Veteran grabs the wheel

David Silye celebrates after scoring the Penticton Vees first goal of 2019-20 in a pre-season game Friday against Merritt at the SOEC. Silye was named captain of the Vees for 2019-20.

The Penticton Vees announced their leadership group for the 2019/20 season with David Silye selected team captain and fellow forwards Jack Barnes and Jay O’Brien named assistants.

Silye and O’Brien are 1999-born players and Barnes was born in 2000.

Silye, 20, is entering his fourth season in the BCHL coming off of career highs in goals, assists and points during the 2018/19 campaign. The 6’0”, 186-pound Clarkson University commit amassed 21 goals and 60 points in 54 games, joining the Vees in a trade after two seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers.

“It’s a great honour to be named captain of the Vees,” stated the Arnprior, Ont. native, “You see the names of previous captains and it makes it even more special knowing you’re adding to that legacy. I’ve seen and learnt a lot in my time in the league and having that experience will help me lead by example on and off the ice.”

Vees president, GM and head coach Fred Harbinson said he was pleased with the leadership options available going into this season.

“We have decided on three individuals that have the demeanor to lead this team through the good times as well as the challenging times,” said Harbinson, who had typically named his captains earlier in the summer of previous seasons.

Barnes, 19, comes into his third season with the Vees, posting a career-high nine goals 19 points last season. He has played 108 games in two seasons with the Vees, including being one of three players to appear in all 58 regular season games during the 2018/19 season.

O’Brien, 20, makes his way to Penticton for his first season with the Vees but brings a wealth of experience with him. The Hingham, Mass. native played 25 games last season with Providence College in the NCAA while also being a part of Team USA at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

O’Brien was the 19th overall selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

“David Silye, Jack Barnes and Jay O’Brien will do an outstanding job as the face of our team,” Harbinson continued, “All three players bring experience and a professional approach to the game. I look forward to working alongside the group.”