Jacob Evans and Tanner McKechnie brought experience to a young Virden Oil Capitals team this past season.
Both players were acquired by the Oil Caps during the 2018-2019 campaign. A defenceman in his 19-year-old season, Evans was picked up from Dauphin. McKechnie, a 20-year-old forward, came from Swan Valley.
“I’ve really enjoyed wearing the Oil Capitals crest and getting to play with and for a tight knit group of great teammates and staff,” Evans said. “Also, playing in front of Virden fans has been unbelievable for such a small city our fan support is incredible.”
Evans, who hails from Wausau, Wisc., had three goals and seven points in 19 games for Virden. Former head coach Troy Leslie praised his ability to move his feet and the puck.
“Transitioning to an organization like Virden was really easy with the staff, team, and my new billet family welcoming me in, and doing whatever they could to make it easy for me,” said Evans, who billeted with Dave and Lynette Jordan. “Obviously it’s a little weird playing your old team for the first time. But I couldn’t be happier to be in Virden.”
For McKechnie, Virden was his fourth junior team, including Swan Valley, the El Paso Rhinos in Texas, and Estevan Bruins in Saskatchewan. The Regina product was pleased to finish his junior career close to home playing in front of great fans in one of his favourite arenas.
“The best part of junior for me has been meeting people from around the world and making friendships with the brothers I've played with along the way,” said McKechnie, who billeted with Greg and Cathy Tough. “Also, the memories I've made through new experiences in the different places I've played.”
McKechnie, who hopes to play in the post-secondary or pro ranks next season, had two goals, five points, and 27 penalty minutes in 19 games.
Leslie said McKechnie is an energy player who is quick, is a good penalty killer, and sticks up for teammates.