Penticton Vees acquire forward from Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Vees move defenceman in exchange for a forward

The Silverbacks’ Marcus Mitchell throws the Vernon Vipers’ Sol Seibel to the ice after a scrum in front of the Vipers net during the season opener at Shaw Centre on Friday, Sept. 9. In spite of the aggressive play, the Silverbacks lost the game 6-3.

The Penticton Vees have exchanged players with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

In exchange for defenceman Joe Leahy, the Vees will receive 98-born forward Marcus Mitchell from the Silverbacks.

Mitchell, from Kelowna, has spent the last three seasons with the Silverbacks scoring 27 goals with 34 assists in 122 career games. Prior to his BCHL career, Mitchell played the 2014-15 season with the Okanagan Rockets, finishing second in team scoring with 46 points in 39 games.

“This is a hockey trade out of necessity,” said Vees head coach and general manager Fred Harbinson. “With all the long-term injuries to our forward group, we felt the need to add an experienced forward. Marcus is a powerful winger that can add offence.”

This season Mitchell played in 19 games with the Silverbacks scoring eight goals with four assists.

Leahy, a 97-born defenceman from Waterloo, Ont., had been with the Vees since the beginning of last season suiting up for a combined 101 regular season and playoff games, scoring six goals with 27 assists. He played a key role in the Vees Fred Page Cup championship last season.

“It was extremely difficult to move a defenceman of Joe’s calibre,” Harbinson said. “He helped us win a championship last April, but the addition of Michael Campoli in the new year will help fill the void.”

Silverbacks coach Scott Atkinson said they needed to shore up their defence and it was bittersweet trading Mitchell, a Michigan Tech commit for next season.

“We are very excited about adding a player of Leahy’s calibre to our roster and at 6’4, 210 pounds we see him as a top end defenceman who can contribute in all situations. The fact that he brings a full skill set and a championship pedigree will be meaningful to our team’s culture,” said Atkinson.

Mitchell will wear jersey number 25, has joined his new teammates and will make his Vees debut Friday when the team travels to Wenatchee to play the Wild for two games this weekend.

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