A pair of Vernon products were chosen in the 2018 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft this morning at the Sheraton Red Deer Hotel in Red Deer.
Zachary Funk, who turns 15 in July, was taken in Round 2, 43rd overall, by the Calgary Hitmen. Funk rang up 21 goals and 52 points in 28 games with the Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team in Abbotsford this season. He is a 5-foot-11, 181-pounder.
“Zack is a power-forward with good hands in front of the net,” said Yale Academy head coach Brad Rihela. “He is a big kid that plays with an edge. He has great finishing ability and scored some really big goals for us this season,” said Yale Hockey Academy head coach Brad Rihela. “He has a great release, he can score from different areas and knows when to drive to the net.”
Vernon’s Steel Quiring, a 15-year-old forward, went in the fifth round, 89th overall, to the Kelowna Rockets (via trade from the Edmonton Oil Kings)
Quiring, a 6-foot-1, 174-pounder, pocketed 17 goals and 40 points in 30 games with the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton.
After retaining the first-overall pick from the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft Lottery, the Oil Kings used the pick to select forward Dylan Guenther (Edmonton/Northern Alberta Xtreme Bantam Prep). Guenther amassed 56 goals and 103 points.
Of the 22 players selected in the first round, there were 14 forwards, seven defencemen, and one goaltender. Of those, 11 came from Alberta, with five from B.C. and three each from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. A record 15 players were selected from Canadian Sports School Hockey League teams in the first round.
Kelowna added skill up front as they selected Vancouver’s Trevor Wong 18th overall.
The 5-foot-8, 135-pound forward recorded 64 goals and 141 points in 30 games with the St. George’s School Bantam Varsity.
He also added five goals and 23 points in five postseason games.
Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton said Wong is an exciting young player.
“Trevor is a very highly skilled player. He’s a great skater with above average skill and hockey IQ,” said Hamilton.
Added Kelowna assistant GM/director of player personnel Lorne Frey: “He’s a dynamic young player and he does everything at a high speed, and if he grows he will be lights out. We’ve got some work to do and that will be up to us to sell him on our program.”