Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vees Pull-Off Eight Player Swap

Press Release

PENTICTON, BC– The Penticton Vees Hockey Club were involved in a six team, eight player trade on Tuesday. The Vees acquired forward Sam Mellor (92) from the Trail Smoke Eaters and defenseman Rob Mann (92) from the Markham Waxers.

As part of the multi-team transaction, the Vees traded defenseman DJ Jones (92) to the Victoria Grizzlies and forward Grant Nicholson (93) to the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

In acquiring Mellor, the Vees were involved in two separate deals with the Capitals and Grizzlies. The Vees traded Nicholson to the Caps’ for the rights to defenseman Djordje Leposavic (92). Penticton also sent Jones to the Grizzlies for forward Alex Holland (92). The Vees then packaged the rights of Leposavic and Holland to the Trail Smoke Eaters for Mellor.

Mellor, 20, spent the 2011-2012 season at the University of Alaska-Anchorage in the WCHA. In his freshman season, the Cranbrook native tallied four goals and nine points in 33 games. Prior to Alaska, Mellor played two seasons as a Trail Smoke Eater, where he collected 61 goals and 130 points in 104 games. Mellor also brings international experience as he played on Team Canada West in the 2010 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge.

Penticton Vees Head Coach and GM Fred Harbinson acknowledges the teams’ need upfront, “We lost a lot of scoring from our lineup but now feel we have done a good job addressing that need. The addition of Sam not only brings a proven point producer but also brings experience to our group."

The Vees were involved in another multiple team transaction in landing Robert Mann. The Vees first acquired the rights of both defenseman Ryan Wells (93) from the Nanaimo Clippers and goaltender Curtis Martinu (92) from the Drayton Valley Thunder. In the acquisition for Mann the Vees traded Wells and Martinu to the Markham Waxers.

Mann hails from Oshawa, Ontario and spent the last two seasons between the Whitby Fury and Waxers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. Last season the 6’4 rear-guard collected three goals and 30 points in 40 games split between Whitby and Markham. He is committed to Robert Morris University for the 2013-2014 season.

When asked about Mann, Harbinson states that “Rob is an imposing d-man that can play a two way game. At 6'4 215 lbs. Rob will bring a physical element along with a strong skill set that will help reconstruct our backend."

Adding players like Mellor and Mann to the roster come at a price. “We had to give up to very good kids; two character kids in the process. Both DJ and Grant will now have the opportunity for a larger role under two very well respected coaches in Victoria and Cowichan Valley.”

The Penticton Vees organization welcomes both Sam and Robert to the South Okanagan. Also the Vees would like to thank DJ and Grant for their contributions to the team and the community.

(Nathan can be reached at

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