Notre Dame D-man could to go No. 1
By Tyler Neisz, Special to The StarPhoenix
April 29, 2009
The annual WHL bantam draft is scheduled for Thursday in Edmonton. The StarPhoenix recruited scout Tyler Neisz of hockeyprospect.com to compile a mock draft.
The following list does not reflect the actual player rankings of hockeyprospect.com. Neisz considered a number of variables, including team needs.
1. PORTLAND WINTER HAWKS
D Morgan Rielly, 5-11, 168, Notre Dame bantam
Blends excellent offensive and defensive instincts. Has a very quick, active stick as well as great lateral movement and elusiveness. Named top defenceman at a pair of major tournaments.
Stats: 23 GP, 25-27-52, 8 PIMs
2. MOOSE JAW WARRIORS
D Derrick Pouliot, 5-10, 165, Weyburn Wings bantam
Has tremendous puck-moving ability and offensive instincts to jump into the play. Controls the play when he's on the ice and has a very good, accurate shot.
Stats: 26GP, 25-38-63, 24 PIMs
3. CHILLIWACK BRUINS
D Griffin Reinhart, 6-4, 205, Hollyburn (B.C.) midget AAA
Son of former NHL blue-liner Paul Reinhart is a shutdown defenceman with a decent amount of skill sprinkled in. Brother Max plays for the Kootenay Ice.
4. RED DEER REBELS
D Matt Dumba, 5-11, 165, Calgary Bronks bantam
Big, hard-hitting defenceman has good speed and a very hard shot. Vocal player also leads by example with thunderous hits and offensive rushes.
Stats: 33GP, 20-18-38, 96 PIMs
5. REGINA PATS
F Mike Winther, 5-9, 155, Airdrie (Alta.) bantam
Fantastic skater has great acceleration and explosive offensive instincts. His Xtreme team won the western Canadian bantam championship.
Stats: 32GP, 40-23-63, 48 PIMs
6. PRINCE ALBERT RAIDERS
F Tayler Balog, 5-111/2, 176, Weyburn Wings bantam
Has a nose for the net and a very accurate shot. He finds holes in the opposing goalie's game.
Stats: 26 GP, 44-32-76, 34 PIMs
7. PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS
F Connor Rankin, 6-0, 185, North Shore (B.C.) bantam
Tenacious worker on and off the ice and exudes confidence in the offensive zone. Has the size and skating ability to excel in the WHL.
8. EVERETT SILVERTIPS
F Chandler Stephenson, 5-8, 160, Saskatoon Generals bantam
Sees the ice very well, makes plays, shoots accurately, hits hard and plays well in the corners.
9. EDMONTON OIL KINGS
D Nicolas Walters, 6-0, 160, St. Albert (Alta.) Sabres bantam
Strong, quick skater, has very good hands. Defensively, he always seems to get the puck out along boards.
Stats: 32GP, 4-24-28, 68 PIMs
10. KAMLOOPS BLAZERS
D Kade Pilton, 6-2, 175, Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy (Kelowna)
Very calm with the puck. Improved his skating this season despite a big growth spurt. He's improved all aspects of his game at a fast rate.
Stats: MVP of St. Albert tournament
11. EVERETT SILVERTIPS (From Lethbridge)
D Seth Jones, 6-2 170, Dallas Stars bantam
Jones's hockey sense is extremely high for a player this age. Shot is well above average and he's capable of anchoring a power play.
12. SEATTLE THUNDERBIRDS
D Reid Gow, 5-10, 150, Killarney Stars (Man.) bantam
Great vision and moves the puck well. Great offensive defenceman with huge upside.
Stats: Directors Cup -- 4GP, 0-7-7, 0 PIMs.
13. KOOTENAY ICE
F Jason Siebert, 6-0, 180, Abbotsford (B.C.) bantam
Plays a very hard-nosed game and hits hard. Shoots the puck well and can dominate games.
Stats: Western bantam championship -- 4GP, 5-1-6, 4 PIMs
14. MEDICINE HAT TIGERS
LW Tristan Sieben, 5-8, 155, Edmonton MLAC bantam
A goal-scoring machine with elusiveness and the ability to weave through traffic to create chances.
Stats: 33GP, 34-17-51, 60 PIMs
15. SWIFT CURRENT BRONCOS
F Steve Hodges, 5-11, 160, South Delta (B.C.) bantam
Makes quick decisions and has a good one-timer. Not afraid to go after the puck along the boards. Great under-the-radar talent.
16. SPOKANE CHIEFS
D Shayne Gwinner, 5-11 148, Airdrie Xtreme (Alta.) bantam
Plays very composed style and doesn't really do anything flashy, but has some offensive upside.
Stats: 32GP, 5-12-17, 74 PIMs
17. KELOWNA ROCKETS
D Josh Smith, 5-10, 170, Red Deer Black (Alta.) bantam
Combines skill, a hard shot from the point and big-time grit. Has the ability to intimidate opponents with his aggressive style.
18. BRANDON WHEAT KINGS
D Brett Cote, 6-0, 165, Springfield (Man.) bantam
Fluid skater keeps his legs moving through all three zones. Hits hard, skates well and is a versatile defenceman.
19. TRI-CITY AMERICANS
F Levi Bews, 5-10, 150, Notre Dame bantam
Combines good skating ability with intensity. Sometimes it looks like he wants to steamroll opponents and drive them through the boards.
Stats: 25GP, 33-32-65, 46 PIMs
20. SASKATOON BLADES
F Trent Geiger, 5-9, 150, Calgary Royals bantam
Talented forward works hard and leads by example. He is the captain of his team and is very good in all facets of the game.
Stats: 31GP, 17-40-57, 46 PIMs
21. VANCOUVER GIANTS
F Shea Howorko, 6-2, 170, Notre Dame bantam
Big forward has a knack for getting open and firing accurate shots on goal. His shot is already at a midget/WHL level.
Stats: 23 GP, 22-21-43, 41 PIMs
22. CALGARY HITMEN
F Brandon Troock, 6-0 160, Edmonton CAC bantam
Big, power forward with a heavy shot. Needs to work on his consistency, but there is no denying this talent and his "bull in a china shop" style.
Stats: 32GP, 21-28-49, 82 PIM
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