Prince Albert, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders picked 10 players in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday at the Deerfoot Inn in Calgary, AB.
Of those 10 players, seven were forwards and three were defencemen. The Raiders picked four players from Saskatchewan, two from Alberta, two from Manitoba, one from British Columbia and one from Alaska.
The Raiders had two first round picks in this year’s WHL Bantam Draft, including the first overall selection. With that choice, the Raiders selected defenceman Kaiden Guhle from Sherwood Park, AB. Guhle, listed at 6’1 and 174 lbs, had 17 goals and 23 assists in 30 games for OHA Edmonton in the CSSHL. For more on Kaiden Guhle, click here.
With the 17th overall pick, the Raiders chose Cohner Saleski from Warman. The 5’8.5, 148-lb centre had 43 goals and 42 assists in 30 games for the Saskatoon Stallions of the SBAAHL. His 85 points ranked him second overall in the league.
“Cohner is an extremely dynamic, skilled forward with great speed and great skill and tenacity,” said Raiders Director of Player Personnel Ron Gunville. “He loves to score goals.”
The Raiders also had two picks in the second. They chose forward Ozzy Wiesblatt from Calgary, AB 25th overall. Listed at 5’8 and 164 lbs, Wiesblatt scored 38 goals and dished out 35 assists in 32 games played for the Calgary Bisons in the AMBHL.
“We were super happy to get (Ozzy) where we got him,” Gunville said. “We had him much higher on our list. He brings a lot of the same things Cohner does. He’s super skilled, too. He’s tenacious. He’s got a real passion to score goals and he wants to be a Raider, so we’re super happy to get him.”
With their second pick of the second round at 40th overall, the Raiders selected 6’2, 152-lb winger Jakob Brook from Roblin, MB. Brook played with the Rink Hockey Academy in the CSSHL, putting up 32 points (20 goals, 12 assists) in 27 games. He’s also the son of Raiders alumnus Dwayne Brook, who played for the Raiders during the 1989-90 season.
“Jakob is a big right winger,” noted Gunville. “He has some speed. He has some skill. He can be hard to play against. We expect him to be a big contributor when he’s 16 or 17 years old due to his size and skating ability.”
In the third round, the Raiders took defenceman Braydon Clark from Langley, BC 47th overall. Standing 5’10 and weighing in at 172 lbs, Clark scored three goals and added 11 assists in 27 games played for the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy.
“Brayden’s a tough, physical kid,” Gunville said. “He’s not the biggest kid, but he doesn’t back down from anyone. He comes from a great hockey program and is committed to winning. He’s a guy that the fans in P.A. and the Art Hauser Centre are going to like for a lot of years.
With the 64th pick, the Raiders went back to Rink Hockey Academy to select Oakville, MB’s Evan Herman. The 5’8, 134-lb centre had 19 goals and 18 assists in 27 games.
“Evan’s one of the fastest kids in the draft,” explained Gunville. “Great speed and a great forechecker. He brings a passion to the game.”
With no picks in the fourth round, the Raiders’ next selection was C Davin Griffin from Regina at 100th overall. The 5’9.5, 144-lb forward led the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League with 50 goals for the Regina Monarchs. He also chipped in 18 assists in 30 games played.
“Davin is one of the premier goal scorers in Saskatchewan,” Gunville noted. “He’s extremely fast, extremely good skater.”
Five slots later, the Raiders picked defenceman Graham Skinner from Saskatoon. Listed at 6’ and 178 lbs, Skinner had two goals and 15 assists in 29 games with the Saskatoon Outlaws in the SBAAHL. He also had two goals and two assists in four playoff games.
“Graham’s a big, steady, stay-at-home defenceman,” Gunville said. “He plays a pretty heavy game. He’s got good size and moves pucks pretty well. He’s a guy that makes things difficult for other players to play against.”
In the sixth round, the Raiders drafted forward Hunter Strand from Anchorage, AK. At the recent 2017 USA Hockey Nationals, the 5’10, 155-lb centre had two goals in three games with the 14U Alaska Oilers. He also had 10 goals and eight assists in five games at the 2016 Rick LaPointe Tournament in Victoria, BC in December.
“Hunter is one of the top-rated Americans,” explained Gunville. “He’s a 200-foot skill player who is hard to play against.”
With their pick in the seventh round, the Raiders picked winger Dylan Scriven from Humboldt. Listed at 5’11 and 190 lbs, Scriven had nine goals and three assists in 23 games with the Notre Dame Hounds in the CSSHL. In his previous season, he had 13 goals and 14 assists with the Humboldt Broncos in the SBAAHL.
“Dylan’s originally from Prince Albert,” noted Gunville. “He’s a big winger who can shoot the puck and has always scored goals.”
Draft at a Glance
||Sherwood Park, AB
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