Tigers Select 10 Players in 2023 WHL Prospect Draft

May 11, 2023 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Medicine Hat Tigers News Release

Medicine Hat, AB - The Medicine Hat Tigers added to their talent Thursday during the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft.

The Tigers made two picks in the first round first selecting Liam Ruck (Osoyoos, BC) with the 9th overall pick, Ruck played his U15 season at OHA Okanagan in the Canada Sports School Hockey League, leading the league in regular season points with 90 (53 goals, 37 assists) in 27 games with eleven power play goals & two shorthanded tallies. Liam was also named the CSSHL's Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year.

Tigers Director of Player Personnel Bobby Fox says Liam has all the makings of a strong major junior player.

"We're excited to have Liam as part of our prospect pool here," he says. "He's an exciting goal scorer, dynamic. The one thing that you can't discount, this guy is one of the smartest players in the draft. He has a knack for the net and he knows how to score, he wants the puck on his stick when the game is on the line."

Fox says having the identical twin brothers is something special, especially in the encounters he saw while scouting this year's draft class.

"This is exciting for the Medicine Hat Tigers, you can't have one brother without the other," he says. "They're both unbelievable players, Markus his vision, his skill and their chemistry is second to none, he is the setup guy, they have an uncanny ability to find each other on the ice. They can't be separated, they are almost one guy in essence."

Shortly after Liam was selected, the Tigers made a trade with the Saskatoon Blades receiving the 21st overall pick from the Blades for the Tigers 2nd round pick, a 5th round pick & a 2nd round pick in the 2024 draft to select Markus Ruck (Osoyoos, BC). Ruck, also in the CSSHL with OHA Okanagan was second in scoring behind brother Liam with 87 points (22 goals, 65 assists) in 27 games scoring three power play goals in the 2022-23 season.

The Tigers were idle in the 2nd round after the trade with Saskatoon, but in round three the orange & black selected defenceman Koray Bozkaya (Maple Ridge, BC) from the Yale Academy Lions U15 Prep program in the CSSHL. In 24 games with Yale, the Lions captain scored 20 points, (10 goals, 10 assists).

The Tigers would make seven more selections before the draft came to a close Thursday afternoon.

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

RD Pick Name Hometown Position 2021-22 Team Ht Wt

1 9 Liam Ruck Osoyoos, BC RW Okanagan Hockey Academy U15 Prep 5'11 149

1 21 Markus Ruck Osoyoos, BC C Okanagan Hockey Academy U15 Prep 5'10 145

3 53 Koray Bozkaya Maple Ridge, BC D Yale Hockey Academy U15 Prep 6'2 173

6 119 Brayden Ryan-MacKay Calgary, AB LW Yale Hockey Academy U15 Prep 5'6 147

6 127 Riley Steen Ladysmith, BC D Okanagan Hockey Academy U15 Prep 5'11 147

7 141 Sutton Verot Regina, SK RW Regina Pat Blues U15AA 5'9 170

8 159 Avery Watson Edmonton, AB LW Edmonton KC U15AAA Squires 5'11 134

9 185 Liam Chartrand Winnipegosis, MB C/LW Pilot Mound Academy U15 Prep 5'10 155

10 207 Tafari Chingwaru Edmonton, AB D Edmonton MLAC U15 AAA 5'10 150

12 135 Kyle Heger Eagan, MN D Los Angeles Jr Kings 14U 5'10 150

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 26-29.

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