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Penticton Vees duo could be picked at NHL Entry Draft

Penticton Vees will be among a long list BCHL players hoping to be selected
The Vees’ Massimo Rizzo and Mason Snell are expected to be chosen at the 2019 NHL entry draft. (Western News file photo)

A pair of Penticton Vees are on a long list of BCHL players hoping to be selected at the 2019 NHL entry draft, which takes place this Friday and Saturday from Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

There are 10 BCHL players listed on the NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings ahead of the draft, including the Vees’ Massimo Rizzo and Mason Snell.

READ MORE: Players look back at the Vees 2018-19 season and playoffs

Rizzo, a forward, is ranked number 84 among North American skaters in the rankings.

Unfortunately for Rizzo, he had a late start to his season due to injury and didn’t play his first game until late October.

Although it took him a while to find the back of the net, the Burnaby native had eight assists in his first seven games. Shortly after, he found his goal-scoring touch and ended the season at over a point a game with 40 in 37 contests. He also represented Canada at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Bonnyville, Alta., recording two assists in six games with Team Canada West.

Rizzo is committed to the University of North Dakota for 2019-20.

READ MORE: Two Penticton Vees earn NHL draft rankings

Despite an injury-plagued season, Rizzo should still be selected somewhere in the middle rounds of the draft.

Snell, a defenceman, is ranked 212 among North American skaters and could be a late-round pick.

After playing two years in the OJHL, Snell came over to the Vees to start last season and immediately became a steady presence on the blue line for a team that finished with the second-fewest goals allowed in the BCHL. He also played for Team Canada West at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, being held pointless in six games.

The Clarington, Ont. native played in 52 games and registered five goals and 15 assists for 20 points. He is committed to Penn State University for the 2019-20 season.

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