Yukon U-16/15 hockey players picked for B.C. provincial team tryouts

Hockey Yukon president Russ Smoler believes it's likely Yukoners will be drafted by Western Hockey League (WHL) teams this year.

Hockey Yukon president also predicts Yukoners headed for WHL draft

Bryce Anderson of Whitehorse is one of six under-16 and under-15 Yukon hockey players chosen to try out for B.C.'s provincial teams. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Six Yukon hockey players have been chosen out of thousands of candidates to try out for B.C.'s under-16 and under-15 provincial teams.

Maddie Nicholson is going to the first round of tryouts for the girls team this weekend in Salmon Arm, B.C., said Russ Smoler, president of Hockey Yukon.

Four boys are also going to Salmon Arm next weekend, when 120 under-16 players will be whittled down to 40 players for the next level of tryouts in July. They are Oscar Burgess, Dylan Cozens, Brett Walchuk and Bryce Anderson. Kyron Crosby is going to Richmond on May 5 for the U-15 tryouts.

Smoler said it's the best-ever result for Yukon, that he can recall.

The Under-16 Mustangs were formed in 2015 as an option for promising young Yukon hockey players who want to stay in the territory to pursue their hockey dreams. (Dave Croft/CBC)
"It really shows the program is credible, the volunteers should take some pride in it, the parents of course, and for sure our young athletes," he said.

​"There's obviously the opportunity to be selected in the WHL [Western Hockey League] draft, which is at the end of the month. I wouldn't be surprised to hear a couple of our kids' names picked at that time."

Smoler believes that hasn't happened since Whitehorse players Bobby House and Jarrett Deuling were drafted by WHL teams about 25 years ago — House to Spokane, Washington, and Deuling to Kamloops, B.C.


  • A previous version of this story stated that all five boys were going to the U-16 tryouts in Salmon Arm, B.C. In fact, four of them are going to Salmon Arm and one of them, Kyron Crosby, is going to the U-15 tryouts in Richmond, B.C.
    Apr 14, 2016 1:32 PM CT

With files from Airplay


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