Two players from the Langley-based Vancouver Giants are counting down to the Canada Winter Games. By the way, it’s 71 days off.
Forward Zack Ostapchuk, who hails from St. Albert, Alta., and goaltender Drew Sim, from Tees, Alta., were both top picks in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. And they have both been picked to represent Team Alberta U16 at the Games being held in Red Deer, Alta. in February, confirmed Dan O’Connor, the Giants’ play-by-play broadcaster.
These two were named to Alberta’s roster by Hockey Alberta Thursday afternoon.
Ostapchuk was selected by the Giants 12th overall in the most recent draft after posting 24 goals and 21 assists for 45 points in 30 games with the Northern Alberta bantam prep program. This season in 21 games with the Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep he’s registered nine goals and seven assists for 16 points along with 26 penalty minutes. He suited up in five pre-season games with the Giants earlier this year.
Sim was the next Giant selected in the 2018 WHL bantam draft, landing with the G-Men in the third round (42nd overall).
In 16 regular season appearances with OHA Edmonton bantam prep last season, Sim compiled a record of 13-0-1 with a 2.05 goals-against-average, a .916 save percentage and three shutouts.
He appeared in two pre-season games for the Giants earlier this season and is 4-2 through seven appearances with the Delta Hockey Academy’s midget prep team.
“The depth of hockey talent in this province is significant, which resulted in many difficult decisions for us,” said head coach Bobby Fox. “Our staff is excited to work with this group of 20 players moving forward to the Canada Winter Games.”
Players were selected to the shortlist based on their overall play throughout the Team Alberta scouting process, the Alberta Cup in April, and at the U16 Summer Camp in Camrose in July. Eighty players were invited to Camrose, and from the Summer Camp, a shortlist roster was established and monitored in league play during the first months of the 2018-19 season.
The Canada Winter Games run Feb. 15 – March 3 in Red Deer, with the men’s hockey competition set for Feb. 17 to 22.