West Richland native Beau Walker was taken in the fourth round of the United States Hockey League draft by the Sioux City (Iowa) Musketeers on Monday.
Walker, the 52nd overall pick, played for the Corpus Christi IceRays (NAHL) last season.
"I was contacted by a lot of teams this past week," said Walker, who will have two seasons of eligibility in the USHL. "There was a possibility to go to four other teams, but I'm happy where I ended up going.
Walker, a 6-foot, 190-pound forward, led the IceRays in scoring with 62 points in 56 games. He led the team in assists with 41, and was second in goals with 21. He also led the NAHL with 24 power-play assists.
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"I had a good year," Walker said. "The coach from Sioux City was happy they were getting a skilled player out of me to fill the holes of players they lost to college. They thought I could fill those holes offensively for them."
Walker, who twice went through the Tri-City Americans team camp, now has set his sights on college hockey.
"After I got cut my 16 year from the Americans' camp, I thought about going the college route," Walker said. "It's not a bad thing for me. It was great life experiences going to Alaska and to Corpus Christi. The NAHL and USHL are the two main feeder leagues into college. I'd really like to play Division I hockey."
Walker will report to Sioux City for team camp June 14-20.
Also taken in the USHL draft was Richland native Kyle Vogel, selected by the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the 10th round (148th overall).
Vogel played for the Weyburn Red Wings of the SJHL last season, scoring two goals with six assists in 54 games. The 6-3, 190-pound right wing also was second on the team with 142 penalty minutes.
The USHL is the only Tier-I Junior Hockey League in the United States. The league is comprised of 16 teams, primarily located in the Midwest.