The pride of McBride is now officially an NHL prospect.
The Nashville Predators made that official when they selected McBride native Tanner Molendyk in the first round, 24th overall, in Wednesday’s NHL draft.
In his third season playing defence with the Blades, Molendyk scored nine goals and 28 assists in 67 regular season games. He also contributed three goals and five assists in 18 playoff games.
Molendyk was in the building at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and walked up to the stage to pull on his Preds jersey.
"He improved all season long and got higher and higher on our list with more and more interest," Predators general manager David Poile said on nhl.com.
"Every meeting I attended this year, his name was brought up strongly. He can really skate - that's what stands out."
Riley Heidt will have to wait until Thursday to learn where his NHL future lies.
The 18-year-old Prince George Cougar centre was considered a potential first-rounder after a stellar season in which he finished second in team scoring with 25 goals and 97 points. Heidt had a WHL-leading 72 assists in 68 games, tied with Regina Pats centre Connor Bedard.
As expected, Bedard was picked first overall Wednesday by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Heidt’s highly-touted Cougar linemate Koehn Ziemmer, is also at the draft proceedings in Nashville, as is Prince George native Nico Myatovic, who plays for the WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds.
Two Cougar defenceman, Hudson Thornton and Viliam Kmec, are also considered potential picks for this year’s draft.
Rounds 2-7 of the draft will be held Thursday beginning at 8 a.m. PT. Live coverage is on Sportsnet.