Hundreds of the best 2007-born hockey players in Western Canada and the United States were hoping to hear their names called in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft Thursday, May 19.
Vernon’s Hudson Kibblewhite did.
Kibblewhite, 15, was chosen in the second round, 35th overall, by the Saskatoon Blades.
“Hudson is a hard-working and high-character forward,” said Dan Tencer, Blades’ director of scouting. “He distributes the puck extremely well and gets to the right areas of the ice to win battles and score goals. You win with players like Hudson and he’ll be a guy who will play all situations for us down the line.”
The former Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs Peewee captain plays for the Rink Hockey Academy U15 Prep team out of Kelowna. Kibblewhite amassed 43 goals and 70 assists in 57 games played.
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) May 19, 2022
With the first-overall pick, the Medicine Hat Tigers used the selection to take forward Gavin McKenna of Whitehorse, who also plays at Kelowna’s Rink Academy, but with special permission to play up on the U18 team. Shortly after the selection of McKenna, the Tigers announced the No. 1 pick had signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
McKenna and Kibblewhite played together for the Canada Pro Stars team which recently won the the 13th annual 15U World Selects International Trophy in Nashville, beating the U.S. International Stars 2-1 in the championship.
Fellow Vernonite and Rink U15 Prep teammate Morgan Hackman was chosen in the ninth round, 189th overall, by the Victoria Royals. Hackman, 15, a centre, averaged a point of game with Rink, playing in 52 contests, scoring 20 goals and adding 32 assists for 52 points.
Kibblewhite and Hackman’s U15 teammate in Kelowna, centre Max Finley,was taken 10 picks ahead of Kibblewhite, 25th overall, by the Moose Jaw Warriors. Finley is the son of Vernon’s Jeff Finley, retired NHL defenceman.
Kibblewhite is the nephew of former Vernon Vipers head coach and general manager Troy Mick. Finley and Mick both starred in the WHL for the Portland Winter Hawks.
Salmon Arm’s Sawyer Mayes from the Kamloops-based Thompson Blazers U15 AAA team, was taken 44th overall by the Calgary Hitmen.
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.