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 Brandon Wheat Kings

Murray Pleased with Skill Level, Character of U.S. Picks

May 8, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Brandon Wheat Kings News Release

In its brief history, the WHL's annual U.S. Priority Draft has produced a handful of players each year that come north of the border to pursue their hockey dreams. The Wheat Kings hope they've found two more to add to their stable of prospects/

Today, the team selected Colin Grubb with their first pick, 14th overall, and Ethan Sung with their second pick, 36th overall. The two players were linemates with Shattuck St. Mary's 14U AAA program last season, and both players put up over 100 points.

Grubb was the team's second leading scorer, posting an impressive total of 102 points in 57 games. The Minot native also skated for Team North Dakota in the 15U AAA ranks, and was among their more effective scorers.

"He's a really good player," said Wheat Kings head coach and GM Marty Murray. "He's a player that I've known for a long time from my days in Minot. He comes from an outstanding family. The thing I love about Colin is he's a real student of the game, he wants to get better, he's been a rink rat since he was able to get in there. Really excited about him, he's a 200-foot player and he has high character as well."

Because young players in the United States have so many avenues for junior hockey, having that previous relationship may be just the thing to help convince a player journey north to Brandon. In fact, Grubb has already made that journey before. The Minot native has previously attended Wheat Kings' games.

"I think it helps," said Murray. "There's a lot of work that needs to be done (to sign him) but like I said, he's a really good player, outstanding family. Those are the type of people you want in your program."

Grubb was the second-leading scorer at Shattuck St. Mary's last season, and with their next pick the Wheat Kings grabbed the first. Sung racked up 119 points in just 57 games.

"He's an exceptional talent," said Murray. "Those two are linemates, so we thought them being linemates might help the process as well. He's an exceptionally skilled young player. His IQ and hockey ability are off the charts."

Murray added that American players can sometimes have longer seasons at that age than their Canadian counterparts (both of their picks today played 57 games in the regular season with Shattuck alone), so a longer WHL schedule might not be as much of an adjustment for them.

The WHL Prospects Draft is tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM Central Time.

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