Penticton Vees D headlines BCHLers taken in National Hockey League draft

The junior A league matched a record with seven players selected by big league clubs.

A league-record-tying seven BCHL players were selected on day two of the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft in Dallas on Saturday.

First off the board was Penticton Vees defenceman Jonny Tychonick, selected 48th overall by the Ottawa Senators. The 2018 BCHL first-team all-star is committed to the University of North Dakota for next season.

Next up at No. 81 was Trail Smoke Eaters defenceman Seth Barton who was selected by the Detroit Red Wings. After one more season in the BCHL, Barton will leave for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in 2019-20.

Another defenceman, Wenatchee’s Slava Demin, was selected next. The California native was nabbed at No. 99 by the Vegas Golden Knights, marking two firsts.

Demin is the first Wild player drafted by an NHL team since Wenatchee joined the BCHL and he is the first BCHL player drafted by Las Vegas. Demin was a BCHL second-team all-star last season and is committed to the University of Denver for 2018-19.

It wasn’t a long wait for the next Wild player to be chosen as Jasper Weatherby went at No. 102 to the San Jose Sharks. The BCHL MVP and scoring champ will be Tychonick’s teammate at North Dakota next season.

In the fifth round at No. 126, the Senators came calling again when they selected Langley Rivermen forward Angus Crookshank. A gold medallist with Team Canada West at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge (WJAC), Crookshank will play at the University of New Hampshire next season.

Vernon Vipers forward Brett Stapley’s name was called at No. 190 by the Montreal Canadiens. The three-year BCHL veteran also won a gold medal at the WJAC and will be teammates with Demin at Denver next season.

The final BCHL player selected was another Viper. The Tampa Bay Lightning grabbed goalie Ty Taylor at No. 214. The BCHL Top Goaltender Award winner led the BCHL in save percentage (.931) and goals-against average (1.87) and was a first-team all-star. He will join Crookshank at New Hampshire next season.

At No. 194, Penticton Vees recruit Luke Loheit was selected by the Ottawa Senators. The right-winger from Minnesota will join the Vees this coming season.

The is the third time since the NHL went to a seven-round draft in 2005 that the BCHL has had as many as seven players selected. There were also seven players taken in 2007 (including Kyle Turris, Jamie Benn and Riley Nash) and in 2013.

The draft haul punctuates an outstanding 2017-18 season for the BCHL which included a Doyle Cup victory for the Wenatchee Wild and an RBC Cup national title for the Chilliwack Chiefs as well as a record 153 commitments to college hockey.

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