A pair of forwards were the top Surrey-based players chosen in the Western Hockey League’s Bantam Draft on Thursday (May 3).
Delta Hockey Academy winger Carson Latimer was selected 48th overall (third round) by Edmonton Oil Kings, and fellow Surrey-based player Caeden Bankier, a centre with the BWC academy, was chosen a pick later (49th) by Kamloops Blazers.
The league’s 2018 draft was held at a hotel in Red Deer, Alberta.
The Oil Kings used the first overall pick to select forward Dylan Guenther, an Edmonton native who plays for the Northern Alberta Xtreme Bantam Prep squad.
Of the 22 players selected in the first round of the draft, there were 14 forwards, seven defencemen and one goaltender. Of those, 11 came from Alberta, with five from British Columbia and three each from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
A record 15 players were selected from Canadian Sports School Hockey League teams (“academy” programs) in the first round.
Players eligible for the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft were 2003-born players residing in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon and western states in the U.S.
With the 12th pick overall, the Vancouver Giants grabbed Zack Ostapchuk, a forward with Northern Alberta Xtreme Bantam Prep.
Other Surrey-based players chosen in the draft include Mason Beaupit (82nd overall, by Spokane), Noah Dorey (88th, Kelowna), Brendan Pentecost (126th, Vancouver) and Holden Cardinal (174th, Everett).
The six-foot-one Pentecost, a left-shooting D-man, played in 2017-18 season with the Delta Hockey Academy’s Bantam Prep Green program. In 30 games he recorded six assists and 10 penalty minutes and added an assist in three playoff games.
“Brenden is solid in all areas of the ice,” Giants head scout Terry Bonner said a release. “He’s not fancy, but he’s a ‘presence’ on the ice. He makes a strong first pass, defends hard and plays the game with the type of fire that’ve been coveting in this draft.”
North Delta resident Ethan Samson, a defenseman with Delta Hockey Academy, was selected 65th overall by Prince George Cougars.