WHL Bantam Draft

DUBNetwork Mock WHL Bantam Draft 2020

 

The 2020 WHL Bantam Draft is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22nd. The absence of playoffs and conclusions to hockey seasons everywhere has been difficult for all of the sport’s stakeholders. The upcoming draft is no exception, as players were, unfortunately, unable to compete in the tournaments and championships to display the strides they have taken and separate themselves from their peers. However, scouts were able to get a significant amount of viewings over the course of the season and are ready for the culmination of this season’s efforts. This year’s WHL Bantam Draft class appears to be one of the deepest classes in recent memory.

WHL Bantam Draft
DUBNetwork Scouting

With the soft launch of DUBNetwork Scouting nearing, we thought what better way to provide readers with insights into this year’s top prospects than a mock draft. This is an exercise we hope to continue in future years to have fun with and shine a light on the WHL stars of tomorrow.

How it works

DUBNetwork Scouting provided our contributors with brief profiles of 30 of this year’s top players in the Bantam Draft. The contributors were then tasked with identifying a selection that fits with the organization, whether it is the best player available, an organizational need, or attributes the organization has proven to covet. Despite not having as complete information on these players as teams will have, this exercise is to educate our readers on some of the players available and what makes them unique. Each pick is accompanied by a highlight of the player’s profile from DUBNetwork Scouting and the team’s potential reasoning for the pick. Without further ado, here is our inaugural mock draft of the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft’s first round.

Disclaimer: This exercise is not to predict the draft as accurately as possible, or to rank the teenagers, but to use a mock draft format to introduce some of the players in this year’s draft, giving fans an idea of what names to expect at the top of the draft. Other players that DUBNetwork Scouting like for the first round of the WHL Bantam Draft are in the honourable mentions at the bottom. If you vehemently disagree with a player’s position or overview, we encourage you to apply for a role with DUBNetwork Scouting to be a contributor.

#1 Overall: Regina Pats via Swift Current via Lethbridge (Contributor: Chris Clark)

Connor Bedard

Position: C

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 165lbs

Team: West Vancouver Warriors, Midget Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 36GP – 43G – 41A – 84P (32 PIMs)

With Bedard being named the first player ever granted Exceptional Player Status for the WHL, he will be able to come into camp this fall and compete for a roster spot. Bedard played up an age group, in the Midget Prep division of the CSSHL, this past season. Bedard was the leading scorer with 84 points in 36 games and was named league MVP.
With the team coming off a second straight finish out of the playoffs, an immediate injection of talent into the roster is welcome. Bedard is a prolific scorer, capable of scoring from anywhere. Bedard’s instincts and awareness are on display every time he touches the ice. His understanding of the opposition and their next move allows him to make calculated plays and create offence almost every shift. Contrary to the typical stereotype of a goal scorer, Bedard is equally as talented at distributing the puck and driving the play with his elite puck protection, puck skills, and skating.
Though he plays a finesse game, Bedard is willing to battle below the dots and take punishment to make plays. These sacrifices were on display this season as he battled against opposition one to three(!) years older than him and excelled.

#2: Prince George Cougars (Contributor: Jesse Phillips)

Tanner Molendyk

Position: LD

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 155lbs

Team: Yale Academy Lions, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 27GP – 9G – 46A – 55P (14 PIMs)

Originally from McBride, BC, Tanner will be dawning the Northern Capital’s jersey with pride, not unlike former Northern BC defenseman Dan Hamhuis.

Arguably the most complete defenseman in this year’s draft, Molendyk brings a skillset beyond his years to the ice. Utilizing his elite skating and intelligence, Molendyk makes exceptional plays at both ends of the ice and transitions the puck unbelievably well. Despite being smaller than many of the other high-end defensemen in this draft, Molendyk uses his body better than any of them. Whether eliminating an attacker into the boards or jumping in on the forecheck to pin a defender and secure the puck for his team, Molendyk’s understanding of how to use his body is rarely seen in players his age.  Despite rumours of NCAA potentially in his future, the Cougars could take a chance on this local product.

