By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
With a strong core of players returning this season, Tri-City Americans general manager Bob Tory balanced his Western Hockey League bantam draft picks Thursday, selecting five forwards, four defensemen and one goalie.
“I’m happy with how things went,” Tory said. “I saw pretty much everyone we drafted and I’m comfortable with our choices.”
With his first pick, Tory scooped up high-scoring center Parker AuCoin (15th overall) — the first forward taken by Tri-City in the first round since Connor Rankin in 2009.
“He’s a tremendous talent offensively,” Tory said. “One of best pur scorers I’ve seen in many, many years. He has good size and is a good kid. We felt fortunate he was still there. He reminds of Jamie Benn.”
AuCoin said his goal was to be drafted in the first round. It didn’t matter where.
“I was really excited,” AuCoin said of being drafted by the Americans. “It’s an honor to play for such a good organization.”
A native of Calgary, Alberta, the 6-foot, 175-pound AuCoin had 63 goals and 87 points in 33 games for the Calgary Northstar Sabres of the Alberta Major Bantam AAA Hockey League. He helped lead the Sabres to a silver medal in the Alberta Cup.