Abbotsford’s Jake Chiasson was chosen by the Edmonton Oilers in round four of the NHL draft. (Edmonton Oilers Twitter photo)

Abbotsford’s Jake Chiasson was chosen by the Edmonton Oilers in round four of the NHL draft. (Edmonton Oilers Twitter photo)

Abbotsford’s Jake Chiasson chosen by Edmonton Oilers

Local product chosen by NHL club in fourth round, 116th overall on Saturday

Abbotsford’s Jake Chiasson took a big step forward in his hockey career on Saturday, after he was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round, 116th overall at the 2021 NHL draft.

Chiasson, a 6-2/165 pound centre, played youth with the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association and then moved on to the Yale Hockey Academy where he excelled on the U15 prep team.

He collected 87 points in 57 games over two seasons with the Yale Lions and was then drafted by the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings in the first round, 15th overall of the 2018 Bantam draft.

Chiasson recorded 20 points in 60 games with Brandon in 2019-20, and this past season contributed with 20 points in 23 games.

During a Zoom media availability following his selection, Chiasson praised his teammates and coaching staff at Brandon, as well as the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs for helping him get through a challenging season impacted by COVID-19.

“We had really good communication with Brandon which allowed me me to stay focused,” he said, noting that when the pandemic delayed the season the Chiefs allowed him to practice with them. “The Chiefs were allowing me to be on the ice as much as I could and when I got to Brandon it was all go ahead. I can’t say enough about the coaching staff and team there that supported me through this journey.”

Chiasson described himself as a two-way player and considers himself a playmaker. He added that he wants to improve his skating and physical play, as well as put on more weight to develop his power forward game in the coming years. Chiasson was listed at 165 pounds, but said he has put on weight and believes that will enhance his overall game.

He also said his uncle, former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Doug Lidster, helped him out through the draft process. Lidster was chosen in the seventh round, 133rd overall in the 1980 NHL draft and went on to win the 1994 Stanley Cup and play 897 games with four different teams.

“Uncle Doug made a hell of a career for himself,” Chiasson said. “He was in my ear a lot through this process so having a guy like that to lean on and talk to allowed me to just trust my game and have fun with it.”

Dave Reid of ESPN stated on the draft telecast that Chiasson has some tools to be an effective player but needs time to grow and develop.

“He has good scoring instincts and he’s got a great shot – probably one of the heavier shots in junior hockey,” he said. “He has size and is excellent in traffic along the boards.”

Reid speculated that if Chiasson fills out and becomes a more physical player that he could be better fit in a power forward position on the wing.

It’s expected that Chiasson will return to Brandon for his third season with the club later this year. The Wheat Kings are scheduled to open the season on Oct. 1.

Abbotsford hockey products Graham Sward (Spokane Chiefs defenceman) and forward Michael Milne (Winnipeg Ice) were both draft eligible but were not chosen in the draft.

RELATED: Trio of Abbotsford products make final NHL Central Scouting list for 2021 draft