Two players who skated on the Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 14U AAA team this past season - forward Zane Rowan and defenseman Pavel Bocharov - were selected in this year’s Western Hockey League (WHL) Bantam Draft, which was conducted today (May 2).
The Regina Pats chose Rowan in the third round of the draft (61st overall), and Bocharov went in the eighth round to the Saskatoon Blades (160th overall).
Players eligible for the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft were 2004-born players residing in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
The WHL is widely considered one of the premier junior leagues in North America. It has developed countless players for the professional ranks, including the NHL.
Former Jr. Kings to reach the NHL through the WHL include forwards Mitch Callahan (Detroit Red Wings) and Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers) and defenseman Ray Macias (Colorado Avalanche), who’s currently coaching in the Jr. Kings program.
Goaltender Dustin Wolf, a 2019 NHL draft prospect, just wrapped up his second season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Earlier this week, Wolf, who was selected in the 2016 draft by Everett, was named the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year.