Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Grizzlies announced today that they have acquired veteran BCHL and RBC Champion Zach Urban from the Penticton Vees and have named him Team Captain for the 2012 -2013 season.

General Manager and Head Coach Bill Bestwick today introduced Urban to the community and Victoria media at an event at the Grizzlies’ Bear Mountain Arena.

“The appointment of a Captain is one of the most important decisions we will make. Zach is a perfect fit and his experience, winning attitude, work ethic and knowing what it takes to win makes him a natural,” said Bestwick.  “He is a true champion and a true leader and through his knowledge and experience, will give our team a new and distinct identy that will lead to success on the ice and in the community.”

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Victoria Grizzlies Head Coach and GM Bill Bestwick (right) introduced new team captain Zach Urban (left) to the media on Thursday (Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Urban is entering his third season of BCHL competition and was a defensive stalwart on the blue line for the BCHL record-setting Penticton Vees. Last season, he played in 58 regular season games and every game of the playoffs, contributing four goals and 18 assists, with 88 penalty minutes.

The 19-year-old Kelowna native measures in at 6’ 3″ and 205 lbs, and is described as a ‘fearless competitor’ with a ‘team first’ approach to the game.  He comes to the Grizzlies as the “player to be named later” in the trade last year that sent Victoria native Wade Murphy to Penticton.

Urban will be heavily counted on for his leadership on and off the ice and looks forward to getting started.

“It is a great honour to wear the “C” for the Grizzlies organization,” said Urban. “I just want to bring the most experience that I have from last year in Penticton to help lead this team to success.  I am definitely excited with what Bill has done to bring new players in to the organization.  It is really positive for the team and the City and I hope I can bring as much as I can to the table for the players that will be here.”

“My Championship experience in Penticton will certainly be something I can draw on to help lead the team here,” added Urban. “That was an awesome experience. We had an unreal year and it was definitely something that helped excel my hockey career and can help me in my leadership role this season with the Grizzlies.”


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The Grizzlies Bill Bestwick presents new Captain Zach Urban with his jersey (#27) Thursday at Bear Mountain Arena (Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

“Zach is a champion. He is a character player, hard nosed and gritty. I am certain his work ethic and expectations will positively influence his teammates and make him a fan favorite,” added Bestwick.

In addition to Urban, the Grizzlies also announced another Penticton acquisition as D.J. Jones joins the Grizzlies from Penticton in a trade that sees Alex Holland head to the Vees. The 20-year-old defenceman joins his former teammate Urban in Victoria to bolster the Grizzlies strength on the blue line.

Other recent deals that the Grizzlies have made include: 

  • Forward Brett Hartskamp has been acquired from the Swan Valley Stampeders Hockey Club of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Hartskamp played for Grizzlies Coach Bill Bestwick in Nanaimo before being moved to the MJHL last season. The veteran BCHL forward will add experience to the young Grizzlies offence.
  • Turner Lawson comes to Victoria from the Vernon Vipers. Lawson was the future player to be named in the deal that saw former Grizzlies Sean Robertson head to Vernon mid-season. The 19-year-old is a versatile forward who is expected to make a strong mark up front this season.
  • Goaltender Brady Rouleau and forward Garrett Skrbich join the Grizzlies in a multi-player deal with the Westside Warriors announced earlier in July. Rouleau, 6’1” and 175 lbs., is an impressive starting goaltender who was a standout for the Cowichan Valley Capitals last season. Skrbich enters his second season in the BCHL, with good experience and offensive capacity. Skrbich is already committed to Princeton of the NCAA for 2013 and will be counted on to raise the competition level and depth of the forward position.
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    Other Grizzlies on hand today for the announcement were (left to right), Brett Hartskamp, Nolan DeJong, David Walchuck and Chase Kaiser (Christian J. Stewart / ISland Sports News)

    Fans will get their first opportunity to see the new Victoria Grizzlies in action when Training Camp gets underway August 20 at Bear Mountain Arena.

    The Grizzlies first exhibition game is scheduled for August 24 at home against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

    For information on season ticket packages and exhibition game tickets, visit or call 250-385-1555