It’s been a long journey from figure skating lessons to the cusp of the NHL for former NSWC Winterhawk’s defenseman Zack Yuen.
Yuen’s outstanding play at NSWC led to his selection in the first round of the 2008 Bantam draft by the Tri City Americans, a choice that is continuing to pay dividends for the WHL club to this day. Last season, his third with the Americans, Yuen was an impressive +45 while registering 38 points, helping the team to finish in first place in the Western Conference.
His play with the Americans also landed him on the radar of the Winnipeg Jets, who drafted the 6’1, 200lb defender in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL draft. He would later join the Jets that fall for his first NHL rookie camp.
This year has been a bit of a drop off for both Yuen and the Americans. The team is allowing far more goals against than in prior campaigns and Yuen’s offensive production is lagging behind last season’s, but the Americans have settled firmly into a playoff position and will look to improve on 2012’s Western Conference Finals appearance.