Locals drafted at CCHL Bantam draft

Kayne McCadden and Ben Lapier during draft night. (Supplied photo)

WILLIAMSBURG – A last-minute phone call and a speedy trip to Carleton Place last week, set two Williamsburg hockey players off on a hockey draft adventure.

Fifteen year old hockey players Ben Lapier and Kayne McCadden were drafted April 9th. The pair, who grew up next door to each other, were drafted in the Central Canada Hockey League Bantam-protected draft. Lapier, a center, was drafted by the Kemptville 73’s in the ninth round, while McCadden, a defenceman, was drafted in the 10th round by the Brockville Braves. Both were drafted despite a shortened hockey season this year for their team, the Rideau-St. Lawrence Kings.

“I broke my elbow and was out for most of the season,” McCadden said. “I was out for ‘other’ reasons,” Lapier said.

Lapier had eight goals and six assists for 14 points in 20 games during the 2017-18 regular season. He also had the second highest penalty minutes on the team with 74 minutes. The Kings went deep into the playoffs, reaching the Double-A Major-Bantam semi-finals. Lapier put up 14 more points in the post-season, with six goals and eight assists including a short-handed goal.

McCadden played 14 games in the regular season, scoring twice and assisting on four goals. He missed most of the post season due to his injury.

The CCHL draft was something entirely new for the duo. Getting there was rushed thanks to a last minute email.

“We didn’t plan on going up until around five o’clock,” said McCadden. “We got an email saying that someone was going to pick us, and we had to get to Carleton Place for the draft which started at six.”

Williamsburg to Carleton Place is about a 90-minute drive.

“As soon we walked in, it was like ‘oh ya, your names were just called’,” said Lapier.

“We walked up, got our jerseys, got pictures and saw all these other kids who got drafted,” McCadden said.

Lapier added it was good not having to wait around to see where they were getting drafted.

“It was still a very cool experience,” he said.

On going to the 73’s, Lapier said he was excited for being drafted there.

“I feel really good about it, going to the 73’s. It’s a good organization and I know some of the kids who were drafted there.”

McCadden echoed Lapier.

“I feel good going to Braves. I know nearly every kid drafted there this year, and know many on the team.”

What’s next for the pair? Prospects camps, training and tryouts.

“You have to try out for the team,” said McCadden. “If you don’t make it, you can go back down to play for a team like the RSL Kings.”

“They could assign us to a Junior-B team, or affiliate us with our club,” said Lapier.

The Junior-B affiliate for the Braves is the Brockville Tikis in the CCHL-2. The 73’s have no CCHL-2 affiliation at this time.

There are a number of affiliation rules and conditions for players. If a player doesn’t make the Junior-A team, he can be affiliated. A player can play a maximum of five games while the player’s main team is still in their season. Lapier said it is a lot to take in.

“The clubs are good, ” said Lapier. “There are guides for players and parents. A lot of communication.”

As to the boys’ prospects for making their respective teams for the 2018-19 season, both are optimistic.

“I’m hoping to get a spot this year,” Lapier said. “Some of the kids drafted are smaller and with there being body-contact, I’m a bigger player.”

McCadden felt his prospects were good given Brockville only picked three defenceman in this year’s draft.

“They have to take six to nine defencemen, so that gives me a better chance, but I have to work hard to make the team regardless,” he said.

McCadden has played the past six seasons with the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings. “Since Atom,” he said. He started with the South Dundas Lions program. Lapier spent more time in the Lions before moving to the Kings two seasons ago.

“My dad wouldn’t let me try out until then,” Lapier said. He also played one season in North Dundas on a combined rep-team with South Dundas.

The boys enjoy also playing for their high school hockey team, the Seaway Spartans.

“We wouldn’t be allowed to play for them if we made it on to the Junior-A teams,” McCadden said.

Outside of hockey, McCadden played baseball, but won’t this season because he is still recovering from his injury. He also enjoys being outdoors and four-wheeling. Lapier plays baseball in the summer with the Seaway Surge, and likes to work out at the gym.

Both Lapier and McCadden are Grade 9 students at Seaway District High School and see the opportunities for higher education by playing in the CCHL.

“There are a lot of scholarships and universities sign players from the CCHL teams,” said McCadden.

Presently there are 43 players in the CCHL committed to US and Canadian universities including Braves captain, and Morrisburg-native, Andrew Jarvis. Jarvis will be attending Carleton University.

After high school, McCadden is looking at a career as a mechanic, but he said that “might change.” For Lapier, “when I was a kid, I wanted to be a cop. But now I am not sure.”

The two will spend a majority of this off season, preparing for tryouts in August.