by Kevin Mitchell, Vernon Morning-Star
Semiahmoo Minor Hockey alum – and current Vernon Vipers’ forward – Mason Blacklock has committed to play for the Michigan Tech University Huskies.
Blacklock, 19, still has two years of eligibility in the B.C. Hockey League and will play this season for the Vipers.
The Semiahmoo Peninsula native has been well-travelled since joining the BCHL – also playing for Nanaimo, Langley and his hometown Surrey Eagles.
The six-foot-one, 195-pound White Rock product joined the Vipers at the trading deadline last January, along with future considerations – which, after the season, turned out to be Demico Hannoun and Jordan Klimek – in a blockbuster trade for centre Adam Tambellini.
Tambellini went on to help the Eagles to a BCHL title and an appearance at the RBC Cup, while Blacklock, who received a more prominent offensive role in Vernon, scored 18 points in 19 games after the deal.
Prior to the deadline-day swap, the fourth-year junior-hockey veteran had 17 goals in 32 games with the Eagles.
He’s back in South Surrey tomorrow, as his Vipers are set to battle the Eagles at South Surrey Arena, before the two clubs head back to Vernon for a rematch Saturday.
The NCAA Div. 1 Huskies will decide whether he joins them for the following season, or the 2015-16 campaign.
“Mason has become an elite player in the BCHL and will progress into a very good college hockey player,” said Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson. “Since his arrival in Vernon, he has been one of our most consistent and dangerous players.
“Mason has worked very hard to become the player he is. He is very deserving of this and I look forward to watching him grow as a player this year.”
And though Blacklock missed out on the Eagles’ run to the RBC Cup last spring, he’ll get the chance this season – the Vipers are hosts of the 2014 tournament, and are assured a spot in the event.
“He will definitely be one of our go-to-guys and someone we will lean on going into the 2014 Royal Bank Cup,” Williamson added.
– with files from Nick Greenizan