#3: Moose Jaw Warriors (Contributor: Liam Horrobin)

Brayden Yager

Position: C

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 160lbs

Team: Saskatoon Contacts, Midget AAA

Reg. Season Stats: 44GP – 18G – 24A – 42P (16 PIMs)

One of three players rumoured to have applied for exceptional status this season, Yager is an elite offensive talent that played for the Saskatoon Contacts as an underage this past season. He had an excellent season, scoring at almost a point-per-game rate with 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 44 games in Midget AAA.  Yager blends elite skating with top-end puck skills, hockey IQ, and a high level of compete.  A dynamic offensive player and one-on-one threat with an accurate shot that plays bigger than he is, Yager could be a prolific scorer in the WHL for years to come. The Warriors look to add a much-needed elite forward prospect to their pool having not selected in either the second or third rounds in the last two WHL Drafts.

#4: Tri-City Americans (Contributor: Brandon Rivers)

Riley Heidt

Position: LW

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 160lbs

Team: Saskatoon Contacts, Midget AAA

Reg. Season Stats: 44GP – 17G – 20A – 37P (22 PIMs)

Another player rumoured to have applied for exceptional status with teammate Brayden Yager and first overall pick, Connor Bedard. Heidt is a jack of all trades featuring few weaknesses in his game. Heidt’s skillset, potential ceiling, and external factors are enough for him to be strongly considered at 2nd overall in this year’s draft.  A play driver from the wing with great pace, elite offensive upside, and very high hockey IQ.

His relentless, two-way style should fit perfectly with head coach Kelly Buchberger, who values that a lot in his players. His skating ability is also extremely important in the U.S. Division where speed seems to be a strength of all of Tri-City’s opponents.

#5: Saskatoon Blades via Regina Pats (Contributor: Paul Figler)

Lukas Dragicevic

Position: RD

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 165lbs

Team: Delta Academy (Green), Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 8G – 44A – 52P (32 PIMs) (Bantam Prep) 

4GP – 2G – 3A – 5P (Elite 15s)

An exceptionally talented young player who finished second in defensemen scoring to Molendyk, but also broke Luke Prokop’s CSSHL record for points by a defenseman (41 points). Dragicevic plays a mature and poised game beyond his years. A reliable and gifted puck mover, Drageicevic uses his superior skating and hip mobility to transport and protect the puck. He is capable of facilitating offence from the point whether distributing or using his shot.  His gap control and transition play are exceptional and he will make an immediate difference when he enters the league as a 16-year-old.

The Blades have only one signed defenseman from the 2019 draft and felt it necessary to select
the best defenseman available. Dragicevic was one of the most offensive defensemen in the CSSHL this season yet plays a well rounded two-way game. Having a player of his calibre in the East Division will be
instrumental for the Blades in future seasons.

#6: Red Deer Rebels (Contributor: Paul Figler)

Mazden Leslie

Position: RD

Height: 6’1” 160lbs

Weight: 160lbs

Team: Lloydminster Bobcats, Midget AAA

Reg. Season Stats: 32GP – 5G – 7A – 12P (70 PIMs)

A big, physical, and athletically gifted defenceman. Mazden played defence in Midget AAA this season which is no small feat for a second-year bantam. An ultra-mobile defenceman with a thirst for offence, Leslie can be seen processing or driving the play from the backend. Playing up this season, Leslie clearly focused on developing his 200-foot game with improved gap control and more calculated decision making, seeing his offensive numbers decline. A prospect whose game is becoming more well rounded and will be a more offensively productive player in the WHL than his numbers this season would suggest.

Leslie is a great fit for the Rebels as he plays a physical game and enjoys the battles along the boards and in his own end. The Rebels believe that they have the right team in place for Leslie to be able to develop the offensive side of his game along with the tools he already has. With the Rebels already young on the back end, in the years to come Leslie will have the opportunity to have success in a limited role early in his career and grow into a leading role in the later stages of his WHL career.

#7: Seattle Thunderbirds (Former contributor: Jesse Kurtti)

Kaden Hammell

Position: RD

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 165lbs

Team: West Vancouver Warriors, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 29GP – 12G – 29A – 41P (22 PIMs)

Yet another big, mobile defenceman. Hammell enjoys skating the puck up ice and leading the rush, displaying his puck skills and ability to navigate traffic. A decent two-way presence but a much bigger risktaker than some of his peers at the top end of this draft. Hammell does a good job of using his feet and athleticism to create space and open lanes for his heavy point shot. A battler with good puck protection, Hammell will look to develop a more responsible 200-foot game this upcoming season.

