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 Medicine Hat Tigers

Tigers Make Four Trades, Nine Picks During 2024 Prospects Draft

May 9, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Medicine Hat Tigers News Release

Medicine Hat, AB - A busy 2024 WHL Prospects Draft has come and gone for the Medicine Hat Tigers, who definitely made a splash on the draft floor and officially opening trade season for the 2024-25 WHL campaign Thursday.

Medicine Hat opened the first round of the draft with the 16th pick in the draft and would take Luke Ruptash (St. Albert, AB) from the St. Albert Sabres U15 AAA program from the AEHL. Ruptash has 57 points (28 goals & 29 assists) in 29 games played.

Tigers Director of Player Personnel Bobby Fox says Ruptash has all the tools to be a menacing forward in the WHL.

"Ruptash is a prototypical power forward with game-breaking abilities," he says. "He is a relentless force on the ice, with a mix of skill, competitiveness and physicality."

"We're really excited to add a talent like Luke to our group."

The trade completed involves the Tigers & the Wenatchee Wild. Medicine Hat sends 2005 born defenceman Reid Andresen (Saskatoon, SK) & a 3rd round pick in the 2025 WHL Prospects Draft in exchange for 2006 born defenceman Jonas Woo (Winnipeg, MB).

Medicine Hat was next on the draft board at #42 in round 2 but swung another deal with the Swift Current Broncos, sending the 42nd pick to the Broncos along with with a 3rd RD pick in 2027 & a 4th RD pick in 2028 in exchange for 04′ F Mathew Ward (Kamloops, BC).

Before the beginning of the 3rd round, The Tigers traded captain Tyler MacKenzie (Red Deer, AB) to the Everett Silvertips in exchange for a 3rd round pick in the 2025 Prospects Draft.

Following the MacKenzie/Everett trade, the Tigers swung another deal with the Seattle Thunderbirds, acquiring 2006-born defenceman Bryce Pickford (Edmonton, AB) in exchange for a 3rd round pick in this year's 2024 WHL Prospects Draft (64th overall Everett), A 2nd round pick in the 2025 draft pick (MH), third round pick in the 2025 draft (SEA) & a conditional 5th round pick in the 2027 draft.

The Tigers would finish with their transactions and get back to the draft table in Round 4. With the 83rd pick, the Tigers selected Cash Christie (North Vancouver, BC) from St. George's School U15 Prep (CSSHL).

"Cash is a fluid skating netminder that provides a calming presence," Fox says. "He has great hands, strong game sense and a goalie with tremendous upside."

In round five, the Tigers went to the back-end and selected Zack Nieckar (Sherwood Park, AB) from OHA Edmonton U15 Prep (CSSHL) 97th overall.

"Nieckar is a mobile, two-way defenceman that excels in defending the rush and transitioning the puck," Fox says.

Still in round five, the Tigers would next select Noah Alexander (Winnipeg, MB) from the Winnipeg Wild U15 AAA program.

Tigers scout Brayden Beckley says that Noah has a lot of tools in his repitiore

"Alexander is a fast, physical forward with a tireless work ethic. He has a deceptive skillset that can score in multiple ways," he says.

It would be two rounds later until the Tigers would select again as Medicine Hat would go local from the U15 Medicine Hat Hounds AA program in selecting Jude Martin (Oyen, AB).

"Jude is a towering right defenceman with a heavy shot. He breaks up plays with his long reach and physicality," Beckley says.

In round 8 the selection board saw defenceman Kayne Wright (Edmonton, AB) see his name called by the Tigers.

"Kayne is a competitive, mobile defenceman that contributes on both sides of the puck," Beckley says.

Off to the ninth round, the Tigers had two picks and select Tayte Hoiland at 181 and Kingston King (Valencia, CA). The Tigers would make their final selection, taking Devon Zahara (Edmonton, AB) at 215.

Here's the complete list of players selected by the Tigers in this year's WHL Prospects Draft.

RD Pick Name Hometown Position 2023-24 Team Ht Wt

1 16 Luke Ruptash St. Albert, AB C/F St. Albert Sabres U15 AAA (AEHL) 5'10 151

4 83 Cash Christie North Vancouver, BC G St. Georges U15 Prep (CSSHL) 5'11 122

5 97 Zack Nieckar Sherwood Park, AB RD OHA Edmonton U15 Prep (CSSHL) 5'10 156

5 105 Noah Alexander Winnipeg, MB LW Winnipeg Wild U15 AAA (WAAA15) 5'10 150

7 149 Jude Martin Oyen, AB RD Medicine Hat Hounds U15 AA 6'3 195

8 171 Kayne Wright Edmonton, AB LD NAX U15 Prep (CSSHL) 5'10 165

9 181 Tayte Hoiland Rocky Mountain House, AB RW Red Deer Rebels U15 AAA (AEHL) 5'7 140

9 193 Kingston King Valencia, CA LD Okanagan Colorado U14 AAA 5'8 131

10 215 Devon Zahara Edmonton, AB C CAC Edmonton U15 AAA (AEHL) 5'4 110

The Medicine Hat Tigers would like to congratulate all the players & their families drafted today and look forward to watching them develop and see where their game takes them next. The Tigers prospects will be in attendance at this year's Prospect Camp May 31 to June 2.

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