They call him Bubba, he hits everything that moves and he’s one of the most popular Vernon Vipers.
Also known as Riley Brandt, the 19-year-old product of Trail will be captain of the B.C. Hockey League Vernon Vipers this season.
Brandt, who earns his shower every game, pocketed 15 goals, 31 points and 104 penalty minutes last season. He turns 20 in December.
Brandt, a 5-foot-8, 195-pounder who is feared through the league, is entering his fourth season in the BCHL and third with the Vipers.
He is no stranger to long playoff runs as he was a part of a national championship winning Junior B team with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the KIJHL.
Brandt will be joined by three alternates to round out the rest of the leadership group.
Also wearing a letter will be 18-year-old Lumby product Jagger Williamson, who is entering his thid season with the Vipers and continues to lead well beyond his years. The Michigan Tech Huskies commit compiled six goals and 27 points in 50 games in his sophomore campaign. Williamson is a 5-foot-8, 185-pound buzz saw with great vision.
Hunter Zandee, out of Kelowna, will also wear an ‘A’ this season. Zandee is preparing for his fourth BCHL season and continues to lead by example with his hard work and physical style.
Zandee, a 6-foot-, 180-pounder who is a work of art on the art of work, supplied eight goals and 16 points last season.
Rounding out the leadership core will be second-year forward Jimmy Lambert of Saskatoon.
Lambert excelled late last year with his speed and skill, but also his attention to detail. The 5-foot-11, 168-pounder rang up 15 goals and 33 points in just 49 games last year.
“He will look to build on a fantastic rookie campaign, but also help the rest of the group in instilling a positive culture to the dressing room,” said head coach/GM Mark Ferner. “The leadership group this season will be heavily relied on to provide a positive environment on and off the ice.”
The Vipers open the 55th BCHL season Friday night in Salmon Arm against the Silverbacks. The teams meet Saturday, 6 p.m., at Kal Tire Place.