A look back at a few of the top sports stories in Langley in 2016.
Almost every kid growing up dreams about hearing their name called out on draft day and that is exactly what happened to a trio of local athletes.
It began with the Major League Baseball draft in June when Jake Polancic, a pitcher in the Langley Blaze program, was selected in the 33rd round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. And following his high school graduation a few months later, Polancic signed a pro deal and joined the Diamondbacks minor league system.
A few weeks later, Walnut Grove’s Dennis Cholowski was chosen by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the NHL Draft. A defenceman with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, Cholowski is currently playing in the NCAA with St. Cloud State.
And in September, Aldergrove’s James Rahe was chosen by the hometown Vancouver Stealth in the second round of the National Lacrosse League draft. Rahe is familiar with playing at the LEC— the Stealth’s home floor — having played junior A and senior A lacrosse with the Langley Thunder.
Another professional highlight of this past season came in October as Langley’s Danton Heinen made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins.
Heinen was a fourth round pick of the Bruins in 2014 and after turning pro this past summer, he began the season with Boston, playing eight games with the big club. Since being sent back down to the American Hockey League, he has seven goals and 15 points in 18 games.