Today is the first round of the NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo, and there's a chance that league history will be made for the BCHL as three players are projected to be among the top 30 selected on this evening.
A lot has been made about the status of Penticton teammates Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro, and Chilliwack defenseman Dennis Cholowski, and rightly so, but there are a handful of other players who could see their names called by an NHL team this weekend.
Powell River foward Kyle Betts started the season on the NHL Central Scouting Preliminary Players to Watch list for the Draft and when the mid-season rankings came out, the Flesherton, Ontario product was placed 157th among North American Skaters. Betts moved up ten spots when the final rankings were released and he's slated 147th among North American Skaters heading into the proceedings.
Merritt forward Colin Grannary is the next ranked BCHL player, and he's also jumped up since the mid-term rankings. Grannary, who's from Delta, was ranked 186th in January and ended up at 178th among North American Skaters when the final rankings were released in April. The 18-year-old was also on the NHL Central Scouting Preliminary Players to Watch list last summer.
Forward Kohen Olischefski, who plays for Chilliwack, could hear his name called somewhere near the fifth round of the draft, based on his ranking. The Abbotsford native saw his stock drop a bit since the mid-term rankings, finishing at 151st after being slotted 131st in January among North American Skaters. He was a C-rated prospect on the Preliminary Players to Watch list.
One last BCHL player who might be selected wasn't included in NHL Central Scouting's mid-term or final draft rankings, but was on the Preliminary Players to Watch list is Vernon forward Liam Finlay. The 19-year-old from Kelowna has 114 points (40 goals, 74 assists) in 109 career BCHL games.