BANTAM DRAFT KICKS OFF THURSDAY
Medicine Hat, AB — The Bantam Draft is approaching and will take place on Thursday May 5th in Calgary as the first round kicks off. It gives bantam aged players born in the year 2001 the opportunity to be a part of a WHL organization. Many kids are selected in the draft and some will sign WHL commitments. Others will play at different levels of hockey, but in the end the future of some organizations begins on Thursday.
The Kootenay Ice won the draft lottery after finishing the season with a league low 31 points and 12 victories. The Ice have had the 1st overall pick on two separate occasions back in 1996 and 1997, selecting Steve McCarthy and Jarret Stoll respectively.
On the Tigers front, the Tabbies will select 5th overall this season after posting 65 points and losing a heartbreaking tiebreaker game to miss out on the post season for the first time in 13 years. However this year’s pick will be the first time since 2002 the Tabbies will select in the Top 5. In that year the Tigers took Mike Gauthier with the 3rd overall selection. The 2002 Draft also boasted the likes of David Schlemko, Darren Helm and Kris Russell in later picks.
Thursday will mark another first for the Tigers and they have never selected in the 5th position in the 23 year history of the Bantam Draft.
This year, the top picks look to be from Alberta in Peyton Krebs, Bowen Byram and Kirby Dach. Then there is large 6’3 185lb forward Logan Barlage who is from Humboldt, SK, the prospect will enter the draft having come off a 125 point season in just 30 games playing Bantam AA. The draft is always a gamble when you play with young players careers, but the Tigers have had success drafting at all positions.
Majority of the Tigers current roster boasts Bantam picks made by the Tigers, developing their talents from within rather than trading. The upcoming season will see 19 players that are eligible to return to the Tigers, making training camp one of the most competitive.
Take a look at the current Tigers who were selected by Medicine Hat in the Bantam Draft:
2014 – James Hamblin (17th), Tyler Preziuso (61st)
2013 – David Quenneville (10th), Mason Shaw (32nd), Ryan Jevne (35th), Max Gerlach (120th), Caleb Fantillo (123rd)
2012 – Ty Schultz (16th), Matt Bradley (38th), Brad Forrest (170th)
2011 – Chad Butcher (62nd), Alex Mowbray (79th), Steven Owre (128th)
For all updates on the Tigers selections in the Bantam Draft, keep it locked on the Tigers official Twitter
Also, stay tuned for a 2 day prospects report, analyzing the Tigers prospects by forwards and defenceman leading up to Thursday’s draft!