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WHL, USHL teams choose five current, former Jr. Ducks standouts

 

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Five players with ties to the Anaheim Jr. Ducks were selected in the recent Western Hockey League (WHL) and United States Hockey League (USHL) junior drafts.

Four 2004 birth year players went to WHL teams in that league’s Bantam draft on May 2 – defenseman Josh Niedermayer, center James Hong, goaltender Dylan Silverstein and defenseman Brodrick Williams. Forward Joseph Harguindeguy was selected in the USHL’s Phase II draft on May 7.

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“Coaches Alex Vasilevsky and David Walker have done a good job developing these kids,” Jr. Ducks director of player personnel Alex Kim said of the 2004s. “Now it’s time to work harder. For those who didn’t get drafted, there are other opportunities to develop.”

Niedermayer was the highest drafted of the players, going in the second round (30th) overall to Vancouver. He played all of his youth hockey with the Jr. Ducks, putting up 32 points (13 goals) in 46 games last season, until his family moved to British Columbia.

“His compete level at Bantam and his work ethic were outstanding,” said Walker, who coaches the Jr. Ducks’ 2004s.

Hong, who went 108th overall to Everett, led the Jr. Ducks’ Bantam AAA team that qualified for the USA Hockey National Championships in scoring with 22 points in 12 Tier 1 Elite Hockey League games and nine more points in six CAHA games.

“He has tremendous speed and quickness and elusiveness,” Walker said. “He’s got a lot of offensive upside. He can make highly-skilled plays at a high pace.”

Silverstein, who played Pee Wees for the Jr. Ducks, went 95th overall to Medicine Hat. Two seasons ago, he had a 1.60 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage for the Jr. Ducks.

Williams was drafted 183rd overall by Seattle. He played for the club for several seasons, scoring 25 points (10 goals) in 46 Bantam games in 2017-18.

“Brodrick hasn’t been playing hockey that long, but he’s naturally athletically gifted, and he’s a big kid (6-foot-1, 197 pounds) who is always asking questions and taking strides to get better,” Walker said.

Harguindeguy (pictured) went in the ninth round (132nd overall) to Cedar Rapids.

Harguindeguy, a 2001, played this past season with Minot of the North American Hockey League. He had 12 points in 48 games and three more in seven playoff games during his first season of junior.

— Chris Bayee

(June 27, 2019)