In 2019 the Pats had a full complement of draft picks. After emptying the cupboards to supplement a WHL Final run in 2017 and hosting the Memorial Cup in 2018, John Paddock made a plethora of deals starting in November through to the January 10th deadline to restock those cupboards.
The Pats first round pick came from Lethbridge in the Nick Henry and Jake Leschyshyn trade. At #17 they picked Layton Feist from Dawson Creek, BC. The 5-foot-10, 150-pound defenceman is the younger brother to current Pats defenceman Tyson Feist. Tyson was acquired from Spokane on Jan 3rd for a 10th round pick.
When I interviewed Layton after Day one of the Pats Spring Camp he said “I was super excited” after being drafted in the first round by the Pats. “Especially since Regina was my first pick and I get to play with my brother, which has never happened before.”
Layton had eight goals and 14 assists in 20 games played for the North Zone Kings this past season.
Draft Geek had Layton ranked at #71
Draft Greek’s scouting report on Layton:
Arguably one of the smartest defenders coming out of British Columbia in this year’s draft, Feist’s ability to manage the play from the back end and constantly make the best reads with the puck is something scouts marvel at on a game by game basis. A two-way defenseman cunning transitioning skills and intelligence in all situations. Feist’s hockey IQ is through the roof, recognizing time and space with the puck, reading developing chances both offensively and defensively while executing on them and being capable of complicated lob passes into an area that team mates can get to first. Feist’s driven to make a difference while playing a steady defensive game. He’s not a player who imposes himself physical but instead relies on apply pressure with a tight gap and strong stick in front of his body. Quick thinking, when he notices a puck carrier bobble the puck or mishandle a pass he’s quick to step up and gain possession. Active and agile, doesn’t over complicate his play with the puck but instead gains the red line and gets puck deep for his forwards to deal with. Dependable presence on the blue line, positions himself within five feet of the wall at all times and allowing puck carriers a quick rim-relief that will find his stick. Although he’s so tight to the wall he manages that small amount of ice with quick feet to open up shooting and passing lanes out of that corner. Feist’s defensive end is superb as well, a very active competitor who will explode into a passing lane to disrupt, making a pass to the winger and following the rush as the trailing man. Feist’s overall mental package over weighs his lack of physical tools at this point, those can be worked on as he continues to gain weight and get stronger those tools with come naturally to him. Shows a tonne of potential.
In talking with GM John Paddock he says Layton “Is a very good player, he fills a lot of things that we like in a hockey player, and he’s going to be a very good player for us”
Layton is planning to play at OHA for the Midget Prep team next season.
The Pats announced the signing of Layton to a Standard WHL Player Agreement on May 28th, 2019.
In the second round the Pats selected Calgary native Samuel Huck at #41. This pick was originally Saskatoon’s, Regina acquired it from Vancouver in the Jadon Joseph deal. Samuel is 5-foot-6, 130 pounds.
Samuel showed well at the Pats Spring Camp, the skill that he possesses is very evident. That skill translated into 33 goals in 32 regular season games for the Calgary Bisons Bantam AAA team. He added another nine points in seven playoff games.
Draft Geek had Samuel ranked at #184 in their report:
A bit of a secondary scoring option who fell on his team’s top power play unit. Samuel Huck is a crafty offensive forward with a great motor and offensive zone positioning. He’s always got himself in an open spot on the ice to receive the puck, instincts away from puck to set himself up between the dots. Doesn’t do it often but when Huck drives the attack, with fast footwork and one on one agility. A deceivingly heavy shot, given how well he fits open space in the slot he’s certainly capable of finishing from those spots on the ice. Patient in tight quarters. Huck doesn’t engage much physically, instead relies on his skill and spacing. Needs to add some strength physically but Huck has good frame work around him to be a project of a pick with high upside.
The first of three picks in the third round came at #61. This pick also came to the Pats from Lethbridge in the Henry and Leschyshyn trade. They selected 5-foot-9, 162-pound American Zane Rowan from Los Angeles, CA.
Zane played for the LA Jr Kings where he had three goals and six assists in nine games played in the T1EBHL. He also had 18 goals and 18 assists in 53 Bantam AAA games.
