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VIDEO: Langley player among 10 WHL prospects drafted by Vancouver Giants

Richard Wonyeneh had a good season with the Burnaby Winter Club

Newly-drafted Richard Wonyeneh won’t have to go far to play with the Vancouver Giants at Langley Events Centre.

Wonyeneh, from Langley, was one of 10 players picked by the Vancouver Giants in the 2024 WHL prospects draft on Thursday, May 9.

He was the sixth pick by the Giants, in the seventh round.

“We’re really excited to get him later in the draft. He’s a player we watched all year long,” Giants Scouting Coordinator Kelly Kursteiner said

“He’s really athletic and put up some good numbers: he was almost a goal per game. Plays a hard, physical game as well and skates very well. We felt he is still really raw and has really good upside to him.”

Wonyeneh, a 6’ 184 lb. forward, scored 20 goals in 24 games for Burnaby Winter Club this season, tying for the team lead.

The left-shot power forward ended the season on an eight-game point streak, during which he recorded 17 points (8G-9A).

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Giants added five forwards, four defencemen and one goaltender Thursday.

The Langley-based team used their first pick of the WHL prospects draft to sign Blake Chorney, a 5’11”, 170 lb. centre who currently plays for the Northern Alberta Xtreme U15 prep.

Chorney went 10th in the first round of the draft on Thursday, May 9.

Chorney helped NAX secure their second consecutive U15 Prep Western Championship, recording five goals and seven assists for 12 points in five playoff games.

The left-shot forward recorded 19 goals and 23 assists for 42 points in 24 games in the regular season.

“He competes so hard without the puck,” Giants head scout Terry Bonner said.

“He’s a great skater. Good size. A real complete forward. He’ll get involved in every play. Makes good passes; scored some big goals, but he never quits working. He’s an honest to goodness, hard-working two-way forward.”

“I am extremely honoured and grateful to be picked by such a great organization like the Vancouver Giants,” Chorney said. “I look forward to helping the Giants bring a championship to Vancouver.”

The Nipawin, Sask. product will play for the Saskatoon Blazers in the 2024-25 season.

Giants second pick was Landon Horiachka, a towering 6’2” 186 lb. left wing playing for his hometown Sherwood Park U15 AAA Flyers, who was picked 55th in the third round.

Horiachka was named a First-Team All-Star in the Alberta Elite Hockey League this season, finishing third in scoring in with 64 points in 31 games.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to grab him where we did,” Giants Director of Scouting Darryl Anning said. “We watched him extensively throughout the year and when he became available, it was really a no-brainer to grab him. He initiates the physical play and has a great compete level. He has no problem going to the dirty areas, to the front of the net and he will take grief. He had fantastic numbers this season and is not afraid to compete and get involved.”

Giants third pick was Dylan Hurren, a right-shot defenceman from Maple Ridge who recorded 25 points in 27 games from the backend (3G-22A) for Delta Hockey Academy’s U15 Prep Green squad.

“Dylan is a good-sized defenceman. He skates well, has good mobility and strong edges,” Anning said. “He thinks the game really well and moves the puck effectively. Defends well, but did chip in offensively, so he does contribute at both ends of the rink and part of that is due to the way he thinks the game.”

Fourth was Riley Charlton, a 6’ 2” forward with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds U15 AAA, who finished third on his team in scoring this past season with 40 points in 30 games (15G-25A), helping the Thunderbirds finish first in the BCEHL regular season with a 24-5-0-1 record.

“Riley is a big body. Tremendous compete level and a very good 200-foot player,” Anning said.

Fifth, Brock Dingman, a 6’ 1” defenceman on the U15 Red Deer Rebels who led the team in scoring with 32 points (11G-21A) in 34 games.

Seventh, Braden Malenchak, who plays defence for Yale Hockey Academy U15 Prep.

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Eighth, Sam Rishaug from the Calgary Northstars, ninth, David Lu from the Edmonton SSAC U15 AAA, and 10th Oliver Bryks from NAX U15 Prep, who was pick 253 in the 12th round.

Other Langley players were also picked, by other teams - Shaun Hildebrandt was drafted 43rd in the second round by Calgary, and Jacob Dumansky was 44th in the same round, going to Kamloops, while Alexander Laing was picked by Tri-City in thhe fourth and Colton Bush went to Everett. Jack Morgan went to Kelowan, and Tristan Amnderlini went to Kamloops.

Wednesday, Giants added two new US-born prospects when they selected 2009-born forward Boone Chartier and 2009-born defenceman Luke Storr.

Giants U.S. Scout Ryan Sawchyn said Chartier, a forward who played last season for Shattuck-St. Mary’s 14U AAA program, “can play in all four corners and all situations.”

Storr, a defenceman with the Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14 AAA program, is the son of former NHL goaltender Jamie Storr, who played 219 career NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes.