Eleven players with Los Angeles Jr. Kings ties were selected in this year’s Western Hockey League (WHL) Bantam Draft, which was conducted today (May 3).
Eight of the players chosen skated on the Jr. Kings’ Bantam Major team this past season: forwards Noah Alvarez (Vancouver Giants, 10th round, 210th overall), Arvega Hovsepyan (Kelowna Rockets, eighth round, 171st overall), Parker Murray (Portland Winterhawks, 10th round, 213th overall) and Ean Somoza (Everett Silvertips, 13th round, 284th overall); defensemen Aidan Hreschuk (Prince George Cougars, fifth round 90th overall), a Boston College recruit, Paul Minnehan (Tri-City Americans, seventh round, 146th overall) and Ty Murchison (Portland, third round, 63rd overall); and goaltender Alex Bonrouhi (Tri-City, 10th round, 217th overall).
Forward Easton Armstrong, who played for the Jr. Kings’ Bantam AA1 team this past season, was selected by the Regina Pats in the 10th round (214th overall).
The Victoria Royals picked forward Chris Alexander, a former Jr. King, in the eighth round of the draft (168th overall). Defenseman Spencer Shugrue, also a former Jr. King, was selected by the Saskatoon Blades in the ninth round (184th overall).
"These kids and their families have worked extremely hard over the past few seasons to earn this recognition, and it's well-deserved," said Jr. Kings general manager of hockey operations Nick Vachon. "It's a credit to our club, too - specifically our coaching staff - for helping develop and expose these promising young athletes to higher levels of the game."
Players eligible for the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft were 2003-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).