Seattle GM, Bil La Forge has done a masterful job securing commitments from top-end drafted talent over the past two drafts. The forwards in the ’03 and ’04 age groups rival any in the Western Hockey League along with promising young defenceman as well. Hammell makes sense for Seattle, as you can never have too many high-end defensive prospects in the pipeline. Seattle has had two great puck-moving d-men over the past decade in Ethan Bear and Shea Theodore, both of which won the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy for the best defenseman in the WHL. Hammell fits the mould of what Seattle has historically looked for in d-men; Size, strength, hockey IQ and willingness to jump up in the play without being a liability in their own end of the ice.

#8: Kelowna Rockets (Contributor: Glen Erickson)

Kalan Lind

Position: C

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 140lbs

Team: Swift Current Broncos, Bantam AA

Reg. Season Stats: 27GP – 68G – 52A – 120P (90 PIMs) (Bantam)

10GP – 1G – 1A – 2P (Midget)

Lind has more potential than his older brother Kole had at this age. An intelligent and aware forward that has had a number of very impressive performances over the last two years. Lind is a play driver and shows glimpses of being able to play a power game with his net drives. Lind has the potential to be a great playmaker and scorer at the next level. A heart on his sleeves type player, Lind sometimes crosses the line as he physically displays his passion on the ice.

Lind has the potential to be much the same type of WHL player as his older brother Kole, an impact forward in Kelowna who collected 247 points in 248 games over four full seasons. Lind is offensively skilled – 120 points in 27 games last season – and he can be a tenacious, physical forward. But, patience will be important in the short-term as both player and team will await a growth spurt similar to that of his older brother.

#9: Victoria Royals (Contributor: Ben Dooley)

Grayden Slipec

Position: C

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 155lbs

Team: West Vancouver Warriors, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 26G – 47A – 73P (16 PIMs)

One of the smartest players in the draft, Slipec is an exceptional playmaker with a very accurate shot. Slipec packages elite puck skills and vision with his intelligence allowing him to be a dynamic threat every time he touches the ice. Slipec navigates traffic extremely well and identifies lanes before they appear, making his teammates better. Slipec’s hockey IQ translates to strong positioning and reads in all three zones, allowing him to quickly transition to offence and keep his opponents on their heels.

The Royals will lose at least seven forwards from this year’s roster by the time Slipec debuts and will need to replenish the cupboards. An intelligent player capable of playing a strong 200-foot game with pace and elite offensive upside would be a great fit for a Dan Price coached squad. Victoria will be thrilled to add a player like Slipec in this year’s draft given the number of defencemen they’ve selected at the top end of recent drafts.

#10: Vancouver Giants (Contributor: Stephen Hawco)

Oliver Tulk

Position: C/W

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 157lbs

Team: Delta Academy (Green), Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 27G – 42A – 69P (14 PIMs)

Tulk brings the ability to play in any situation needed and shows excellent offensive ability, averaging over two-points-per-game in the CSSHL. A strong playmaker with an accurate shot, keeping his opposition honest. Tulk plays and thinks the game at pace, allowing him to make effective and subtle plays at speed. An instinctive player in all three zones, Tulk projects to be an all situations player and a high-end offensive producer at the next level.
The Giants hit a home run with their last undersized forward out of DHA (Ty Ronning) and look to do the same, with Tulk’s added versatility being able to play wing and centre as well as all situations on the ice.  Being local will help with his development so the organization can keep a close eye on him.

#11: Medicine Hat Tigers via Saskatoon Blades (Contributor: Glen Erickson)

Matteo Fabrizi

Position: RD

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 215lbs

Team: Yale Academy Lions, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 23GP – 3G – 15A – 18P (82 PIMs)

Fabrizi is an enormous two-way defenseman that features fluid mobility and an uber physical presence. A punishing defenseman who typically errs on the side of caution but can join the rush or utilize his heavy shot from the point. Already built like a man, Fabrizi continues to adjust to his size and utilize it to intimidate his opponents and win battles down low and in front of the net.