The Pats announced the signing of Zane to a Standard WHL Player Agreement on May 29th, 2019
Two picks later at #63, the Pats drafted a goalie from Winnipeg, MB, 5-foot-9, 146-pound Matthew Kieper. This pick was the return from the Aaron Hyman trade that sent him to Tri City, originally Saskatoon’s pick.
Kieper has had good numbers the past two seasons. In 2017-18 he had a 2.38 GAA and 0.909 SV% in 14 GP for the Winnipeg Sharks in Bantam AAA Div2. In the playoffs his numbers were very similar, with a 2.21 GAA and 0.909 SV%. In 2018-19 he played in 17 regular season games for the Winnipeg Sharks Bantam AAA he put up a 2.06 GAA and 0.931 SV%. In 14 playoff games he had a 2.10 GAA and 0.938 SV%. His excellent played earned him Winnipeg Bantam AAA Goalie of the Year and league MVP honours.
Matthew attended spring camp. Despite most of the drills not favouring the goalies, he looked good.
Draft Greek had Kieper the #13 ranked goalie, here is their report on him:
Played consistent through the entirety of the season but was impressive at the Manitoba POE in April. A big athletic goalie that stays square to the shooter. Kieper commands the crease and makes himself look huge when plays come down on him. Kieper’s ability mentally to regain focus after a goal and not get down on himself is impressive at this age, he doesn’t get beat often but he doesn’t drown on it when he does. Stay’s tall in his stance and control with his agility, presents very few open targets on the net and doesn’t bite on fakes.
The Pats final selection in the third round, at #66, was Braxton Whitehead from Palmer, AK. He currently resides in Anchorage, AK. Braxton plans to play in Pittsburgh next season. He checks in at 5-foot-9, 130-pounds.
This pick came to the Pats in the Scott Mahovlich trade to Lethbridge. The pick originated as Prince Albert’s which came to Lethbridge via Victoria.
Braxton had six goals and four assists in six games at the Pat Quinn Classic in Burnaby. He had another six goals in six games while adding two assists at the KIBIHT tournament in Edmonton.
The Pats then didn’t pick until the 5th round, with a pick they acquired from the Winnipeg ICE in return for Carter Savoie’s rights. At #90 they selected Kaiden Wiltsie, a 5-foot-9, 145-pound center from Calgary. He played with Huck on the Bisons Bantam AAA team.
Kaiden had 22 goals and 15 assists in 31 games played, he also collected 81 PIM which was second most on the team. In the playoffs he had three goals, eight assists in seven games, plus 18 PIM which lead the team.
The very next pick at #91 was the first of Regina’s own picks. They chose Carter Cormier from Kindersley, SK, who played at Notre Dame in the CSSHL. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound forward collected 8 goals and 9 assists in 30 games played. In the playoffs he scored twice, added one assist in five games. He received a call up to the Midget AAA team, but was pointless in 2 games played.
In 2017-18 he played for the West Central Wheat Kings of the SBAAHL. He tallied 18 goals, 10 assists in 31 regular season games plus five goals and five assists en route to winning the league championship.
Carter was ranked #120 from Draft Geek.
A high intensity winger who provides energy to his team with constant body checks and non-stop motor. Cormier is one of the hardest working individuals in the draft, a relentless battler along the wall and tenacious physical fore checker who finishes his checks. Quickens the pace of the game once the puck touches his stick, amping up the tempo of the game. Plays a two-way game as a winger taking care of his own end before getting up ice in the offensive play. A bit of a choppy skater who relies on constantly switching of edge’s and quick feet to force high pressure on puck carriers defensively. Comfortable as a pass first player who looks to distribute the puck over shoot, regardless of where he is on the ice. Always forcing pressure on playing and creating turnovers. Cormier disguises his passes with no-look feeds, executing without hesitation and into a hopeful area. Own good natural abilities in all three zones, gaining a good feel for the game and constantly affecting the outcome. Tends to prefer seeking the opportunity to pass the puck when he should work his size down low and generate scoring chances around the net. Established a bit of nastiness to his game as the season progressed, chipping away in corners and not taking anything from anyone. Quick to generate speed between zones and easily catches up to the play after making a pass in his defensive end. Cormier instincts are often to get involved in the cycle, go to physically demanding areas with a strong stick and attempt to outwork players for pucks.
