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CFL’s Edmonton Elks excited with Vernon’s Hladik

Bradley Hladik chosen in second round of draft by Elks; joins brother Ben (BC Lions) in league
Vernon Secondary Panthers alumnus Bradley Hladik (87, with ball, playing for the UBC Thunderbirds in 2021 against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies), was selected in the second round of the Canadian Football League draft (19th overall) Tuesday, April 30, by the Edmonton Elks. (Rich Lam - UBC Athletics Photo)

If he lines up as a fullback, or lines up as a long-snapper or on special teams, Bradley Hladik could be looking right across the line of scrimmage at his older brother, Ben.

Bradley was chosen in the second round, 18th overall, of the Canadian Football League draft Tuesday, April 30, by the Edmonton Elks. He played four seasons in Vancouver with the UBC Thunderbirds, helping the team reach the Vanier Cup U-Sport Canadian championship game last November.

Bradley joins his big brother Ben in the CFL, who has played 50 career games with the BC Lions after being selected 22nd overall in the third round of the 2021 CFL Draft.

Bradley totalled 12 receptions for 119 yards and one touchdown in 31 games for UBC. The Vernon native played mostly special teams and was UBC’s primary long snapper last season. He is listed as a fullback on the Elks’ social media pages.

“I’m so happy that Bradley has been able to fulfill his dream and will be playing at the highest level of football in Canada,” said Vernon Secondary School (VSS) Panthers head coach Sean Smith, who had both brothers on the team in 2016 when they reached the Subway Bowl B.C. AA Senior Varsity Football final, falling 35-15 to the Seaquam Seahawks of Delta.

“Brad is a great example of a player that has done whatever the team has asked of him at all levels. He’s played a number of different positions on both offence and defence for the Panthers and at UBC,.and because of that he’s carved out a role for himself at the next level.

“Brad has embraced special teams and that made him valuable in the CFL and got him drafted. I look forward to him continuing to do the same great things for the Elks.”

Ben is coming off his best year as a pro playing linebacker for the BC Lions, and recently inked a two-year contract extension with the Leos.

Bradley graduated from VSS in 2018, two years after older brother Ben. Six of his UBC teammates were also selected in the draft Tuesday. The Elks selected nine players with their picks.

The two brothers could tentatively face each other for the first time as pros in the final pre-season contest for both teams May 31, at B.C. Place Stadium.

The first regular-season meeting between the two rivals is also set for Vancouver during Week 4 on June 27.

READ MORE: Vernon Panthers football alum takes talents to CFL combine

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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