Hollett highest-ever Langley Minor Hockey Association product taken in WHL bantam draft
Thousands of young kids have come up through the ranks of the Langley Minor Hockey Association, all dreaming of making it to the next level.
And on Thursday (May 1) morning, Jordan Hollett etched his name into the history books, becoming the top LMHA selected in the Western Hockey League's annual bantam draft.
Hollett, a six-foot-two, 180-pound goaltender was selected in the first round, 13th overall, by the Regina Pats.
He became the top pick from the LMHA. The previous highest selection was Jeremy Schenderling, who went 18th overall in 2001.
Ryan Hollweg was the top pick in the entire 1999 draft, but he did not play in the LMHA as his family moved from California to Langley to pursue junior hockey.
"That is an accomplishment because there have been a lot of good players," Hollett admitted.
"To be the top guy makes you feel good because you work hard to separate yourself from other players."
Being taken in the top half of the first round was a bit surprising.
"I didn't think I would go quite that high, to be honest," he said.
"It hasn't really hit home yet, but I am really excited."
Photo courtesy of Freeze Frame Photography
Langley goaltender Jordan Hollett tracks the puck during a scramble in front of his crease at the U16 BC Cup tournament last month in Salmon Arm.
Hollett was one of two Langley players taken in the first round as three picks later, defenceman Jarret Tyszka was taken 16th overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds.
The draft has been held every year since 1990 and it is the first time a pair of LMHA alum have both been taken in the first round.
The 15-year-old Hollett spent this past season playing at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, posting a 23-4-0 record with six shutouts and a 1.75 goals against average.
"He's a big athletic goaltender who we feel can be an important part of the Regina Pats moving forward," said general manager Chad Lang on the Regina Pats website.
Tyszka, who attends the Yale Hockey Academy and plays with the Langley Minor Hockey Association bantam A1 rep team, won the top defenceman award at the prestigious Kamloops Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament back in January.
The six-foot-one, 165-pound defenceman had 27 goals and 74 points in 68 games with the Langley Eagles. He also had 117 penalty minutes.
"Jarret is a big, mobile defenceman with a very nice combination of size and mobility," said Seattle director of player personnel Colin Alexander on the Thunderbirds website.
"He has a physical presence on the ice with strong offensive skills who could develop into a good two-way defenceman."
Tyszka said he expected to be taken late in the first round or early in the second and is happy to land with Seattle.
"I am happy where I got picked," he said, adding that getting drafted had been the goal for the past couple of years and it was nice to have that out of the way.
Hollett described himself as a butterfly goaltender and he tries to model his game after Montreal Canadiens star Carey Price.
The Pats have three goalies on their roster: Dawson MacAuley — who enters his final year of eligibility next season and teams are only allowed to carry three 20-year-old players on their roster — and Tyler Fuhr and Daniel Wapple. They both have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Players are eligible to play full-time in the WHL once they are 16-years-old.
Prior to going to Penticton this year, Hollett played through the ranks of the LMHA and two years ago, he was part of the stellar Langley A1 peewee Eagles team.
That group became the first B.C. team to ever capture the title at the prestigious Regina Peewee Classic hockey tournament. The Eagles also placed second at the peewee provincial championships that spring.
Hollett was the first of six players from that team who was taken in the WHL draft, which sets a new high for Langley. Five players were each also selected in the 2004, 2007 and 2009 drafts.
Centre James Malm (five-foot-eight, 160 pounds) was taken with the final pick of the second round, 44th overall, by the Vancouver Giants, while defenceman Alec Capstick (five-foot-eleven, 145 pounds) went in round four (69th overall) to the Saskatoon Blades and winger Conner Bruggen-Cate (six-foot-one, 155 pounds) went in round six (121st overall) to the Kelowna Rockets.
The Rockets also picked winger David Laurin (five-foot-eleven, 150 pounds) in the 10th round (205th overall).
Malm played this past season with the Burnaby Winter Club while the other three played with the LMHA bantam rep team alongside Tyszka.
The four played this past season under Langley coach Danny Franco, who said it was no surprise they were selected.
"I have had scouts talking to me about them all season," he said.
Hollett, Capstick, Bruggen-Cate, Tyszka and Malm were also named to the 40-man roster for a U16 provincial team camp July 8 to July 13 in Nanaimo.
The players were selected based on their performance at the U16 B.C. Cup last month in Salmon Arm. One hundred and 60 players had attended that camp.
Photo courtesy of Freeze Frame Photography
Langley's James Malm fends off his check at the U16 BC Cup tournament last month in Salmon Arm.