A native of Vancouver, Yuen becomes the first Chinese Canadian defenseman to be drafted into the league, selected 119th overall. Here's the official press release from the Tri-City Americans concerning Yuen's selection: Yuen Hears Name Called at 2011 NHL Draft.
The Tri-City Americans are proud to announce that 18-year-old defensemen Zachary Yuen was selected in Day 2 of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, held today at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Yuen represents the 56th NHL Draft pick in the franchise's history and is the first Tri-City defensemen selected since Eric Mestery was drafted in 2008 by Washington.Aside from a few standouts, hockey hasn't necessarily been a huge magnet for Asian players. Yuen hopes his ethnicity and rising exposure will help him be a role model for Chinese kids looking to get into hockey: Jets' Yuen first ever Chinese blueliner drafted. More here: Yuen's piano skills brought him the focus for hockey.
In the 4th round, the Americans saw Yuen go to the newest member of the National Hockey League, the Winnipeg Jets, with the 119th overall pick. After a solid freshman season, Yuen continued his growth as a WHL defenseman this season, collecting eight goals and 32 points along with a team-high plus-41 rating for Tri-City in 2010-11. The 6'0 205 lb. native of Vancouver, British Columbia was one of only three Tri-City players to appear in all 72 regular season games and all 10 post-season games, while his plus/minus rating placed him inside the top-10 among all WHL skaters and 4th in the Western Conference. The Jets, which were formally the Atlanta Thrashers, made Yuen the first-ever pick from Tri-City in the franchise's history. The former Winnipeg franchise, which is now the Phoenix Coyotes, drafted former Americans' Stu Barnes (1st round, 4th overall) in 1989 and Scott Levins (4th round, 75th overall) in 1990.
"Zach has done a tremendous job of working towards his goals while admirably representing his team and his community," commented Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory. "Although the Draft focuses on individuals, this is a tribute to the entire organization."