The Tigers graduate two 20-year-old defencemen (Gavlas & Plouffe) and although there is some depth in the system, it would be difficult to pass on a big, mobile rearguard. A real key in Medicine Hat is for players to demonstrate the ability to move with speed and efficiency and Fabrizi will have to continue to develop foot speed and puck skills.  After all, the Tigers usually have one of the biggest defence corps in the league.

#12: Calgary Hitmen (Contributor: Liam Horrobin)

Austin Zemlak

Position: LD

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 170lbs

Team: Okanagan Hockey Academy Edmonton, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 27GP – 8G – 28A – 36P (22 PIMs)

An exceptional two-sport athlete, Zemlak is a hyper-competitive physical specimen. Though a bit raw in appearance, Zemlak features a skill set that will translate well to the WHL. Strength, balance, and explosiveness translate into a strong two-way game. Zemlak demonstrates good gap control and ability to hold the line which allows him to utilize his very heavy release. The best is yet to come, should he choose hockey over baseball.

Calgary takes the Alberta boy with their first-round pick. Zemlak is a strong player that can play in all situations. Defensively, he rarely makes a mistake and loves to deliver a big hit. He can carry the puck with authority and has an absolute cannon. You can see he’s still a raw talent which makes it even more exciting to see how he develops.

#13: Brandon Wheat Kings (Contributor: Darnell Duff)

Deagan McMillan

Position: Wing

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 175lbs

Team: Delta Academy (Green), Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 27GP – 20G – 31A – 51P (63 PIMs)

McMillan is a big, rangy winger that utilizes his size and reach well. This year, McMillan demonstrated the ability to excel in both the cycle and off the rush. A strong and calculated net-front presence that uses his above-average puck skills to create havoc and scoring opportunities in front. A solid puck protector with great hockey IQ and awareness. A true power forward in the making.
At 6 foot 1, McMillan has the ability to open the ice a bit for Brandon’s plethora of young options, one of which is Tyson Zimmer, who I believe will have an excellent junior career. McMillan’s size, ability to score, and be a strong complementary player will be a great asset to play with Zimmer and Brandon’s group of talented prospects.

#14: Winnipeg ICE (Contributor: Darnell Duff)

Brayden Dube

Position: Fwd

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 145lbs

Team: Parkland Rangers (Bantam AAA)

Reg. Season Stats: 36GP – 74G – 56A – 130P (50 PIMs)

An offensive threat that blends creative playmaking, elite goal-scoring ability, and top-end speed. Dube’s points-per-game of 3.61 in the WPBAA are the highest since Nolan Patrick’s 3.95 in 2012/13 and are better than other former WHL stars Stelio Mattheos and Cody Glass. Dube is very difficult for defenders to contain given the many ways he can beat them.
Dube’s shot is lethal and could very well translate into a great goalscorer in the WHL. Another pure offensive threat which could add a third dimension to Winnipeg’s young crop of elite forwards, punishing opponents who key in on Savoie and Geekie.

#15: Prince Albert Raiders (Contributor: Layne Lysitza)

Sam Oremba

Position: C

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 155lbs

Team: Regina Monarchs (Bantam AA)

Reg. Season Stats: 31GP – 75G – 58A – 133P (10 PIMs) (Bantam)

5GP – 1G – 2A – 3P (Midget)

A top-level thinker on the ice, Oremba drives the play and makes his teammates better. A competent two-way player who produced at an exceptionally high level this season. While some may argue his output was in AA, his showing in Midget proved he was just as capable of producing against older players. Just another of the many reasons this draft is so highly touted.

With the signing of Graydon Gotaas in March, the Raiders are able to select the best skater available which is Oremba, who scorched the SBAAHL to the tune of 133 points in 31 games, eclipsing Logan Barlage’s total of 125 in the 2015/16 season. Oremba also had a good showing in AAA Midget, tallying 3 points in a five-game stint. Oremba is the type of player that makes his linemates better. He is a cerebral player that is good on both sides of the puck and has the potential to be a top-line center for the Raiders.

