The 2019 NHL Draft featured two prominent players with Cranbrook connections as both Bowen Byram and Peyton Krebs were selected in the first round.
In Vancouver on Friday, Cranbrook's Bowen Byram was selected 4th overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Walking the steps at Rogers Arena, Byram shook hands with Joe Sakic, welcoming him to the NHL.
With Byran being drafted 4th overall, the 18-year-old is now the highest drafted Cranbrook-born players since Steve Yzerman, who was also drafted 4th overall in 1983 by the Detroit Red Wings.
Although Rob and Scott Niedermayer played their minor hockey and were raised in Cranbrook, they were respectively born in Cassiar, BC and Edmonton, AB. Rob was drafted 5th overall in 1993 to the Florida Panthers while Scott was selected 3rd overall to the New Jersey Devils in 1991. Scott Niedermayer remains the highest drafted player from Cranbrook Minor Hockey.
Any way it shakes Byram is in good company with Yzerman and the Niedermayer twins accounting for eight Stanley Cups, and three Olympic gold medals.
Former Kootenay Ice captain and Cranbrook fan favourite Peyton Krebs had to wait a little longer than Byram to hear his name called at Rogers Arena.
Suffering a torn Achille tendon in early June while training, Krebs was projected to be a top-10 prospect but fell to 17th overall where he was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, fulfilling his long-time childhood dream.
Peyton Krebs reunites with his fam as a Vegas Golden Knight 😁😁 pic.twitter.com/NI7boQyhjh— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 22, 2019
It's anticipated that both players will be back in the WHL this next season with the Vancouver Giants and Winnipeg Ice before getting a realistic shot at making the Avalanche and Golden Knights' NHL rosters.