The 2019 WHL Bantam Draft was held in Red Deer, Alberta, on May 2nd, where the Vancouver Giants selected eleven 2004-born players.
Two of their selections — Jackson Niedermayer and Lynden Hanvold — were teammates while playing for the Okanagan Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team, based out of Penticton, British Columbia.
Niedermayer — son of Hockey Hall of Famer Scott — was the Giants’ first selection at 30th overall in the second round. The five-foot-eleven 197-pound defenceman put up 22 points (10G, 12A) in 29 games with OHA this season and is known as a two-way defender with a high hockey IQ.
OHA Prep Head Coach and former Calgary Hitmen defenceman Mike Egener had high praise for one of his top players:
“Josh is first and foremost a polite, respectful, coachable athlete — intangibles any team would want. [He] drove the play from our back end, created offense for us, and competed hard in the big games. Good teammate.”
Niedermayer’s older brother Jackson just completed his first season with the Penticton Vees and is currently committed to Arizona State University. He is also a draft pick of the Hitmen.
Per DraftGeek, Josh is “deceptively agile despite his thick and strong frame, utilizes direct angles to the puck in order to win foot races and an intimidating presence to get involved with in a foot race.”
Coach Egener gives Giants fans an insight as to what to potentially expect in the future from Niedermayer:
“Should he play for Vancouver, you could expect a young defenseman who has good vision and one who has the ability to make plays his peers have a tougher time making. [He’s] not afraid to play a physical game.”
Niedermayer is expected to stay at the Okanagan Hockey Academy to play for the Midget Prep team during the 2019-20 season.
The Giants selected Lynden Hanvold with their 10th round selection (219th overall), who put up 15 points (4G, 11A) in 29 games, also with OHA Bantam Prep.
The five-foot-ten 145-pounder is dubbed as an “enthusiastic two-way defenseman that keeps his head up in all three zones and fluidly transitions from offense to defense and defense to offense without any issue” (per DraftGeek).
Coach Egener was also able to comment on Hanvold’s game, saying:
“Lynden played in all situations for us. He competed hard, pushing his teammates to be better through his actions on and off the ice.”
Hanvold will need some years to get bigger and stronger, but Egener says the potential is there:
“A smooth skating, mobile defenseman. He is continuing to learn the position, but has the potential to be a solid D that can play big minutes.”
The Kelowna, BC, native is expected to join Niedermayer on the Okanagan Hockey Academy Midget Prep team for the upcoming season.