#16: Lethbridge Hurricanes (Contributor: John Easthope)

Caden Brown

Position: RW

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 180lbs

Team: Delta Academy (Green), Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 35G – 30A – 65P (34 PIMs)

One of the best 200-foot forwards in the draft, Brown exemplifies a mature style of play. Brown supports the play and uses his elite anticipation to identify opportunities for scoring chances and takeaways. Despite not playing an overly flashy style, Brown’s offensive upside is high at the next level. Strong on the walls and below the dots, Brown’s playstyle already fits the WHL mould.

With the heavy turn over the last few seasons, the Hurricanes have needs everywhere. Brown fits the mould of the Peter Anholt type player. A strong 200-foot player, that thinks the game well and is not afraid to get into the tough areas. He has a strong character that has the potential to be a leader not only on the ice but off of it as well. He is coming off a strong season with 65 points in 30 games played.

#17: Prince George Cougars via Medicine Hat Tigers (Contributor: Jesse Phillips)

Arjun Bawa

Position: C/W

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 160lbs

Team: St. George’s Academy, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 16G – 25A – 41P (68 PIMs) (Bantam Prep)

2GP – 1G – 0A – 1P (Elite 15s)

Bawa brings a unique blend of size, skill, and intelligence to the fold. A build that lends itself to a strong power forward down the line, Bawa showed glimpses of this playstyle throughout the season. Using a simple game and strong puck protection, Bawa focused on getting pucks to the net whether driving or creating shot opportunities. Though his offensive output was not as prolific as teammate Andrew Cristall, his frame and skill set suggest he could still become an offensive threat at the next level.

After selecting a defenceman with our first pick it was paramount to bring in a big, talented forward to our club. Bawa’s size and playstyle fit the aggressive northern style perfectly and should complement our other high-end prospects well.

#18: Spokane Chiefs (Contributor: Brandon Rivers)

Saige Weinstein

Position: LD

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 160lbs

Team: Northern Alberta Xtreme, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 23GP – 4G – 16A – 20P (32 PIMs)

A strong two-way puck transporter, Weinstein plays a very conservative and effective style. Maintaining excellent gap control and eliminating passing lanes provides his team with plenty of opportunities to counterattack. Excellent four-way mobility allows Weinstein to join the rush or get below the dots on the attack with mitigated risk. A safe pick, with a high floor in this year’s draft, we just aren’t sure his offensive ceiling is quite as high as some of the other defencemen in the draft.

With last year’s signed third-round pick defenseman Logan Cunningham hailing from the same program, the Chiefs go back to the NAX to add to the long history of puck-moving defensemen to play for the franchise. Weinstein fits well in Spokane’s system as he plays well on both sides of the rush, is mobile and is solid in his own end. With Cunningham, Graham Sward and Chase Freidt-Mohr already in tow, adding Weinstein further sets the Chiefs up to continue being one of the WHL teams with the best pipeline of d-men.

#19: Kamloops Blazers (Contributor: Jordan Bremner)

Marcus Pacheco

Position: C

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 145lbs

Team: Okanagan Hockey Academy Edmonton, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 15G – 24A – 39P (28 PIMs)

A speed demon that spent a lot of this season refining his two-way game and playing big minutes in all situations. Pacheco attacks the neutral zone and defenders with speed and is a big threat off the rush. Pacheco’s puck skills are solid and will continue to develop as he practices using them at speed. His offensive output was not as prolific as other forwards available, but he has demonstrated the ability to develop that after his two-way game becomes second nature. Should Pacheco become more assertive with the puck and develop that killer instinct, he could be a dangerous weapon and driver of offence in the WHL for years to come.

Pacheco possesses a high hockey IQ and elite speed at his level; his skillset is complemented by a responsible, two-way game that will allow him to contribute as a well-rounded player in the Western Hockey League. One of the fastest skaters in the draft, the Blazers add another player with speed and skill to their organizational depth chart, hoping that indeed, speed kills.

