Mill Bay’s Ben Wright was one of several players with ties to the Cowichan Valley to be picked in the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft last week.
A centre on the Shawnigan Lake School bantam prep team, Wright was selected by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 10th round, 218th overall.
Six-foot-one and 155 pounds at 14 years old, Wright scored 22 goals and added 25 assists for a team-high 47 points in 30 regular season games this past season.
“Ben is a big centreman with obvious size and skill to boot,” Oil Kings director of scouting Jamie Porter said. “He had a great second half of the season and we liked where his game was going.”
Wright’s Shawnigan teammate Dylan Compton was also picked up, going to the Prince George Cougars 102nd overall in the fifth round.
A defenceman from Victoria, the 15-year-old Compton is 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds and recorded five goals and 13 assists for 18 points in 24 games in 2019-20.
The second round of the draft saw Arjun Bawa go 36th overall to the Red Deer Rebels. Born in Richmond, Arjun is the son of Robin Bawa, who was born and raised in Duncan and played five seasons in the WHL before embarking on a long pro career that included 61 NHL games with four teams, including the Vancouver Canucks. The first NHLer of Indian descent, Robin is an inductee to the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame and the BC Sports Hall of Fame as a pioneer.
A 6-foot-1, 160-pound centre, Arjun Bawa put up 41 points on 16 goals and 25 assists in 29 games with the St. George’s School bantam prep team this past season, and added 68 penalty minutes.
“He’s a real tall kid, nearly six-foot-two now,” Rebels assistant general manager and director of player personnel Shaun Sutter said. “He has some skill, sees the ice well and can skate. He’s a guy with a real high ceiling. We’re excited to get another guy with pro upside. We were pretty pumped to get another player we had ranked quite high.”