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Bonnyville hockey players drafted to WHL

BONNYVILLE – Two Bonnyville-born hockey players are taking their hockey careers to the next level after being drafted in the Western Hockey League (WHL).

The Winnipeg Ice chose Ashton Cumby for their 80th draft pick, while the Victoria Royals took Brent Hoshowski as their 184th pick.

At 14, both players are too young to play in the league but can officially affiliate with their teams once they turn 15 before joining the roster when they’re 16.

Both Humby and Hoshowski were ecstatic to have teams take notice of their abilities.

“It felt really good knowing that your hard work is really paying off,” Cumby expressed.

Hoshowski agreed, “It was a whole other feeling. It felt like all the hard work that I had put in, all the long days and hard training had finally paid off.”

After growing up playing hockey in Bonnyville, Hoshowski set his sights on joining the WHL at the end of his peewee season with the AA Lakeland Panthers.

“I felt like I had something going with hockey, so I decided to stick with it.”

In his 31 games played with the Lloydminster Bantam Bobcats in 2019/20, the forward had 35 overall points from 18 goals and 17 assists.

Heading into the draft, Hoshowski had a few places in mind he’d like to call home and was glad when the Royals picked him.

“I had a lot of teams that I would have been happy if I went to any of them and Victoria was one of the ones I was happy with.”

Hoshowski added, “The organization and their player development is really good. The location is also really nice.”

Although he has a couple years to wait before he hits the ice as a Royal, Hoshowski is excited to take the next step in his hockey career.

“I’d just like to thank my parents, coaches, and the Victoria Royals for everything for getting me to this point,” he expressed.

Like many young hockey players, Hoshowski and Cumby share the dream of eventually making it to the NHL.

Cumby strongly believes being drafted to the Winnipeg Ice will help him get there.

“You’ve got to put the work in, always stay committed, and never be afraid to make mistakes because that’s going to happen and you learn from those mistakes,” he said. “You’ve just got to make sure you put in the work to get where you want to be.”

Although the defenceman has an aspiration of playing in big arenas, his hockey roots “all started in Bonnyville.”

“I started in Bonnyville, and then I went up to play with the (Lakeland) Panthers,” he recalled. “Then this year, I played with the (Lloydminster) Bobcats.”

During this past season, Cumby scored 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points in 30 games.

After his mom and grandma stuck a pair of skates on him when he was just four-years-old, Cumby fell in love with the game and didn’t look back.

“It’s just the feeling that you get on the ice, it makes you feel good, great, and strong. It just makes you feel great.”

Cumby offered his appreciation for everything his former coaches instilled in him as a young player.

“I still utilize [skills] I got taught here (in Bonnyville) because they just started me off in my hockey career.”

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle