Winnipeg Ice select Chilliwack’s Zach Benson in first round of WHL draft

The teenager enjoyed an epic season with his Yale Hockey Academy bantam prep team.

A Chilliwack teenager was selected in the first round of last week’s Western Hockey League bantam draft.

The Winnipeg Ice made Zach Benson the 14th overall pick following a season in which the 14 year old tore the Canadian Sports School Bantam Prep League to shreds.

“It was really exciting getting picked. My phone is definitely blowing up non-stop,” Benson said in a video interview posted at winnipegice.ca. “It’s really awesome to be part of such a great organization. I’ve heard nothing but great things about them. They have a great facility, great coaching and a great future.”

Playing for the Yale Hockey Academy in 2019-20, Benson produced 30 goals and 86 points in just 30 regular season games, and was named the league MVP.

READ MORE: WHL cancels remainder of season over COVID-19

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He added another five points in two playoff games.

“I had a good season, but my teammates were good too and that helped a lot,” he said.

Benson is listed as a five-foot-five and 126 pound winger.

“I like to play on the offensive side and I think I’m a really smart player,” he said, assessing his skill-set. “I’m a good passer and I’m responsible in the D-zone too.”

He was one of 12 Yale Lions selected by major junior teams. Teammate Tanner Molendyk from McBride, B.C. went fifth overall to the Saskatoon Blades.

Find the full list of picks online at whl.ca/draft


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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