Dane Birks

Dane Birks

Tambellini top BCHL player selected in NHL draft

The B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) saw seven of its players get drafted by NHL teams on Sunday.

The B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) saw seven of its players get drafted by NHL teams on Sunday.

Leading the charges was Surrey Eagle Adam Tambellini son of Trail’s Steve Tambellini, who went in the third round, 65th overall, to the New York Rangers.

Tambellini was traded from the Vernon Vipers to the Surrey Eagles late lase season, leading them to the Western Canada Cup.

The projected six-foot-three, 170 pound forward scored 36 goals and 26 assists in 52 games last season, for a BCHL career total of  63 goals, and 58 assists in 107 games.

Adam’s father Steve was drafted in the first round 15th overall by the New York Islanders in 1978. Adam also committed to play for the University of North Dakota next season.

“I think a lot of Steve Tambellini,” Rangers’ director of player personnel Gordie Clark told a CBS reporter of Adam’s lineage.

“His other son was shorter and faster. This one is taller and more of a playmaker. Both of them have Steve’s shot — an NHL shot. He needs to put a little bit of weight on and he is going to have time to put that on at North Dakota.”

Another local connection saw Dane Birks, son of Trail Smoke Eaters coach Bill Birks, go in the sixth round, 165th overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Birks played 10 games with the Smoke Eaters in 2011 before going to the Merritt Centennials.

The  six-three, 190 pound defenceman had a solid season last year with five goals, and 15 assists in 52 games, and has committed to Michigan Tech.

Also drafted were forwards David Pope from the West Kelowna Warriors in the fourth round, 109th overall, by Detroit Red Wings, Evan Campbell of the Langley Rivermen in the fifth round, 128th, by the Edmonton Oilers, Penticton Vees forward Wade Murphy went 185th overall in the seventh round to the Nashville Predators, and defenceman Nolan De Jong of the Victoria Grizzlies was drafted in the seventh round, 197th overall by the Minnesota Wild.