Langley Rivermen sophomore garners NHL notice

Marcus Vela is on the radar of NHL scouts.

The Langley Rivermen forward is one of five B.C. Hockey League players on the NHL Central Scouting Service Players to Watch preliminary list for 2015.

The list came out on Tuesday and includes players from all major junior leagues worldwide.

Vela played in 54 games last year as a rookie with the Rivermen, scoring 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) along with 41 penalty minutes.

“It’s a real honour for me,” said Vela. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play with great teammates and get great coaching.”

“I’m not surprised to see his name there,” Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson said. “It’s something he’s been working hard for. Obviously it’s not the end result but it’s a step in the process and it’s exciting for Marcus to be recognized.”

The 17-year-old from Burnaby is committed to the New Hampshire Wildcats in 2016/17, an NCAA Div. 1 school.

“Marcus is the type of player that has the ability to play in any situation,” Rivermen assistant coach Kurt Astle. “He’s hard to defend against down low and on the attack. In the defensive zone, he makes good reads and can execute when put in an out-numbered situation. Marcus’ awareness in the defensive zone allows him to play key minutes in a tight game which gives him the title of a two-way centre.”

The other BCHL players that made NHL’s CSS list are:

• Carmin Buono, D, Powell River Kings;

• Vincent Desharnais, D, Chilliwack Chiefs;

• Brogan O’Brien, C, Prince George Spruce Kings; and

• Stefan Wornig, G, Powell River Kings

Langley’s next game is on Sunday, Sept. 28 when they visit the Vernon Vipers.

The Rivermen’s home opener is on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.

The first 1,500 fans receive a Rivermen foam finger, presented by Global BC.

Fans will also receive two-for-one entry when they bring a food or cash donation to the Global Food Bank.

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