Ethan Bowen was drafted by Kelowna in the most recent Western Hockey League bantam draft but won’t play major junior hockey. The Chilliwack native has chosen the junior A/college route with the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Chilliwack Chiefs sign Rockets bantam draft pick Ethan Bowen

The talented Yale Hockey Academy product is choosing the BCHL/NCAA route over major junior.

The Chilliwack Chiefs have announced the commitment of 15 year old forward Ethan Bowen for the 2018-2019 season.

The Chilliwack native will be an affiliate player for the team in 2017-18 as they host the RBC Cup. In addition to the Chiefs commitment, Bowen has accepted a full scholarship as a ‘true’ freshman to the University of North Dakota for the 2020-2021 season.

Ethan was the 39th overall pick of the Kelowna Rockets in the most recent Western Hockey League bantam draft. He was rated as a top-five selection but fell to the second round because he would not sign a WHL Standard Players Agreement prior to the draft with any team.

“Thanks to guys like Tyson Jost, Dante Fabbro and Dennis Cholowski, the BCHL has demonstrated to younger players like myself that you can play junior A and college hockey and not fall off the radar with Hockey Canada and the NHL,” the teenager explained.

This past season Bowen captained the Yale Bantam Prep Lions, posting an impressive 29-33-29-62 stat line in the CSSHL Bantam Prep division. He was voted an all-star at every tournament Yale competed in.

He captured the Top Scorer award at the Pat Quinn Classic and tournament MVP honours at the John Reid Memorial in St. Albert, considered to be the top bantam tournament in Western Canada. Bowen led the tournament in scoring with 11-10-21 points in only 6 games and finished 3rd in all-time scoring behind only Jonathon Toews (36 points) and Michael St. Croix (23 points).

Bowen has been nominated by the Hockey Now magazine as the British Columbia Minor Hockey Player of the Year.

“Anytime you can add a player with the pedigree that Ethan has, your organization has to be extremely happy,” said Chiefs head coach/general manager Jason Tatarnic. “When you look at what Ethan has accomplished already you have to be full of smiles knowing he will be in a Chief uniform.

“By choosing the college route we know we will play an important part in his development for two seasons minimum and that is very exciting for our organization.”