 

#20: Edmonton Oil Kings (Contributor: Adam Girard)

Kai Matthew

Position: W

Height: 5’11

Weight: 160lbs

Team: Northern Alberta Xtreme, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 25GP – 17G – 21A – 38P (36 PIMs) (Bantam Prep)

5GP – 1G – 2A – 3P (Elite 15s)

Matthew is very mature in physical appearance and his play on the ice.  More of a pro-style player, Matthew has excellent control of his body in battles and on the wall.  Using his superior strength, Matthew explodes into transition and wears opponents out down low.  Adding solid overall puck skills and shooting ability, Kai is well-positioned to become a solid top-six winger in the WHL.

The Oil Kings take the hometown boy from Edmonton, Alberta with the 20th pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. Matthew plays a 200-foot game and has learned how to use his size to his advantage, allowing him to make an impact in all aspects of the game. Matthew’s hands in tight and WHL-level shot make him a dangerous offensive threat as soon as he enters the offensive zone. His vision allows him to make plays to his teammates and his lethal shot keeps the goaltenders consistently on edge. With Matthew, the Oil Kings get one of the most complete prospects available in this draft and a player who should be able to transition his game to the WHL level sooner than most of his peers.

#21: Swift Current Broncos via Everett Silvertips (Contributor: Liam Horrobin)

Ryker Singer

Position: RW

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 155lbs

Team: Lloydminster Bobcats, Bantam AAA

Reg. Season Stats: 32GP – 30G – 21A – 51P (128 PIMs)

An uber-skilled winger with a penchant for the rough stuff. A strong, powerful skater with a great offensive toolset. It was thought Singer would potentially spend this season in Midget with last year’s teammate Mazden Leslie. Singer could be selected much higher, but not much lower than this. One of the most difficult players to compete against in the draft.

Singer was a special player to watch throughout the 2019-20 season. He was the engine that kept the Bobcats moving and was a big reason why they were so successful. He’s an elite finisher and was arguably the best player on the ice every night. Unlike other forwards similar to him, Singer separates himself from the rest with his physicality and determination. He’s not afraid to get in the dirty areas around the boards and is a hard checker. Overall, a very competitive player and someone the Broncos will be thrilled to have.

 

#22: Prince George Cougars via Portland Winterhawks (Contributor: Jesse Phillips)

Zach Benson

Position: C

Height: 5’5”

Weight: 125lbs

Team: Yale Academy Lions, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 30G – 56A – 86P (26 PIMs)

The highest-scoring player of any CSSHL league this season. The only reason Benson falls in the first round or out of it is due to his size. However, Benson used his size to his advantage this season to navigate traffic and elude defenders. A crafty forward that always seems to create offence and has a great nose for the net.  Capable of winning pucks against much larger opponents and winning battles at the net front. Benson could very well reach his high ceiling should he hit a growth spurt.

Benson is a dynamic forward who will bring a scoring punch to the CN Centre for years to come. He led the entire CSSHL with 86 points in 30 Games played on the same Yale Academy Lions team as our 2nd overall pick this year, Tanner Molendyk. Given the Cougars’ recent selections of larger forwards, we believe a small, highly-skilled forward will complement our prospect pool well.

 

Honourable Mentions

These players may very well see their names called in the first round of the draft in place of some of their peers mentioned above.

Andrew Lacroix

Position: Wing

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 165lbs

Team: West Vancouver Warriors, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 26G – 34A – 60P (8 PIMs)

A great skating winger with a solid frame. Lacroix uses his body well to participate in the physical aspects of the games and win battles while maintaining his discipline. Lacroix does an excellent job of utilizing his speed to create separation and win races to loose pucks. A strong shot with solid puck skills round out Lacroix’s offensive arsenal and complement his puck support and responsible two-way play.  We hope to see Lacroix utilize his speed more at the next level to drive the play and keep defenders on their heels.

Kooper Gizowski

Position: RW

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 165lbs

Team: Northern Alberta Xtreme, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 29GP – 27G – 24A – 51P (26 PIMs)

A physical, two-way winger who enjoys getting in on the forecheck. NAX played Gizowski in all situations this season, utilizing his motor and compete. Yet another forward with a strong release that is capable of attacking defenders at speed, Gizowski has a game already suited to the WHL and like his teammate, Kai Matthew, may transition to the league faster than most of his peers.

