The inaugural WHL U.S. Prospects Draft took place online Wednesday, giving each team two selections to pick the best available 2005-born American players in the WHL catchment regions.
Vancouver held the seventh and 38th overall picks and used them to pick a defenceman and a centre.
Up first was Philippe Blais-Savoie at the seventh pick.
A left-handed rearguard out of San Jose, California, Blais-Savoie stands at five-foot-ten and 150 pounds. He spent this past season with the San Jose Jr. Sharks 14U where he had 22 points (11G, 11A) in 29 games.
“Philippe is an offensive-minded defenceman that plays like a fourth forward. He can make plays happen off the rush.” said Giants General Manager Barclay Parneta per the team’s release.
In the franchise’s history, the Giants have only had two Californian defencemen suit up, one of them being the best to don their crest.
Jonathan Blum (2005-09) – 248GP 49G 155PTS
Tyler Vanscourt (2011-12) – 30GP 4G 7A 11PTS
Other than Blum and Vanscourt, the Giants have had five other Californians play for them:
Tim Kraus (2003-08) – 244GP 60G 107A 167PTS
Brayden Watts (2016-19) – 157GP 32G 59A 91PTS
Taylor Crunk (2015-16) – 46GP 6G 4A 10PTS
Brendan Jensen (2009-12) – 40GP 13-17-1-1 3.75GAA .868SV%
Tommy Tartaglione (2005-06) – 10GP 5-3-0-0 3.06GAA .896SV%
With their second pick, Vancouver selected centre Duncan Shin from Chandler, Arizona. The 15-year-old is five-foot-ten 154 pounds and skated this season with the Shattuck St. Mary’s Bantam team where he put up 65 points (25G, 40A) in 58 games.
“Duncan has elite talent. His hockey IQ is exceptional. He’s a skilled player that plays a strong 200-foot game. He doesn’t back down from physicality and has put up some excellent numbers over the past few seasons.” said Giants Scouting Director Daryl Anning per the team’s release.
The Giants have only had one Arizona native suit up for them in their history:
JT Barnett (2008-10) – 109GP 22G 21A 43PTS
Ty Ronning (2013-18) – 285GP 127G 91A 218PTS was born in Scottsdale, Arizona but grew up and played minor hockey in Burnaby, BC.