Chiefs at the 2020 NHL Draft


Earlier in October, the National Hockey League held its annual draft. The BC Hockey League was well represented but ultimately only three players were taken. BCHLNetwork editor Brian Wiebe took a look at the three players and the weird and unique situation that led to officially only one who played in the BCHL in 2019-20 being drafted. 

However, two of the three players selected ended up being from the Chilliwack Chiefs. Those two join the likes of Nathan Martz, Nathan Marsters, Kevin Estrada, David Van Der Gulik, Kaleb Betts, Zach Tarkir, Dennis Cholowski, Harrison Blaisdell, Kevin Wall, and Nikita Nesterenko, as Chiefs selected by an NHL team. The latter three coming during last year’s draft in Vancouver. 

The two Chiefs players selected this year are Ethan Bowen and Kienan Draper. Bowen became the first Chiefs player taken by the Anaheim Ducks when they chose him in the seventh round. Draper was the second Chiefs player ever selected by Detroit. Cholowski was the first when he was picked in the first round back in 2016. 

Chilliwack’s hometown kid becomes a Duck

Bowen is the sixth Chilliwack-born player selected in the NHL Draft and the second Chilliwack-born Chiefs player to be selected, after Martz went to the New York Rangers in 2000. 

Bowen came to the Chiefs as an affiliate player back in 2017-18 and got into three games with no points. He also was part of the team during the RBC Cup where he had a goal and an assist in two games. Bowen played full time with the Chiefs in 2018-19 and put up 19 goals and 20 assists. 

In 2019-20, Bowen put up 31 points in 41 games after sustaining a wrist injury early in the season. This season, he will be looked upon to be a leader for the Chiefs and most likely part of the leadership group when it’s announced.

After this season, he join former teammate Blaisdell at the University of North Dakota. Time will tell what the Ducks do with this exciting, explosive player.  

A Stanley Cup champion’s son chosen by hometown Wings

Officially on the NHL draft results, Draper was selected from the Chilliwack Chiefs, but he hasn’t played a regular season game with the team. He was selected by his hometown Detroit Red Wings and the pick was announced by his dad. Kienan is the son of four-time Stanley Cup winner and long time Red Wings great Kris Draper,who is currently Detroit’s director of amateur scouting

Draper played last season at St. Andrews College where he put up 29 goals and 29 assists for 58 points in two leagues. So far, he’s made a huge impact with the Chiefs. In five pre-season games, Draper has four goals and an assist while wearing his dad’s former number 33. He should be a force in the BCHL this season and next September he will head to Miami University (Ohio). 

As of right now, there is only one Chilliwack Chiefs player listed as a prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft and that is forward Ayrton Martino. Former Chiefs forward Peter Reynolds, who jumped to play for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is also on the list.

I’m sure as soon as the season starts in December, there will be some shuffling and might be a few more Chiefs players on the radar to be selected next year. If Garrett Valk and Abram Wiebe have outstanding seasons on the blueline they will open some eyes, same for Sasha Teleguine and Ray Fust up front. Fust could build his draft stock if he is selected for to represent Switzerland at the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championship.

Regardless of where, it seems likely another Chiefs player will hear his name called by one of the NHL’s 32 teams come next summer.