Four young Airdrie hockey players have taken the next step in their hockey careers by being drafted by Western Hockey League teams in the Prospects Draft held Thursday (May 19).

The WHL Prospects Draft involves mostly players from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  This year, however, the first overall pick was from the Yukon Territory with Gavin McKenna from Whitehorse, who played this season with the Rink H.A. Kelowna U18 Prep team being selected by the Medicine Hat Tigers.  Other players chosen in the draft came from Dallas and Houston, Texas: Fairbanks, Alaska:  San Jose, California and Omaha, Nebraska.

The four Airdronians chosen were defencemen Wyatt Pisarczyk and Mitchell DeCoste, goaltender Cruz Chase and centre Noah Degenstein.  Three of them played for the U15 Airdrie Xtreme in the past season and helped lead the team to a 30-2-2 record and first place in the Alberta Elite Hockey League's South Division.  The fourth, Degenstein, played for the Edge U15 Prep School of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.  

Pisarczyk was the first Airdrie player to be taken in the draft.  He was selected in the second round, 29th overall by the Calgary Hitmen.  Degenstein also went in the second round, being selected 36th by the Moose Jaw Warriors.  Goaltender Chase was the 136th overall selection, going in the draft's seventh round to the Regina Pats in a swap from the Vancouver Giants.  Decoste was chosen just nine picks later, 145th overall in the seventh round by the Prince George Cougars in a trade from Saskatoon. 

Two other members of the Xtreme also went in this year's draft.  Goaltender Corbin Sanderman who hails from Three Hills was selected in the fourth round, 86th overall by the Everett Silvertips and Jaxen Adam, a defenceman from Cochrane was made a fifth-round selection by the Tri-City Americans, being taken 90th overall.  

The 14-year-old prospects follow in the footsteps of other Airdrie players who were chosen in the WHL Draft.  They include Jake Neighbours who was taken in the first round of the draft, fourth overall by his current team the Edmonton Oil Kings.  Neighbours also went in the first round of the NHL Draft, being chosen 26th by the St. Louis Blues. 

Other Airdronians to be drafted include two other first-round picks, Craig Armstrong who went ninth overall to the Prince George Cougars, and Keegan Slaney who was chosen 20th overall by the Edmonton Oil Kings.  Slaney is now suiting up for the Calgary Hitmen.  Tristan Zandee was taken in the second round, number 36 overall by the Calgary Hitmen and now plays for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.    Josh Davies was taken in round three, 54th overall by the Swift Current Broncos.      

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