Seven players who skated on the Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ state and Pacific District champion 14U AAA team this past season, along with three former players, were selected in this year’s Western Hockey League (WHL) U.S. Prospects Draft, which was conducted today (March 25).
Those selected from this year's Jack Bowkus-led USA Hockey National Championships-qualifying team included defenseman Austin Moline, who was chosen in the first round (ninth overall) by the Swift Current Broncos; forward Hunter Anderson, picked in the first round (11th overall) by the Calgary Hitmen; Zephyr Tangri, taken in the first round (19th overall) by the Prince George Cougars; and defenseman Alexander Young, selected by the Prince George Cougars (first round, 21st overall).
Second-round selections included forward Brenden Fields (pictured), who went 23rd overall to the Saskatoon Blades; goaltender Calvin Vachon, picked 23rd overall by the Kamloops Blazers; and Declan Stewart, who was chosen 40th overall by the Prince Albert Raiders.
The three former players selected were forward Alex Weiermair, who was chosen by the Portland Winterhawks (first round, 16th overall); defenseman Zeev Buium, taken in the first round (22nd overall) by Saskatoon; and forward Duncan Shin, who was selected in the second round (38th overall) by the Vancouver Giants.
Players eligible for the two-round WHL U.S. Prospects Draft were 2005-born players who reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Players not selected in this year’s U.S. Prospects Draft will remain eligible to be selected in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, which will be held on April 22, or listed by a WHL club at any time thereafter.
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, who was selected by the Calgary Flames in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, just wrapped up his third season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips.