Boston Bilous had no clue where — or even if — he would get drafted in the Western Hockey League bantam draft.
“It was kind of up in the air,” said the 15-year-old. “I am not too sure what teams were thinking.”
Bilous’ talent wasn’t in question, it was just a matter of whether he would play major junior in the WHL or go the junior A route with the B.C. Hockey League.
Back in September, he had verbally committed to the University of Denver hockey program.
But that didn’t stop the Edmonton Oil Kings from taking him in the fourth round, 80th overall, in the draft on May 5.
The six-foot-two, 209-pound goaltender was 6-2 with a .900 save percentage and a 3.30 goals against average this past season with the Delta Hockey Academy U15 bantam prep team.
This past season was a bit of a struggle he admitted, as he missed about two months with a sprained MCL.
“He is a great goaltender and takes up a lot of the net, plus he plays the puck as good as any young goalie I have ever seen,” said Oil Kings director of scouting Jamie Novakoski, on the team’s website.
Bilous is leaning towards the BCHL route so that he can play in the NCAA, just like his older brother Braxton, a defenceman who played at Merrimack College.
“He had nothing but good things to say about the experience he had,” Bilous said.
“And I have seen numerous amount of goalies come out that way and pursue pro hockey. And I think that is an awesome way for me to go.”
He didn’t rule out the WHL altogether, however.
“That is the plan right now, but WHL is a slim option depending on how stuff goes in the future,” he said. “Obviously there are a lot of scenarios and stuff that can happen but right now I am confident about my choice to go to Denver.”
Bilous is not sure where he will play next season but he figures it will be either at the program at Notre Dame in Saskatoon or stay home and play in the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League.