photo The Swift Current Broncos chose Vernon’s Ben King in the first round of the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft Thursday.

Broncos select King in WHL bantam draft

Vernon product taken 13th overall in opening round

A Vernon hockey product has been taken in the first round of the 2017 Western Hockey League’s Bantam Draft.

The Swift Current Broncos selected forward Ben King 13th overall.

“I was really excited and I’ve heard it’s a great place to play,” said King on the Broncos’ website when referring to his initial reaction after being picked. “Lots of fans come out to Bronco games, they have a really good team and I’m just excited.”

King spent his 2016-17 season with the Pursuit of Excellence Bantam Prep squad of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.

The six-foot, 159-pound forward recorded 46 points (16g-30a) in 22 regular season games.

He was one of two first-round picks of the Broncos. Swift Current chose defenceman Joel Sexsmith ninth overall.

First overall pick was Sherwood Park, Alta. defenceman Kaiden Guhle by the Prince Albert Raiders.

Vernon’s Scott Gilowski was taken in the seventh round, 153rd overall, by the Prince George Cougars, and Braeden McAmmond of Vernon went in the ninth round, 188th, to the Tri City Americans.

King and Gilowski were two of five North Okanagan products taking part in the recent B.C. Cup U16 tournament in Salmon Arm. The top players from this camp will be invited to the provincial tryout camp in Shawnigan Lake July 11-16. Top players from that camp will compete in the Western U16 Challenge Cup in Calgary in October.

King had 1+1 in three games played, while Gilowski, a towering defenceman, was kept off the scoresheet. POE teammate Nicholas Teale, a forward, had 2+1 in four games played. Forward Colby Feist had two assists.

Goalie Kobe Grant helped his Team Green to a 3-1 record (goalie stats not provided for three of the four games; Grant did not allow a goal in his half of the opening contest).