North Delta’s Ethan Samson took the next step in his hockey career Saturday, after being selected in the National Hockey League’s Entry Draft.
The 17-year-old defenceman was picked up by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round (174th overall).
“I’m extremely excited to be drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers,” Samson said on Twitter. “I would like to thank everyone of my coaches that have helped me along the way, and especially my parents for all the sacrifices they have made to get me here.”
I am extremely excited to be drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers. I would like to thank everyone of my coaches that have helped me a long the way and especially my parents for all the sacrifices they made to get me here. #Broadstreetbound https://t.co/4ZRGRe9gSc
— Ethan Samson (@EthanSamson77) July 24, 2021
Samson is coming off a break-out season with the Prince George Cougars, amassing 12 points (one game-winning goal and 11 assists) in 22 games during the Western Hockey League’s condensed 2020-2021 BC Division Hub season.
“I think that it was tough that we had to wait so long for the season to start, but by the time we actually got to get it going, it was super excited, everyone got into it,” Samson told media Saturday. “It was good to see all the guys and play games, just to have that season with the times we’re going through right now.”
The North Delta Minor Hockey and Delta Hockey Academy alum was the top-scoring blueliner for the Cougars last season and was second on the team in plus/minus (+3), which he credits to his teammates helping him see scoring chances as they develop.
“I think a lot of the times it’s on my teammates too, they get in the right place to help me to be able to see those plays. But I think I try and play a two-way game, so I’m always looking for those opportunities from the point or from off the rush to try and create a scoring chance and give my team the upper hand,” Samson said.
“For me this year was really exciting to be able to be a top guy on my team and play that role with heavy minutes and have the coach rely on me a lot. I think it helped me kind of push myself and be able to try and be the guy for my team that I wanted to be.”
The 6’ 3”, 183-pound defenceman was drafted by the Cougars in the third round (65th overall) in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft. Samson has since played 83 regular season games and compiled 19 points (three goals and 16 assists).
In the 2019-20 season, Samson was awarded the Cougars’ Brett Connolly Rookie of the Year Award after he posted seven points (two goals and five assists) in 61 regular season games.
Meanwhile, two Surrey players were also selected in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
White Rock-born Caedan Bankier — who played minor hockey in Cloverdale and with the Burnaby Winter Club before making the leap to the major-junior ranks with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers — was picked in the third round (86th overall) by the Minnesota Wild, while Semiahmoo Minor Hockey alum Carson Latimer, who also played at the Delta Hockey Academy and spent last season with the Edmonton Oil Kings, was picked in the fourth round (123rd overall) by the Ottawa Senators.
— with files from Nick Greenizan