September 19, 2013, Penticton, BC (ISN) – The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce forward Josh Blanchard (96) has committed to St. Cloud State University the team announced Thursday. Blanchard will join St. Cloud State in 2015 or in 2016.
President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson, says he looks forward to reading Blanchard for the college game, “Josh has had a track record of being an offensive talent and his speed and compete level make him a special player. We look forward to growing his game over the next few seasons.”
Blanchard, 17, is four games into his first season with the Vees and just recently scored his first career regular season goal, last Saturday against the Trail Smoke Eaters. Blanchard scored once in four playoffs games last spring as an Affiliate Player. The Kelowna, BC product played last season with the Okanagan Rockets of the BC Major Midget League (BCMML), finishing with a team best 29 goals in 39 games and was second in team scoring with 55 points. Blanchard picked up four more goals and five points in eight playoff games, as the Rockets came within one win of their second BCMML championship in team history.
Blanchard says he looks forward to pulling a Huskies jersey on, “I’ve been talking with St. Cloud for quite some time and felt like it was the best fit. I’m a competitor and I want to win and they’re building something special with their hockey program.”
St. Cloud State University is located in St. Cloud Minnesota and the Huskies have been playing NCAA Division l men’s hockey since 1988. 2013 was a banner year, as SCSU were Western Collegiate Hockey Association Co-Regular Season Champions and made their ninth NCAA Division l Men’s Tournament appearance in school history, and advanced to their first ever Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. SCSU forward Drew LeBlanc was the first Huskie to win the Hobey Baker Award, as the nation’s top college hockey player. Joey Benik, Joey Holka and Garret Milan are former Vees presently applying their trade at SCSU.
Blanchard is now the fifteenth player on the Vees roster with an NCAA Division l scholarship. Since August 29th, 22 NCAA Division l scholarships have been committed across North America, and remarkably, six commitments have been made to Vees players.