Matthew Wood

Position: C/W

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 155lbs

Team: West Vancouver Warriors, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 40G – 31A – 71P (6 PIMs)

A tall and pure goal scorer.  Shoot first and ask questions later mentality. Wood uses his frame relatively well in puck protection and adjusting the angle of his release. Wood has a good compete level in his 200-foot game and his instincts are apparent as the puck tends to find him in space.  Though his balance and skating need a bit of work, he has obvious strength and athleticism. His offensive upside his high enough to comfortably land him in the first round, as you can’t teach players how to score like Wood.

Andrew Cristall

Position: LW

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 130lbs

Team: St. George’s Academy, Bantam Prep (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 27GP – 43G – 37A – 80P (47 PIMs) (Bantam Prep)

1GP – 1G – 0A – 1P (Elite 15s)

Another undersized forward that posted huge offensive numbers this season. Unlike some of the other top scorers in the league, Cristall’s next closest teammate to him in points was 39 points behind him. Despite questionable skating and his lack of size, Cristall has an exceptional skill set that would otherwise find him in the top half of the first round. His puck skills, ability to navigate traffic, vision, and awareness could make him a significant player on the WHL team that drafts him. With hockey leagues everywhere featuring more and more small, highly-skilled forwards, don’t be surprised if Cristall makes a splash in the league for years to come.

Bauer Dumanski

Position: LD

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 150lbs

Team: Humboldt Broncos (Bantam AA)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 16G – 17A – 33P (24 PIMs) (Bantam)

10GP – 0G – 1A – 1P (Midget AA and AAA)

A jack-of-all-trades defenceman. Dumanski does most things quite well, but not necessarily exceptionally. He is versatile in the type of game he can play and has shown an ability to grind it out in his own zone or play a more free-flowing game. An intelligent and poised defender with great decision making. A high floor, but not as high a ceiling as some of the other prospects in this draft.

Terrell Goldsmith

Position: RD

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 200lbs

Team: Delta Academy (Green), Bantam Prep  (CSSHL)

Reg. Season Stats: 23GP – 4G – 15A – 19P (77 PIMs)

A huge, raw, and mobile defenceman. Goldsmith does a lot of things well but didn’t have the offensive production, or opportunities, to jump him ahead of the other stellar defenceman in this draft class.  However, Goldsmith has few weaknesses in his game and has adjusted to his size well. Capable of transitioning the play and joining the rush, we think Goldsmith could be a real gem in the draft. Physical, mobile, strong, and intelligent, Goldsmith still has a lot of potential development ahead of him given his raw abilities and that will have some scouts drooling.

Quinn Mantei

Position: LD

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 155lbs

Team: Weyburn Wings (Bantam AA)

Reg. Season Stats: 30GP – 22G – 30A – 52P (37 PIMs)

7GP – 0G – 0A – 0P (Midget)

A powerplay quarterback and specialist.  trong puck retrieval and skater, allowing him to net zone exits and entries easily. Mantei might not have the same upside of a number one defenseman like those taken ahead of him, but there is a lot he can bring to a team to round out and complement defence corps.

Reid Andresen

Position: LD

Height: 5’6”

Weight: 125lbs

Team: Saskatoon Generals (Bantam AA)

Reg. Season Stats: 31GP – 13G – 38A – 51P (22 PIMs)

Despite being undersized, Andresen is a great defender. He boasts high-end hockey IQ with tremendous upside. A strong skater with great balance and poise. An exceptional puck transporter and powerplay QB.  Size might be the only thing preventing him from being one of the first 6-7 defencemen taken in this year’s draft.

 

Stay tuned for DUBNetwork Scouting’s soft launch prior to the WHL Bantam Draft!  We are still looking for scouts and writers in all WHL regions. If you are passionate about hockey and player evaluation and are looking to gain some valuable experience while refining your craft and getting your name out there, contact us at scouting@dubnetwork.ca!

DUBNetwork Forums DUBNetwork Mock WHL Bantam Draft 2020

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    Zach Moffat
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      The 2020 WHL Bantam Draft is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22nd. The absence of playoffs and conclusions to hockey seasons everywhere has been
    [See the full post at: DUBNetwork Mock WHL Bantam Draft 2020]

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