Meet the new Vees

Gabriel Guilbault (4) is pictured in recent action. He is one of the new members of the Penticton Vees for the 2022-23 season.

In today’s Penticton Vees’ Player Profiles, the Herald introduces you to Gabriel Guilbault.

Vees Scouting Report

Height: 6’0

Weight: 170 pounds

Position: Defence

Hand: Right

Home: Burnaby

Age: 16

Coaching Report

“Gabriel is a very intelligent, complete defenceman,” Vees coach Fred Harbinson said. “He plays very steady hockey but has the potential to join the rush and be involved offensively. Only 16 years old, his development this year will focus on doing everything just a little quicker, and also trusting in his abilities on offence.”

Player Background

From Burnaby and the well-regarded Burnaby Winter Club hockey program, Guilbault is an excellent student, and works very hard to achieve to his highest potential.

“I think my dad has always pushed for perfection in his work, and those habits have rubbed off on me,” he said of his father, a professor at Simon Fraser University.

“My mother works at the Earl’s Restaurant’s head office, and her biggest influence on me has been to work hard at everything I do. I have two younger siblings; my sister plays baseball and my brother likes to act. We have a very close family.”

Guilbault always admired his grandfather, who has since passed away.

“My grandpa still inspires me because he moved from China to Australia at a very young age to study and later immigrated to Burnaby to settle, working as both a post office manager and a chef. His life choices inspire me because although there was considerable uncertainty and risk in his decisions, he trusted that if he worked hard, good things would happen for him.

Recent Hockey Highlights

Last season, Guilbault and his BWC U-18 team won the CSSHL championship, here in Penticton.

“I believe our team won the championship last year because we were a very close-knit group, and we wanted to win for each other, and we sacrificed individual goals for the better of the team. Our devotion to one another is really what brought us to the next level, in my opinion.”

Favourite memory

“My favourite hockey moment to this point has been playing against international competition in France. I was on the Mid-West Selects traveling team and we played against clubs from Russia, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, and others from North America. What made this event so special is that we were able to tour the village of Chamonix and see many other regions, including northern Italy. I haven’t traveled very much, but that trip has given me a real interest in seeing more of the world.”

Being a Vee

“I’m really excited to move to Penticton and begin the next stage of my hockey career. All the resources offered in Penticton, as well as the coaching staff with their attention to detail and wanting to help players improve, is what is most appealing to me. The strongest part of my game is my skating ability. The part of my game I need to work on the most is taking control of the game when I have the puck, and not passing up shots to the net.”

Guilbault knows having options in life is important.

“My ultimate goal in hockey is to be a well-known NHL defenceman that is respected for his offensive game, but also that forwards hate playing against. If not hockey, I expect to be a teacher because I like to pass along knowledge and working with others.”

The Vees open exhibition play Friday against the Vernon Vipers at the SOEC. Tickets are $10 for adults and seniors. Local youth under 19 are free courtesy of Peter Bros. Paving. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office, or online at: valleyfirsttix.com

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