NANAIMO — The seventh and final round of the NHL entry draft created some excitement in central Vancouver Island.
Lantzville's Dylan Ferguson was selected 194th overall by the Dallas Stars and former Nanaimo Clipper Will Reilly was the last player to have his name called when he was picked 217th by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ferguson was a Nanaimo Minor Hockey product who went on to play bantam and midget in Saskatchewan at Notre Dame. The 18-year-old goaltender has spent the last two seasons with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL where he amassed a 20-20-0-2 record with a 3.19 goals against average. In the 16-17 campaign he really found his stride going 16-10-2 with a 2.74 average. Dave Johnston who coaches the North Island Silvertips of the BCMML knows Dylan and his mother very well and says Ferguson is a great talent.
"It's going to be fun to watch that boy's future because he is an incredible goaltender and a great kid," Johnston said.
Will Reilly spent his final junior hockey season in Nanaimo with the Clippers. He had 32 points in 52 games while helping the Clippers to the BCHL semifinals. There was talk about the 19-year-old defenseman staying in Nanaimo last season but he ended up playing division one College Hockey at RPI. Clippers Coach Mike Vandekamp says Reilly has the traits that will allow him to be a good pro player.
"He's got the right build, he's a good skater with good stick skills," said Vandekamp. "He has the right attitude too, he works hard at the game and he wants to be a player."
Before Ferguson the last Nanaimo area player to be picked in the NHL draft was Chase Lang. He was selected in the 6th round 167th overall by Minnesota in 2014. Jake Jackson was the last NHL draft pick to play for the Clippers. The current Michigan Tech Husky was chosen 201st by San Jose in the 7th round of the 2013 draft before spending one year with Nanaimo in 2014-15.
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