Victoria Royals defenceman Gannon Laroque was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the fourth round of the NHL entry draft on July 24. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Royals/ Twitter)

Victoria Royals defenceman Gannon Laroque was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the fourth round of the NHL entry draft on July 24. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Royals/ Twitter)

Victoria Royals defenceman drafted by San Jose Sharks

Gannon Laroque was selected in the fourth round of the NHL’s entry draft

The San Jose Sharks drafted Victoria Royals defenceman Gannon Laroque in the fourth round of the National Hockey League’s entry draft on Saturday.

As one of the Victoria WHL team’s top blueliners, Laroque played more minutes than any other Royals skater last season. In a news release, the Royals’ head coach and general manager said the team is incredibly proud and happy for Laroque.

“He has incredible work ethic, moves the puck well and is extremely physical. He has a bright future ahead of him,” Dan Price said.

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The release described Laroque, who’s 6’2” and weighs 196 pounds, as the physical playmaker that the team needed. The 103rd overall pick was also awarded as the Royals’ top defenceman for his play last season.

Being drafted is a dream come true, Laroque said, as he’s wanted to play in the NHL since his first year of novice hockey.

“I’m excited and grateful to the Sharks organization for selecting me and giving me an opportunity,” the 17-year-old said. “I recognize that being selected by San Jose is just the next step towards my ultimate goal of becoming a full-time NHL player. My work towards that goal continues tomorrow.”

The Edmonton native said playing for the Royals has allowed him to be immersed in hockey and become a student of the game.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Victoria to work with my teammates and am excited to work with the Sharks to get to my goal of playing in the NHL,” he said.

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