Prince George Cougars Prospect Watch - May 11th

May 11, 2023 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Prince George Cougars News Release

PRINCE GEORGE BC - After an exciting 2022-2023 season, the Prince George Cougars now shift their attention to the WHL Prospect's Draft which kicks off on Thursday. With the draft quickly approaching, let's see how the Cougars draft picks from the classes of 2021 and 2022 faired this past season.

2022 Draft Class

The Cats' 2022 draft class was highlighted by 9th overall selection Lee Shurgot and 28th overall selection Jett Lajoie. Both Cougar prospects put up big numbers during their 2022-23 seasons.

For Shurgot, he was a member of the U18 Saskatoon Blazers that made it all the way to the U18 Men's National Championship Tournament (previously known as the Telus Cup). Shurgot finished the regular season with 56 points, consisting of 27 goals and 29 assists. At the U18 Men's National Championship, Shurgot scored in the shootout of the bronze medal game to help Saskatoon to a 3rd place finish. "It was a really good season from Lee," said Bob Simmonds, Cougars Director of Scouting. "Like any young player, Lee is working on his craft as much as he can, and it translated to good numbers this season. He played in big situations and scored big goals." The Saskatoon, SK product represented Team Saskatchewan at the Canada Winter Games where he and his team collected a silver medal.

Lajoie, 16, is also coming off a big season that came with the Winnipeg Bruins U18 club. In just 39 games played, Lajoie owned 51 points (23 goals, 28 assists). The Winnipeg, MB product was a key contributor in their playoff run, earning 9 points in 10 games. Like Shurgot, Lajoie played at the Canada Winter Games as a member of Team Manitoba and had two points in five games. "We can't wait to see Jett at our main camp in September," said Simmonds. "Jett put together a great season. He is a very complete player that plays a hard and physical game and can produce."

Here are the other PG Cougars' 2022 Draft Class prospects statistics throughout the 2022-2023 season:

Leith Hunter - Defence - 50th Overall Selection - Pacific Coast Academy U17 (CSSHL)

Regular Season - 5 goals, 14 assists in 28 games

Playoffs - 2 assists in 3 games

Called up to join the Cougars on their 2023 playoff run

Aiden Foster - Forward - 61st Overall Selection - Lloydminster Bobcats U18 (AEHL)

Regular Season - 11 goals, 23 assists in 38 games

Playoffs - 1 goal, 1 assist in 4 games

Fun Fact: Son of Cougar Alumnus Aaron Foster

Max Threinen - Defence - 94th Overall Selection - Moose Jaw Warriors U18

Regular Season - 3 goals, 6 assists in 44 games

Playoffs - 1 assist in 5 games

Brady Holtvogt - Goalie - 116th Overall Selection - Prince Albert U18

Regular Season - 19 GP - 10-7-0-0 - 2.81 GAA - .886 SV%

Mitchell DeCoste - Defence - 145th Overall Selection - AC Avalanche U17

Regular Season - 6 goals, 11 assists in 25 games

Playoffs - 1 goal, 1 assist in 5 games

Rowan McDonald - Forward- 150th Overall Selection - PAC Saints U17

Regular Season - 13 goals, 15 assists in 30 games

Playoffs - 2 goals in 2 games

Logan Flint - Forward - 160th Overall Selection - RINK U17

Regular Season - 15 goals, 23 assists in 38 games

2022 US Priority Draft Prospects:

Jackson Crowder - Forward - 16th Overall Selection - Dallas Stars Elite 16U

Regular Season - 33 goals, 23 assists in 56 games

Playoffs - 4 goals, 5 assists in 5 games

Christian Plaga - Forward - 29th Overall Selection - Shattuck St. Mary's 15U

Regular Season - 14 goals, 14 assists in 58 games

2021 Draft Class

It was another successful campaign for the Cougars draft class of 2021, highlighted by 15th overall selection Tyson Buczkowski and 78th overall selection Terik Parascak.

Buczkowski started the season with the Cougars, playing 13 games, before returning to the Saskatoon Blazers where he captured a Provincial Championship, Regional Championship, and a bronze medal at the U18 Men's Nationals in Quebec. In 18 regular season games with Saskatoon, the blue-liner collected 22 points (8-14-22) and then added 6 points in 11 playoff games. "Tyson just looks ready now to make the next step," said Simmonds. "He showed his versatility with the Saskatoon Blazers by playing forward and contributing when called upon. He played in every situation and was a leader for a team that went all the way to the National Championship." In November, Buczkowski represented Team Canada Black at the U17 Championships and suited up for 5 games.

Terik Parascak is coming off a magnificent 2022-2023 season. The Lethbridge, AB product led his team at EDGE U18 of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) to a League Championship, scoring the game winning goal. Parascak finished the 2022-2023 season with 66 points in 30 games (30G-34A) along with 12 points in 5 playoff games. The 78th overall pick in 2021 was nominated for the CSSHL Most Valuable Player. "I think the best thing for Terik was to stay and play at the U18 level - he was dominant," said Simmonds. He played in all situations all season, and he is a natural goal scorer." Parascak played in four regular season games with the Prince George Cougars and one playoff game against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Here are the other Prince George Cougars' 2021 Draft Class prospect's statistics throughout the 2022-2023 season:

Hunter Laing - Forward - 33rd Overall Selection - Okanagan Rockets U18

Regular Season - 22 goals, 25 assists in 32 games

Playoffs - 7 goals, 5 assists in 6 games

Played in two playoff games with PG Cougars against the Seattle Thunderbirds

Riley Ashe - Forward - 56th Overall Selection - Melfort Mustangs

Regular Season - 8 goals, 30 assists in 54 games

Playoffs - 5 points in 10 games

Matt Lahey - Defence - 63rd Overall Selection - Nanaimo Clippers

Regular Season - 1 assist in 34 games

Playoffs - 2 assists in 11 games

Madden Mulawka - Goaltender - 100th Overall Selection - Edmonton Jr. Oilers U18

Regular Season - 5-5-1-0 - 1 Shutout

3 GP with Cougars - 1-1

Called up to join the Cougars on their 2023 playoff run

Tyson Matthews - Defence - 128th Overall Selection - Cariboo Cougars U18

Regular Season - 1 goal, 7 assists in 27 games

Garrett Thom - Forward - 142nd Overall Selection - Edmonton Jr. Oilers

Regular Season - 11 goals, 18 assists in 34 games

Playoffs - 1 goal, 3 assists in 7 games

Carter Onrait - Forward - 144th Overall Selection - Estevan Bears U18

Regular Season - 9 goals, 14 assists in 41 games

Drew Peterson - Defence - 164th Overall Selection - Phoenix Jr. Coyotes

Regular Season - 1 goal, 1 assist in 12 games

Reis Nyland - Forward - 166th Overall Selection - Northern Alberta Xtreme U18

Regular Season - 12 goals, 10 assists in 29 games

2021 US Priority Draft Prospects:

Yoohoo (Roy) Chung - Defence - 4th Overall Selection - Honeybaked 16U

Regular Season - 5 goals, 4 assists in 15 games

Playoffs - 1 assist in 1 game

Nick McLennan - Forward - 41st Overall Selection - SAHA U18

Regular Season - 9 goals, 14 assists in 23 games

Playoffs - 1 assist in 3 games

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