Vipers trade for big d-man

The Vernon Vipers got older and bigger by signing 20-year-old defenceman Latrell Charleson as a free agent Thursday afternoon.

Latrell Charleson is now property of the Vernon Vipers.

The Vernon Vipers got older and bigger by signing 20-year-old defenceman Latrell Charleson as a B.C. Hockey League free agent Thursday afternoon.

Charleson played last season for the Surrey Eagles and was suspended indefinitely last February after he collided with, and pushed referee Kirk Wood, from behind at the close of a game against the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Charleson addressed the hit on Twitter last year.

“For those who have seen the video of me running into the ref, I’d like to say it was not intentional and I meant in no way to hurt the ref,” he wrote. “After the game I apologized to the ref and we shook hands. All ended well.”

Said Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner: “He’s a pretty good player. For a big man, he’s got some good hands and he can shoot it a ton.”

The Viper bus picked up Charleson Thursday afternoon as they headed to Port Alberni to start a three-game road trip Friday night against the Bulldogs.

Charleson is a 6-foot-4, 229-pound Surrey product who registered 11 goals and 23 points in 23 games last year with the Eagles.

He produced 5-22-27 with Battlefords North Stars in Saskatchewan the year before and got in 51 games with the Prince George Spruce Kings and Coquitlam Express as an 18-year-old. He’s ready to start a fresh start with Vernon.

“That (referee incident) was kind of a freak thing and I’m trying to put it behind me and keep playing hockey,” said Charleson, who enjoys pick-up hoops. “I’m a big body, physical and I like to get offensively active and use my shot. Hopefully, I can get some good numbers like last season.”

Charleson said he had been renting ice to get in some skating in the hopes of playing his final year of Junior A. He is a big fan of the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville d-man Shea Weber.

The Vipers earlier in the week traded for 20-year-old centre Ben Butcher of the Langley Rivermen. Butcher and Charleson were once teammates in Surrey.

To make room for Butcher and Charleson, the Vipers released winger Zach Andrusiak Thursday morning. The 5-foot-9 Armstrong product had two assists in 11 games.

“That was tough to do,” said Ferner. “If Zach chooses to play Junior B, we would love to AP him and bring him back next year.”

The Vipers are without No. 1 goalie Andrew Shortridge (hip flexor) and were hoping to bring Tavin Grant of the Kamloops Storm on the trip to back up Brendan Barry. Grant, however, was ill, forcing the Vipers to make some urgent calls to Junior B teams on the coast Thursday.

Meanwhile, rookie Jimmy Lambert has committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks for the 2017-18 season.

The Saskatoon product has produced five goals and seven assists for the Vipers in 18 games. The Nanooks have seven BCHL alums on their roster this season, including former Vipers forwards Colton Sparrow and Marcus Basara.

 

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Be vigilant when looking for love

Surrey Mounties say they’re seeing increase in sexual assault complaints related to people meeting after using online dating apps

MINTY: It’s never too late to create, as these Surrey seniors show

Pacifica Never Too Late Art Collective members are ‘late bloomers’ with works shown at Newton gallery

Surrey Mounties arrest man in Chatr Mobile store robbery in Whalley

Jeremy Morgan, 32, is alleged to have had a loaded gun when he was arrested on Feb. 12

Surrey RCMP recover $80,000 worth of stolen property

Police found the property after executing two search warrants in Newton

White Rock approves scaled-up Festival of Lights for 2020

Event to run for nearly 60 days, and expand from the white rock to Oxford Street

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Victoria, Abbotsford record biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Woman arrested in Cariboo after fuel stolen, police car rammed

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Most Read