2019 WLA Draft: Del Bianco the Obvious No. 1 Pick for Coquitlam
The WLA Coquitlam Adanacs found the perfect time to kickstart their rebuild. After finishing the 2018 regular season with only two wins, they could find themselves in a much more enviable position this time next year, after drafting hometown goaltender and reigning BCJALL and Minto Cup MVP Christian Del Bianco with the 1st overall selection during last night's 2019 WLA Draft in Langley.
Del Bianco, who made a few appearances for other WLA teams such as Victoria and Maple RIdge in the Dub last season, will immediately give the A's defense a major boost. Long touted to be the No. 1 overall pick regardless of who was picking there, CDB is the type of transcendent talent that can help the franchise turn around its fortunes sooner rather than later.
CDB wasn't the only big name to go off the board early. Fellow Minto Cup champion teammate Ryland Rees was taken No. 2 overall by the Burnaby Lakers, who went back to the Poco/Coquitlam well later on in the first round, grabbing teammate Graydon Bradley. Both will be a major boon to Burnaby's defensive and transition game as Rees and Bradley are both capable on both ends of the floor.
There will also some interesting selections in terms of a recent Draft trend we've been saying, where Lower Mainland teams feel more comfortable selecting Island kids and vice-versa.
Former Victoria Junior Shamrock Brad McCulley went third overall to the Langley Thunder, while Maple Ridge took Victoria's Marshal King with the next pick after. The Island would return the favour with the 'Rocks taking big offensive game breaker Keegan Bell sixth overall.
Here is a look at how the teams did at the 2019 WLA Draft.
COQUITLAM ADANACS - CHRISTIAN DEL BIANCO, CARTER DICKSON, JOHN HOFSETH, RILEY PHILLIPS, TY GOFF, ANGELO PONTELLINI, PARKER KUMP, DAMON PRINCE, CONNOR MCNEIL
BURNABY LAKERS - RYLAND REES, GRAYDON BRADLEY, ERIC KRATZ, TYSON KIRKNESS, BRODIE GILLESPIE, MASON POMEROY, MATTHEW KIM, JORDAN GABRIELE, STEVEN ROBERTSON
LANGLEY THUNDER - BRAD MCCULLEY, DALTON LUPUL, RYAN WILKINSON, CONNOR FROST, GORDIE BOWDEN, TANNER RILEY
MAPLE RIDGE BURRARDS - MARSHALL KING, DYLAN CHAND, DAKOTA COYLE, THOMAS HANKINS, MAX GERHARDT
NANAIMO TIMBERMEN - BRAYLON LUMB, DYLAN FOULDS, DAVID BYRNE, EDDIE SMITH, JAKE MICKELSON, LIAM YOUNG, BRAD PHILLIPS, CHRIS BENEDICT, BRADY GEORGET, RILEY TAYLOR, TAYLOR MARTIN
VICTORIA SHAMROCKS - KEEGAN BELL, LARSON SUNDOWN, DYLAN REHMAN, GABE HARMAN, PASCAL COOMBES, ZACK HOMER, COLTON BOOMER, GUY CULLEN, TYLER MACE
NEW WESTMINSTER SALMONBELLIES - TANNER POOLE, JAKE RICHARDSON, SCOTT BARKER