South Delta hockey academy grads drafted to the NHL
Two graduates of the South Delta Secondary Hockey Academy were drafted to the NHL last weekend.
On June 23, Victoria Royals centre Steven Hodges was selected by the Florida Panthers in the third round at the 2012 NHL entry draft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Hodges, born in 1994, was raised in Yellowknife before coming to the South Delta hockey academy.
Academy director Ian Gallagher said Hodges has made a huge sacrifice to develop himself as a hockey player.
"He moved away from home at a very young age to take part in our hockey academy and play locally here, and has continued to develop over time."
Hodges is the first ever Royals' player to be drafted to the NHL, the Victoria team said in a media release.
Tsawwassen native Ryan Olsen, also born in 1994, was drafted in the sixth round to the Winnipeg Jets.
Last season, the 6'2" player earned 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) with the Saskatoon Blades in 67 games played. In May, he was picked up by the Kelowna Rockets.
Gallagher described Olsen as a gifted athlete with maturing potential.
"Ryan is a big player with a very strong offensive upside," he said.
Gallagher said Olsen and Hodges represent the seventh or eighth academy alumni to be drafted by NHL teams.
"Both of them have set themselves up in terms of making hockey their profession, and I think that's really positive. And I think that from our school district's perspective it's consistent with the number of players in the past who have used the academy formula to create opportunity for them."