After having no pick in the 6th round, the Pats selected Riley Applegate in the 7th at #135. The Marwayne, AB product captained the Lloydminister Bobcats Bantam AAA team. The 6-foot, 140-pound defenceman had limited playing time due to injury. In 18 games, he put up two goals and 10 assists.
Draft geek had Riley at #94 in their guide.
Applegate missed much of the year with not one but two shoulder injuries, he remains sort of an enigma for scouts as his proneness to injury and lack of late viewings made his future tough to read. Applegate was the captain of Lloydminster, the leader on the back end, and one of the top AMBHL North defenders at the time of both his injuries. An elite skater defenseman with smooth skating four-way mobility. A pure puck moving defenseman who can forward the puck with both his feet and through crisp passes into the neutral zone. Still slight in his physique and learning how to make adjustments to differing circumstances on the ice. Rangy and using such to hold puck carriers to the outside. Overall while Applegate remains a mystery, he’s a player we expect will get drafted and will need some develop over next season to show promise.
In the 8th round the Pats used the #155th pick on Colby Woogk from Dallas, TX. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound defenceman played for the Dallas Jr Stars. In the T1EBHL he had two goals and four assists in 12 games played.
In the 9th round Brayden Barnett from Martensville, SK was picked, at #179. This past season Brayden played for his hometown Marauders and celebrated a Bantam AA league championship. The 6-foot-1, 164-pound forward had 23 goals and 23 assists in 29 regular season games. In the playoff run he had eight goals and six assists in nine games.
The #183 ranked skater in the Draft Geek guide
Playing alongside top 2005 prospect Brayden Yager and Riley Heidt, Barnett settled into a complimentary role where he produced 46 points over 29 regular season games and helped with a casual 14 points in nine playoff games off to an SBAAHL Championship. Barnett is a winger with tantalizing skill set and size. Plays a power winger sort of game, imposing his size to gain strong position in the offensive end and to win one on one puck battles in corners. Has a nose for the net, strong on his stick and quickly adjusts his pace to give the puck possessor more of an option to work with. Sticks to the defensive side of the puck but rarely enters puck battles. Still quite raw in terms of development but has a projectable frame and has shown he can succeed without the puck.
The final selection of the day was Jacob Dewitt at #186 in the 9th round. Jacob is from Sicamous, BC and played for Okanagan Hockey Academy. He is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound defenceman. In the regular season he had one goal and 13 assists, he added one assist in three playoff games.
Report: Hailing from Sicamous, B.C., Jacob Dewitt started his Bantam hockey career with the North Zone Kings of the BC Hockey Okanagan zone program before heading over to Penticton to play at the Okanagan Hockey Academy under the tutelage of former NHL All-star Scott Niedermayer. Dewitt is a tall, lanky defensive defenseman. He has long limbs and plenty of filling out to do. While he is a fairly fluid skater for his size and age, there is a definite lack of footspeed that needs to be worked on, as he relies on his long stick to funnel attackers to the boards rather than being able to guide them there with his feet as well. Dewitt displays solid gap control, but improving his lateral quickness will allow him to feel more comfortable maintaining an even more favorable distance between himself and puck carriers, which in turn makes it easier to knife into plays with his length. Displays an ability to catch attackers off guard in transition with his long, active stick. When going back to retrieve pucks below his blue line he is able to use his size very effectively to shield the puck from fore checkers and maintain body positioning. Defensively sound and puts forth a good effort but doesn’t show much of a nasty streak. Is comfortable playing a simplistic style that relies on regroups and easy zone exits. One of the most noticeable parts of Dewitts game is the crispness and consistency of his first passes and breakouts. Passes the puck out of his zone purposefully. Dewitts shot velocity was also very impressive as he was used on his second power play unit at times and kept his shots low and flat, getting them through screens and into tippable areas. In summary, Jacob Dewitt is a project defenseman who shows some good upside, especially in his defensive zone. Already being 6-foot-2 certainly doesn’t hurt either.