Quartet of Cowichan Valley players picked in WHL draft

Brendyn Van Oene, a product of Kerry Park Minor Hockey now skating for Shawnigan Lake School, was picked 188th overall in the WHL Prospects Draft last week. (Arden Gill/Shawnigan Lake School)Brendyn Van Oene, a product of Kerry Park Minor Hockey now skating for Shawnigan Lake School, was picked 188th overall in the WHL Prospects Draft last week. (Arden Gill/Shawnigan Lake School)
Shawnigan Lake School U15 prep forward Eliot Compton was picked 109th overall in the WHL Prospects Draft last week. (Arden Gill/Shawnigan Lake School)Shawnigan Lake School U15 prep forward Eliot Compton was picked 109th overall in the WHL Prospects Draft last week. (Arden Gill/Shawnigan Lake School)
Shawnigan Lake School U15 prep forward Liam Loughery was picked 172nd overall in the WHL Prospects Draft last week. (Arden Gill/Shawnigan Lake School)Shawnigan Lake School U15 prep forward Liam Loughery was picked 172nd overall in the WHL Prospects Draft last week. (Arden Gill/Shawnigan Lake School)

Four players with ties to the Cowichan Valley were selected in the Western Hockey League Prospects Draft on Thursday, May 19.

The four include two products of local minor hockey associations, and three players from the Shawnigan Lake School U15 prep team.

The Shawnigan contingent included Kerry Park minor hockey alum Brendyn Van Oene, who was picked 188th overall in the ninth round by the Brandon Wheat Kings. A six-foot, 160-pound left wing, Van Oene posted 24 goals and 16 assists in 29 games this past season.

“Brendyn is a very dynamic player with intense offensive instincts,” Shawnigan U15 prep coach James Pollock commented. “He has a very quick release and accurate shot. He is a driven hockey player with high aspirations of playing at the next level.”

The first Shawnigan player taken in the draft was Eliot Compton, a 6-foot-1, 155-pound right wing from Victoria who put up 22 goals and 27 assists in 30 games. Compton went in the fifth round, 109th overall, to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

“Eliot has a very creative way of playing and the skill to back it up,” Pollock said. “He’s a big kid that will only get better with maturity and focus on fitness and strength.”

Liam Loughery, a 6-foot-2, 194-pound defenceman from Pitt Meadows, was picked in the eighth round, 172nd overall, by the Brandon Wheat Kings. Loughery had four goals and 20 assists in 30 games in 2021-22.

“Liam is a very mature young man with nice poise on the ice,” Pollock said. “He brings a sense of calm to the locker room. Liam is a strong leader, defensively and positionally sound.”

Crofton’s Wyatt Blace, who came up through the Cowichan Valley minor hockey system, was selected in the seventh round, 139th overall by the Calgary Hitmen. The six-foot, 153-pound right wing put up 59 points on 22 goals and 37 assists in 30 games for the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy U15 prep team this past season.

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