FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Two players who got their start in the Fort St. John Minor Hockey system took the next step in their hockey careers on Thursday when they were selected in the Western Hockey League 2021 Prospects Draft.
Cayden Lindstrom and Evan Gardner have Fort St. John listed as their hometowns, although the two play in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League down south.
Lindstrom, a 6″5′, 190-pound forward, was picked by the Medicine Hat Tigers in the third round, 54th overall. He plays for Delta Hockey Academy U17 Prep. In 16 games, Lindstrom has exploded for 14 goals and 20 assists.
Lindstrom’s former coach, Ray Taggart, says he loved to spend time at the rink when he coached Lindstrom.
“Cayden has elite and measurable talent. He had a pro shot when he was 13 years old,” said Taggart.
Gardner, a 6″2′, 162-pound goaltender was chosen by the Saskatoon Blades in the third round, 53rd overall, one spot ahead of his Team BC teammate. Gardner plays for Rink Hockey Academy Kelowna. Gardner has a 4-2 record with a .909 save percentage.
Former coach David Alexander knew Gardner had the makeup to be a solid goaltender when he was playing in Fort St. John.
“He was very focused and composed. You could tell he had the right mindset to be a goalie,” said Alexander.
The pair won the U16 WHL Cup in Red Deer in late October. Lindstrom scored the championship-clinching goal and Gardner boasted a .953 save percentage in two games, registering one shutout.
The Western Hockey League has been the leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL provides over 375 graduates each year with scholarships to pursue post-secondary education at an institution of their choice.
Click here for the full 2021 WHL Draft list.