been remarkable, to say the least. Stecher has one assist in 10 games, a minus two, and has a Corsi For percentage of 48.8. Settling into a new environment can be tricky, and hopefully, Stecher finds his groove as the season progresses.

Entering his 16th year in the NHL, Winnipeg native Duncan Keith is headed to the hall of fame once he decides to hang up his skates.

However, with Father Time catching up with Keith, it hasn’t been the best of seasons the last few. Thus far, playing 10 games, Keith is averaging 23 minutes of ice and has five assists and a Corsi For percentage of 48.0. Though not his fault, the three-time cup champ, and his teammates are in a rebuild, so once again, it could be rather painful for Keith this year too.

Mike Reilly and the Ottawa Senators are also in tough this season. Playing in the ultra-completive North Division, the start for the Senators hasn’t been pleasant. In his sixth year in the league and second in Ottawa, Reilly has begun this year with four assists and a Corsi of 51.3%. Like Keith, this year will likely be filled with growing pains.

It takes two to make a thing go right

The Colorado Avalanche and the Nashville Predators decided that one Vees alumni wasn’t enough, both have two former Vees on their rosters.

In Denver, Tyson Jost made the main roster and Hunter Miska made the taxi squad. Both hope to be playing well into the summer as the Avalanche are built for a deep playoff run.

So far, Jost has played in 10 games and has one assist, and is averaging 13:50 of ice. At the same time, Miska suited up for one game this season despite being on the taxi squad.

In Nashville, Ryan Johansen has three assists while Dante Fabbro has two assists, both in eight games. Johansen is averaging 18:46 of ice and rocking a Corsi of 57.5%. While on defense, Fabbro is averaging 18:17 and has a Corsi of 53.4%.

Without a proper training camp and preseason, low statically numbers and slow starts were bound to happen. As we enter the second month of the season, all seven former Vees in “The Show” could see an increased role in February.