The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club announced Tuesday that forward Ryan Gropp (97) has left the team for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the (WHL).

President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson’s statement: “Ryan’s mindset last summer when he committed to UND (University of North Dakota) and decided to return to Penticton, was that he would enter the NCAA as a true freshman which coincides with his draft year.

Unfortunately Ryan did not get off to the start everyone expected this season, hence possibly affecting his long term goals. After a few discussions with Ryan and his family, we came to the conclusion it would be best for Ryan to change directions and move on to the WHL.

Ryan was a great teammate during his time in Penticton, and our organization wishes him nothing but the best in his future hockey endeavors.”