VANCOUVER — The BC Lions announced on Tuesday that National linebacker Ben Hladik has signed a two-year extension with the club. He was eligible to become a free agent on February 13. Hladik is the 18th-ranked player in CFL.ca’s top 30 pending free agents.
Hladik, 24, enjoyed a career year in 2023, becoming the first Canadian in franchise history to record 100 defensive tackles in a season while recording a career-best five sacks to go along with one interception.
The Vernon, BC native was selected by the Lions in round three (22nd overall) of the 2021 CFL Draft and played a solid special teams role in his rookie year with six tackles and a pair of stops on defence across 14 regular season contests.
2022 saw Hladik move into a starting role at linebacker as he went on to record 65 total tackles (59 defence, six special teams), two sacks and a pair of interceptions in 18 regular season games.
Hladik suited up in 28 games over three seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds (2017-2019), registering 189 combined tackles (124 solo, 65 assisted), 28 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, six pass knockdowns and an interception that was returned 50 yards for a major. A two-time U SPORTS All-Canadian, Hladik was named Canada West Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.
Before joining the T-Birds, Hladik played high school football for his hometown Vernon Panthers and reached the 2016 Provincial Championship game at BC Place.