At the age of 17, it's a rarity for any defenseman to make the jump to NCAA Division 1 hockey, so this is a tremendous honour for Reece, but one that is definitely well deserved. By the end of last season, Reece established himself as one of Cents' top dmen, especially in the playoff series vs Salmon Arm. And this season, outside of helping the Centennials to a 2nd place seeding at Christmas time, he took home a gold medal with Team Canada West as the lone Centennials representative at the World Junior A Challenge.
The Lynah Rink, home of the Cornell Big Red
Outside of his skills on the ice at both ends of the rink, Reece is a very intelligent individual who has been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA (the equivalent of straight A's) while playing hockey, which is extremely difficult with the heavy practice and game schedule that consumes the life of a BCHL player still in high school.
At the age of 17, he played for his country, he received a scholarship and is waiting to hear his name called at the NHL entry draft. It's been a season defenceman Reece Wilcox will never forget. And now you can add one more reason to the list, as the BCHL released it's 1st and 2nd all-star team, as well as the all-rookie team.
"In two seasons, Reece has established himself as a very consistent and reliable player for our team," said Cents Head Coach and GM Luke Pierce. "We have the utmost confidence playing him in any situation and he is definitely deserving of being named to the BCHL Interior Conference Second All-Star team."
"I'm extremely honoured and humbled to be named to the BCHL Interior Conference Second All-Star team," said Willcox. "There are a lot of great defenseman in our League who had excellent seasons and to be included amongst those players means a lot."
It isn't like we're expecting these kids to step in this year or next year, and I'd prefer to take a chance on a few that have a higher ceiling / lower floor.
Also, the kids bound for NCAA give us a bit more time to figure things out. You don't need to make the call in two years' time on whether to give them a contract or not.
Agreed, they went for some lesser known kids with real upside. That's what scouts are for. If you're going to go by the CSB lists and only kids who played at the WJC you might as well fire your scouting staff.
We'll see if some of them turn out. I like the Euro D, too. We could end up with a couple players, which would make it a successful draft.