It took three rounds, but WHL teams started taking players from Central Alberta, starting with Rocky Mountain House native Deegan Mofford.
Only two Central Albertans were drafted by WHL teams in Thursday’s bantam draft. A total of 228 players were chosen, a large portion of those drafted were born in 2001.
The Kelowan Rockets, using their first pick in the third round (45th overall) took Mofford, a centre. Mofford played the season with the Red Deer Bantam AAA Rebels, registering 26 goals and 35 assists in 36 games. He also played with the Red Deer Minor Midget Chiefs for four games in the 2015-16 season, scoring a goal and an assist.
The second Central Alberta product taken went in the sixth round as the Calgary Hitmen selected Jackson Rider 122nd overall. Rider, from Lacombe, is five-foot-11 and weighs 161 pounds. He played the 2015-16 season with the Red Deer Bantam AAA Rebels. In 34 games the blueliner scored two goals and four assists.