Power forward Marcus Vela impressed last season with the Langley Rivermen, so much so he was scooped up by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round of last weekendâ€™s NHL Entry Draft.
â€œSuch an amazing feeling!â€ Vela said on his Twitter account (@MVela_97). â€œCouldnâ€™t be more excited and proud to be apart of the @SanJoseSharks organization!â€
Vela, who was taken 190th overall in the draft, became the third Rivermen alumni drafted into the NHL, joining Matt Ustaski and Evan Campbell.
â€œItâ€™s an honour to be drafted by the Sharks organization,â€ the 18-year-old said. â€œItâ€™s a proud moment for myself and my family.â€
With Langleyâ€™s B.C. Hockey League (junior A) squad, Vela scored 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 50 games last season.
â€œWe couldnâ€™t be happier for Marcus,â€ Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson said. â€œHeâ€™s one of the hardest working individuals both on and off the ice Iâ€™ve had the pleasure of coaching. On behalf of the Langley Rivermen organization, we would like to congratulate Marcus and wish him best of luck in his future.â€
Last season, Vela was selected to play for Canada West at the 2014 World Junior â€˜Aâ€™ Hockey Challenge as well as Canada West in the 2015 CJHL Prospects Game.
After two seasons in Langley, Vela will head to the University of New Hampshire in the fall to play NCAA Div. 1 hockey while pursuing a business degree.