Abbotsford hockey talent drafted by WHL teams

Trio of local products taken in Thursday’s WHL bantam draft

A pair of Abbotsford hockey talents have been selected in the first round of the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft.

Forward Jake Chiasson and defenceman Graham Sward were selected 15th and 17th overall respectively at the draft, which occurred in Red Deer on Thursday.

Chiasson was selected by the Brandon Wheat Kings, while Sward was chosen by the Spokane Chiefs. Both players are products of the Yale Hockey Academy.

Chiasson finished seventh in scoring in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, and collected 68 points in 30 games for the YHA’s Bantam Prep team. He also played four games for the YHA’s Midget Prep team this season, scoring three points.

Sward picked up 18 points for the YHA’s Bantam Prep team, and was nominated for the league’s best defenceman award. He doubled his point total from last season, and also suited up for two games for the YHA’s Midget Prep team this season.

Abbotsford’s Liam Vanderkooi was also selected on Thursday, as he was chosen by the Medicine Hat Tigers in the third round (55th overall). The goalie picked up 11 wins and had a save percentage of .914 in 17 appearances for the YHA’s Bantam Prep team this season.

Chiasson, Sward and Vanderkooi all also played their minor hockey with the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association.

Other YHA products selected on Thursday were: Logan Stankoven (fifth overall, Kamloops Blazers), Nolan Bentham (13th overall, Victoria Royals), Kobe Verbicky (23rd overall, Edmonton Oil Kings), Tyson Galloway (25th overall, Calgary Hitmen), Zackary Funk (43rd overall, Calgary Hitmen), Parker Bell (102nd overall, Tri-City Americans), Wyatt Wilson (116th overall, Lethbridge Hurricanes) and Devin Benson (143rd overall, Medicine Hat Tigers).

For complete results from the event, visit whl.ca/draft.

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