Two hometown kids are looking to advance to major junior hockey in the coming years.
Fourteen-year-old Bonnyville boys Ashton Cumby and Brent Hoshowski were taken in the WHL Bantam Draft last week in the 4th and 9th rounds, respectively.
Cumby was taken 80th overall by the Winnipeg Ice and Hoshowski was drafted 188th overall by the Victoria Royals.
Both played in the Bonnyville Minor Hockey system and spent last season with the Lloydminster Bobcats Bantam AAA squad.
Cumby is a defenseman and scored 22 points in 30 games in 2019-20.
Hoshowski is a forward who earned 35 points in 31 games last season.
How did you guys feel going into the WHL draft and how did that come about?
Cumby: “I was kinda shocked to get picked by Winnipeg but it was very nice because they have a great organization and just a great overall team. I was very honored to get selected by the Winnipeg Ice. It was just great.”
Hoshowski: “I was getting a little nervous by the end, but I just, I can’t really just sit there and do nothing. So I started working out. But yeah, it was really nice to get drafted someplace like Victoria because it’s really nice. They’re a really good organization. And that was just a great feeling to finally feel my work pay off I guess.”
What is next year look like for you now that you’re both WHL draft picks?
Cumby: “I don’t think it’ll really change. You still have to put in like the work and really stay on top of your game and just keep pushing yourself to strive to always get better and just hope for the best for next year making the team you want.”
Hoshowski: “Yeah, it doesn’t really change except you just got to keep working harder. Try and get there. You can affiliate for like a couple games, T think, but you can’t really play there so it doesn’t really mean much for right now. You just got to keep going and maybe make it the next year.”
Many current NHLers were drafted late in the WHL Bantam draft. Kris Russell went 138th overall, Braden Holtby was 161th overall, Jordan Eberle drafted 126th overall, and Brendan Gallagher was taken 195th overall. So what’s that feel like that you’re in a category of players that have moved on to great success.
Cumby: “It was a great feeling to get drafted. And it’s really nice to know that other NHL players got drafted and it’s just a great feeling to get drafted.”
Hoshowski: “It really gives you that hope that you could still go to the next level. And if you just keep working hard, like they probably did, you could get there too.”
The Bonnyville Junior A Pontiacs and the AJHL route is different than the one you’re on right now. Are you guys leaning one particular way in how you want to advance through hockey: the WHL route to potentially get drafted into the NHL, or the AJHL route to try and get a scholarship in the NCAA?
Cumby: “Right now, I’ve been leaning more to the WHL else because they just have a great organization and they could teach you a lot going through the WHL and it’s just a great organization.”
Hoshowski: “My parents have always put heavy pressure on me to do well in school. I really like hockey but there’s always got to be a balance there because you never know what your options are in the future. But right now you can like you can get like scholarships to the WHL, so I’m probably leaning that way right now.”