Tri-City Americans

SPORTS: Ams address defense with first-round pick

The Tri-City Americans selected Zachary Yuen, a 6-foot, 200-pound defenseman from Vancouver, British Columbia, with its first pick -- 22nd overall -- in the Western Hockey League bantam draft.

The draft, being conducted today in Calgary, Alberta, is the primary method for WHL clubs to construct their franchises.

Yuen played 60 games for the North Shore Winterhawks Bantam AAA and recorded 16 goals, 35 assists and 124 penalty minutes.

“We were thrilled to get a player of (Yuen) caliber at this point of the draft,” Americans GM Bob Tory said in a release. “He has excellent size and good offensive upside. He is excited to be drafted and we expect him to play in our pre-season.”

Recent first-round picks by Tri-Cities include Jason Gardiner (2006), Eric Mestery (2005), Joel Broda (2004), Jonathan Toews (2003) and Carey Price (2002). The club sent its 2007 pick to Lethbridge as part of the Colton Yellow Horn deal.

For the rest of today's picks by the Americans, visit the club's site.