Cowichan Valley plundered in WHL bantam draft

Kabore Dunn was in French class when his name was called. Corson Hopwo was in the school gym.

Kabore Dunn was in French class when his name was called. Corson Hopwo was in the school gym, but his phone had died, so he didn’t know what had happened until his classmates told him.

Dunn and Hopwo, who came up through the Cowichan Valley Minor Hockey Association and now play for Canadian Sport School Hockey League teams at Delta and at Shawnigan Lake School, respectively, were picked in the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft on May 5. Two of Dunn’s Shawnigan teammates, Jacson Alexander and Cody Shepheard, were also selected.

“We were just kind of following the draft in class, and when I saw my name, it was pretty exciting,” said Dunn, who was picked in the fourth round, 70th overall, by the Kootenay Ice.

With several players from Shawnigan’s hockey academy eligible for the draft, it wasn’t unusual for players to be keeping track on their phones.

“It’s a pretty big deal for all the Grade 9s,” Dunn said. Alexander, a Victoria product, went in the first round, 17th overall, to the Swift Current Broncos, and Shepheard, from Qualicum Beach, went in the eighth round, 155th overall, also to Kootenay.

Hopwo was taken in the seventh round, 138th overall, by the Medicine Hat Tigers. Like at Shawnigan, the Delta academy players were closely following the draft, although Hopwo had a technology issue.

“My phone died, so I didn’t know what was going on,” he recalled. “Everybody started saying my name and crowding around me. I didn’t even know what team drafted me.

“At first it didn’t really kick in, then everyone started saying congratulations. When it started to kick in, I felt pretty good about it.”

A six-foot, 156-pound defenceman, Dunn had three goals, three assists and 24 penalty minutes in 22 games for the Shawnigan bantam prep team last season. He also got into four games with the varsity team, scoring once. He knew he was on a lot of teams’ radar, but wasn’t sure when, or if, he would be draft.

“I was happy that I went where I went,” he said. “It was just a really good feeling. I wasn’t really expecting it. I knew before that there was a chance. A lot of people from different teams had been talking to me before the draft and said they were interested.”

Also a blueliner, the five-foot-10, 146-pound Alexander led Shawnigan’s bantam prep team with 22 points on nine goals and 13 helpers in 24 contests. Shepheard, a five-foot-11, 150-pound forward, scored nine goals and assisted on seven others for 16 points in 25 bantam prep games.

Hopwo averaged a point a game with Delta, putting up nine goals and 13 assists in 22 games, while leading the entire bantam prep league with 60 penalty minutes. The five-foot-five, 120-pound forward was one of a CSSHL-high 12 players picked from the Delta team. He was one of two Delta skaters picked by Medicine Hat.

“They said they were excited to have me,” Hopwo said of the Tigers. “They think I’m a hard worker.”

The excitement is mutual.

“I’ve heard they’re a really good organization,” Hopwo said. “And I’ve heard the coaching staff is really good and their arena is really nice.”

Hopwo should get his first look at Medicine Hat’s new Canalta Centre when he attends a rookie camp later this month. Like Dunn and the other Shawnigan players, he will also attend the main camp with his new team in August, but won’t be looking to crack the roster this year.

“I won’t be able to make it next year, but hopefully in my 16-year-old year, I might be able to make it,” Hopwo said. “I’ll put in the hard work and effort and see where it takes me.”


Just Posted

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

Most Read