BCHL: A Look At Kevin Estrada

By Jacob Bestebroer
In 1997, Kevin Estrada made his Junior A debut with the Chilliwack Chiefs as a wide-eyed 15-year-old, full of promise and the goal of one day being awarded a NCAA scholarship. In his first year with the Chiefs, Kevin paid his dues, often watching from the stands as he managed only one goal during his rookie season. His next two seasons saw a steady increase in ice time, and point production, but injuries took their toll. The 1999-2000 regular season was especially tough for Estrada as he sustained two serious facial injuries, causing him to miss a total of fifteen games. The Chiefs however, had a very successful season which culminated in a bronze medal performance at the Royal Bank Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship. It was at this tournament that Estrada began to show the NCAA and NHL scouts just what he could do, as he led the tournament in scoring, with eight points in six games. This season, Estrada has not missed a beat as he leads the league in scoring with 118 points in 58 games. Estrada’s line, with 16 year old Gabe Gauthier, and 17 year old David Van Der Gulik, is not only one of the youngest lines in the league but also the most potent, with all three players currently among the top ten scorers in the league. Currently, Estrada is ranked 196th among North American skaters, but many scouts feel that his draft ranking has increased dramatically over the last month, and that he could go as high as the third round in this years NHL Draft. Estrada’s strong skating, his work ethic, and his his understanding of positional play are assets which have NHL scouts currently following his every on ice move. Recently, Estrada achieved his goal of securing a NCAA scholarship, accepting a four year ride from number one ranked Michigan State University, following in the footsteps of ex Chilliwack Chiefs, Brian Maloney, and current Edmonton Oiler rookie Shawn Horcoff. With four years of top level hockey under the guidance of MSU coaching legend Ron Mason ahead of him, we could very well see Kevin Estrada making his NHL debut during the 2005-2006 season.