T-Birds Make Two First Round Picks at Bantam Draft
KENT - The Seattle Thunderbirds selected center Jordan Gustafson in the first round, eighth overall, at the 2019 Bantam Draft Thursday morning in Red Deer Alberta.
Gustafson, from Ardrossan, Alberta, played for the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers Bantam AAA team in the AMBHL this season and had 31 goals and 39 assists for 70 points in 33 games.
"Jordan has elite quickness, competes and has pace," said T-Birds Director of Player Personnel Cal Filson. "He is great on faceoffs. He was the captain of the team that won the Alberta Provincial Championship."
The T-Birds had two picks in the first round after completing a trade with the Kelowna Rockets just after the selection of Gustafson. Seattle sent defenseman Jake Lee, left wing Dillon Hamaliuk and goalie Cole Schwebius to the Rockets for left wing Conner Bruggen-Cate, Kelowna's 10th overall selection in the draft, a first round pick in 2022 and a second round pick in 2021.
Seattle used the 10th overall pick to select defenseman Kevin Korchinski from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Korchinski played for the Saskatoon Generals last season and had 10 goals and 37 assists for 47 points in 31 games.
"Kevin is an offensive puck moving defenseman with an elite hockey IQ," said Filson. "We will love him running the power play from the point."
Seattle had two picks in the second round, 29th and 42nd overall.
With the 29th overall pick the T-Birds selected defenseman Spencer Penner from Blumenort, Manitoba.
Penner had 14 goals and 26 assists for 40 points in 35 games with the Eastman Selects Bantam AAA team last season.
"Spencer is a really good skater who pushes the pace of the game," said Filson. "He has good awareness. He played on the top pairing on the Manitoba provincial championship team."
The T-Birds then selected forward Gabe Ludwig from Eagle River, Alaska, with the 42nd overall selection.
This season with the Anchorage North Stars 14U team he had eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points in 11 games.
"Gabe is a skilled, intelligent playmaker with elite vision," said Filson. "He was the captain of his team and he makes everyone on the ice better."
The T-Birds did not have a third round selection.
In the fourth round with the 78th overall selection they took left wing Connor Gourley from Calgary, Alberta.
Gourley had 36 goals and 39 assists for 75 points in 33 games this season with the Calgary Bisons Bantam AAA team.
"Connor led the Alberta Bantam league in scoring," said Filson. "He's physically dominant and uses his size to his advantage."
The T-Birds selected defenseman Cole Tanchuk from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in the fifth round with the 92nd overall pick.
Tanchuk played for the Prince Albert Pirates Bantam AA team this season and had nine goals and 25 assists for 34 points in 30 games.
"Cole has good size, plays hard and is a smart puck moving defenseman," said Filson.
In the sixth round the T-Birds selected center Nico Myatovic from Prince George, British Columbia.
Myatovic played 16 games with the North Central Zone Bobcats Bantam AA team and had 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points.
"Nico was the captain of his team," said Filson. "He has very good speed, has a nice stride and can put up points."
The T-Birds had two selections in the seventh round, 139th and 141st overall, and three picks in the eighth round, 161st, 167th, and 176th overall.
With their first pick in the seventh round they selected right wing Kyle Grysiuk from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Grysiuk had 13 goals and 11 assist for 24 points in 29 games this season with the Rink Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team.
"Kyle is a hard-nosed player that's really going to grow," said Filson. "He plays a strong 200-foot game."
With the second pick in the seventh round the T-Birds selected Mateo Mrsic from Surrey, British Columbia.
"Mateo is an energetic player and has good skills and speed," said Filson. "He competes every night and is good on the penalty kill."
Seattle selected forward Cruz Lucius from Blaine, Minnesota, in the eighth round with the 161st overall selection.
This season Lucius played for the Gentry Academy Galaxy 15s and had one goal and 18 assists for 19 points in 14 games.
"Cruz is a high end American player," said Filson. "He is an excellent player who makes good passes, has great vision and is good with the puck in traffic."
The T-Birds selected defenseman Tyler Dodgson with their second eighth round pick, 167th overall.
This season Dodgson played for the Winnipeg Warriors Bantam AAA team and had 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points in 34 games.
"Tyler is a nice skating d-man that sees the ice well," said Filson. "He makes a smart first pass, doesn't over handle the puck, and reads the play and anticipates."
The team's final pick in the eighth round was forward Jacob Lize Rochon from San Jose, California.
Rochon played with the Detroit Belle Tire 14U team this season and had 21 goals and 10 assists for 31 points in 30 games.
"Jacob is a hard working guy that gets up and down the ice very well," said Filson. "He plays physically and always finishes his checks."
The T-Birds selection in the ninth round, 183rd overall, was defenseman Brodrick Williams from Huntington Beach, California.
Williams played on the Shattuck-St.Mary's Sabres 14U team this season and had 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 50 games.
"Brodrick played on the top D pairing at Shattuck-St. Mary's," said Filson. "He is a hard-nosed guy that moves pretty well and makes a good first pass."
Prior the start of the ninth round the T-Birds announced they had acquired goalie Blake Lyda from the Everett Silvertips for a third round pick in the 2021 Bantam Draft.
The T-Birds made 13 selections in the draft choosing eight forward and five defenseman. They selected nine players from Canada and four players from the United States.
Season Tickets for 2019-20 season are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.
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