Although the news of the spring’s draft has passed this article looks at the contribution of Winnipeg players to the WHL draft and the success of the AAA Winnipeg Bantam Division 1 league of producing high quality talent.
9 players from AAA Winnipeg were taken in the 2018 WHL draft. The Winnipeg AAA Bantam Division 1 league made up of the Hawks, Monarchs, Sharks and Warriors produced respectively- 4, 3, 2 and 0 players to this year’s draft. The highest draft choice was Conner Roulette of the Hawks taken in the second round to Seattle. Rory Neill and Dawson Pasternak also from the Hawks followed in the 3rd and 4th rounds to Calgary and Portland. This was a tip of the hat for the Hawks who won the Bantam Division 1 championship and placed third in the Western Canadian Bantam championships.
A look at the WHL teams and the scouts that judge the players showed that the Everett Silvertips were the most open to AAA Winnipeg talent this past season. The Winnipeg Silvertips scout advised his team to take both the Monarch’s Carter Halamandaris in the 4th round and Nate Goodbrandson of the Hawks in the 7th.
Several WHL teams took a single AAA Winnipeg player. Kootenay and its ties to Winnipeg took Hughie Hooker from the Monarchs in the 7th. The Sharks’ hard skating defenseman Luke Brenton was selected by Moose Jaw in the 6th along with his teammate the massive Zack Davis going in the 10th to Swift Current. Brandon had scouts following the Monarch’s Tyler Teasdale taking him in the 6th to round out the AAA Winnipeg players.
Five WHL teams did not take a Winnipeg nor a Manitoba player- Kamloops, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Medicine Hat and Tri-City which was surprising with the wealth of talent this past season in Bantam Division 1.