(Rink Hockey Academy Kelowna)

Kelowna player taken first overall in WHL Draft

Gavin McKenna skates for U-18 Rink Hockey Academy Kelowna

A Kelowna forward was the first to hear his name called at the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft on May 19.

Hailing from Whitehorse, Yukon, Gavin McKenna skated with the Rink Hockey Academy in Kelowna for the 2021-22 Canadian Sport School Hockey League season – to great success.

The 14-year-old, facing off against players up to four years older than him in the U-18 league, led the CSSHL in scoring with 23 goals and 42 assists. He added five points in a trio of playoff games.

That all led up to McKenna being chosen as the first overall pick by the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Tigers General Manager and Head Coach Willie Desjardins said McKenna is “an elite player with a huge upside.”

“His vision and awareness are exceptional, a level I’ve only seen from a handful of players in my career.”

McKenna said in the WHL’s livestream shortly after the pick that the experience is “awesome.”

“It’s not every day you get to be selected first overall to such a great program.”

Rink Hockey Academy saw another one of their prodigys taken seventh overall, Cameron Schmidt, who skates for Rink’s U-15 squad. He joins the Vancouver Giants.

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