Everett website: 6-foot-5 defenseman Ben Betker has spent most of his young hockey career playing the underdog. But if NHL scouts think enough of the potential they saw from the determined rookie last season, he may not be able to fly under the radar anymore as a 2013 NHL Draft pick. Hailing from Cranbrook, BC, Betker climbed from major midget hockey at 16 and Junior-A at 17 to be named the Silvertips’ Most Improved Player following his 18-year-old campaign in the WHL. Acquired from Portland in the trade involving fellow draft prospect Seth Jones, Betker finished with six points (1g/5a) and 100 penalty minutes while skating in 68 games for the ‘Tips last season. He appeared at #147 in the final North American player rankings from NHL Central Scouting despite going unranked in both the preliminary and midterm reports. Betker played regularly against opposing top-six forwards at even strength and on the penalty kill last season, showing his physicality, shut-down ability and a raw skill set which should continue to improve in the coming years.