'Wong' the right pick
It is anyone's guess what Trevor Wong wants for a gift when he turns 15 tomorrow, but the product of Vancouver, BC may have received an early birthday gift. The 5'8, 135 pound forward was chosen in the first round of Thursday's WHL bantam draft.
Wong was taken 18th overall by the Kelowna Rockets, a team that took a gamble on a prospect who has already verbally committed to playing NCAA hockey in Denver down the road.
It should come as no surprise that Wong is getting attention from teams both north and south of the border. Despite being small, many are comparing him to NHL hall of famer Paul Kariya. Yes, Wong's father, Ed, is of Chinese decent and his mother is Indonesian, but the comparison has more to do with where both grew up (Kariya was born in North Vancouver) and how the two are undersized and are mezmorizing with the puck.
Here are a few takeaways from my conversation with Trevor, who is competing with St. George's (the prep team he plays with) at a hockey tournament in Philadelphia this week. I also spoke to his father Ed, who seemed awfully pleased his sons WHL playing rights are owned by the Kelowna Rockets.
- Trevor's father Ed called it a 'proud moment' when I asked him to describe his thoughts about his son being taken by the Rockets.
- Ed Wong is no stranger to the Western Hockey League. Born in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, he went to the University of Manitoba before moving to Vancouver in 1992.
- While Trevor Wong has committed to NCAA Denver, it appears from my conversation that they have not closed the door on the WHL.
- Wong was invited down to Denver in November to take a better look at the program and the facilities there.
- Ed Wong admitted that he talked to several WHL teams, but the Rockets were not one of those teams.
- Trevor told me "it's pretty cool' to be drafted by the Rockets and he has heard 'nothing but good things' about the organization.
- The Rockets selected 11 players in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. Of those 11, 7 were forwards, 3 were defenceman and one was a goalie.
Here is the list of the other prospects chosen by the Kelowna Rockets in Thursday's draft.
First Round, 18th overall - Trevor Wong - 5'8, 135lbs - Centre - Vancouver, BC - St. George's School Bantam Varsity
Second Round, 40th overall - Elias Carmichael - 6'1, 182lbs - Defence - Langley, BC - BWC Academy Bantam Prep
Fourth Round, 84th overall - Jackson DeSouza - 6'1, 147lbs - Defence - Erie, CO - Pursuit Of Excellence H.A. Bantam Prep.
Fourth Round, 88th overall - Noah Dorey - 5'11, 167lbs - Defence - Surrey, BC - Okanagan H.A. Bantam Prep.
Fifth Round, 89th overall - Steel Quiring - 6'1, 175lbs - Forward - Vernon, BC - Okanagan H.A. Bantam Prep.
Fifth Round, 106th overall - Hayden Wilm - 5'9, 170lbs - Centre - Central Butte, SK - Swift Current Broncos BAA
Sixth Round, 128th overall - William Irvine - 5'10, 184lbs - Defence - Morden, MB - Pacific Coast H.A. Bantam Prep.
Seventh Round, 150th overall - Ryan Nutt - Defence - Vacaville, CA - Golden State Elite Eagles 14UAA North
Eighth Round, 171st overall - Arvega Hovsepyan - 5'7, 147lbs - Centre - Los Angeles, CA - Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14U
Ninth Round, 191st overall - Turner McMillen - 5'8, 134lbs - Forward - Carievale, SK - Estevan Bruins BAA
Tenth Round, 204th overall - Justin Dueck - 6'0, 187lbs - Goalie - Waldeck, SK - Swift Current Broncos BAA