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18 Okanagan players selected in WHL draft

22 skaters taken in total from trio of Okanagan-based academies
22 players in total from three different Okanagan hockey academies were taken in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft on Thursday, May 11. 18 players from taken from the Okanagan. (@thewhl/Twitter)

Thursday marked an exciting day for hockey academies around the Okanagan.

The WHL Prospects Draft was held on May 11 as all 22 teams tried to cement their future. In total, 22 players were taken from the three hockey academies in the Okanagan.

Rink H.A. Kelowna U15 Prep

  • Keaton Verhoeff - Victoria Royals - 1st round, 4th overall - Fort Saskatchewan, AB
  • Joe Iginla - Edmonton Oil Kings - 1st round, 12th overall - Lake Country, B.C.
  • Giorgos Pantelas - Brandon Wheat Kings - 1st round, 19th overall - Victoria, B.C.
  • Steele Bass - Prince Albert Raiders - 3rd round, 49th overall - High River, AB
  • Cage Smith - Edmonton Oil Kings - 3rd round, 57th overall - Brooks, AB
  • Owen McCarthy - Victoria Royals - 4th round, 69th overall - Trail, B.C.
  • Brock Heidecker - Tri-City Americans - 5th round, 101st overall - Kelowna, B.C.
  • Benjamin Bowtell - Saskatoon Blades - 6th round, 131st overall - Lake Country, B.C.
  • Maddox Gandha - Brandon Wheat Kings - 7th round, 142nd overall - Trail, B.C.
  • Theo Salikhov - Kamloops Blazers - 10th round, 218th overall - Lake Country, B.C.

Okanagan Hockey Academy U15 Prep

  • Mathis Preston - Spokane Chiefs - 1st round, 3rd overall - Penticton, B.C.
  • Liam Ruck - Medicine Hat Tigers - 1st round, 9th overall - Osoyoos, B.C.
  • Markus Ruck - Medicine Hat Tigers - 1st round, 21st overall - Osoyoos, B.C.
  • Gavin Lesiuk - Lethbridge Hurricanes - 2nd round, 36th overall - Duncan, B.C.
  • William Scott - Lethbridge Hurricanes - 4th round, 73rd overall - Kelowna, B.C.
  • Tyson Schamehorn - Moose Jaw Warriors - 4th round, 82nd overall - North Saanich, B.C.
  • Kadyn O’Brien - Victoria Royals - 6th round, 113th overall - Penticton, B.C.
  • Riley Steen - Medicine Hat Tigers - 6th round, 127th overall - Ladysmith, B.C.
  • Keegan Bailey - Seattle Thunderbirds - 9th round, 197th overall - Airdrie, AB

Okanagan Rockets U15 AAA

  • Hudson Getzlaf - Vancouver Giants - 5th round, 108th overall - Kelowna, B.C.
  • Logan Jugnauth - Prince George Cougars - 6th round, 125th overall - Kelowna, B.C.
  • Kylen Martens - Tri-City Americans - 9th round, 189th overall - Summerland, B.C.
  • Hayden Laing - Tri-City Americans - 9th round, 191st overall - Kelowna, B.C.

Of the entire 232 selections (with 54 picks passed over) made in the draft, 18 players from drafted from the Okanagan. 15 of the 18 players are listed above. The other three are:

  • Brayden Tremblay - Vancouver Giants - 6th round, 126th overall - Fruitvale, B.C.
  • Levi DeWitt - Edmonton Oil Kings - 10th round, 199th overall - Sicamous, B.C.
  • Nolan Visler - Kamloops Blazers - 13th overall, 284th overall - Kamloops, B.C.

There were no Okanagan-born players drafted to the Kelowna Rockets.

READ MORE: 6 players from Okanagan academies taken in 1st round of WHL draft

READ MORE: ‘It’s surreal’: Penticton hockey player selected 3rd overall in WHL Draft


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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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