Vernon Vipers defenceman Kyle Bigos capped a dream season by being the first of four British Columbia Hockey League players selected at the 2009 NHL Draft in Montreal on Saturday. The Edmonton Oilers tabbed Bigos with the 8th pick of the fourth round, 99th overall.
Bigos enjoyed a stellar campaing in his second BCHL season, and ultimately raised his game when it mattered most. The Upland, California native was named the MVP and Top Defensive Player at the 2009 RBC Cup after dominating performances through the event's preliminary round. In the National Championship game against the Humboldt Broncos, Bigos scored a superb power-play goal to help lead the Vipers to a 2-0 win. He finished the tournament with two goals and seven assists in six games.The 20-year old is slated to begin his freshman season at Merrimack College this fall.
Surrey Eagles forward Spencer Bennett was the second BCHL player selected on Day 2 of the draft after the Calgary Flames selected the six-foot-three winger with the 20th pick of the fifth round, 141st overall.
Bennett enjoyed a breakout season as an 18-year old in 2008/09, topping the 20-goal mark and tallying 41 points in 60 games. He added six points in nine postseason games. The White Rock, B.C. native is slated to return to Surrey for his second season with the Eagles prior to joining the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves for the 2010/11 NCAA season.
Penticton Vees winger Curtis McKenzie was next off the board after his name was called by the Dallas Stars with the eighth pick of the 6th round, 159th overall.
McKenzie turned up his offensive game in his second full BCHL season, scoring 30 goals and adding 34 assists in 53 games while also representing Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge. The 18-year old's 64 points scored in the 2009/10 season were a huge upgrade from the 10 he tallied as a rookie. McKenzie is committed to the University of Miami-Ohio, who advanced to the NCAA National Championship game in 2009 before bowing out to Boston University.
Westside Warriors forward Cam Reid was the first of two BCHLers selected in the seventh round. Reid, who was acquired in a January trade from Victoria, got the call from the Nashville Predators with the 11th pick of the round, 192nd overall.
Reid was a point-per-game player for the Warriors down the stretch and added seven points in eight postseason contests. The Delta, B.C. native is committed to attend the University of New Hampshire when his junior career conludes.
Cowichan Valley Capitals blueliner Curtis Gedig rounded out the BCHL draft class after the New Jersey Devils tabbed him with the 23rd pick of round, 204th overall. The six-foot-three defenceman split the season between Merritt and Cowichan, picking up 16 points in 46 games during a head-turning rookie season.