Wheat Kings Select Three in Round One of WHL Bantam Draft
Red Deer, AB. - The 2019 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft is underway in Red Deer and the Brandon Wheat Kings have been busy, selecting three skilled center iceman.
With their first pick, fifth overall, following a trade with the Kelowna Rockets, the Wheat Kings opted for Nate Danielson of Red Deer.
Brandon then used their second pick (6th overall) to grab Russell, Manitoba's Tyson Zimmer.
As a member of the Red Deer Bantam AAA Rebels this past season, Danielson scored 26 goals and 59 points in 29 games. Chosen Most Valuable Player in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League this past season, he also played two games for the AAA Midget Chiefs, scoring four times this past year.
"Nate sees the ice really well," says Brandon's Director of Scouting Darren Ritchie. "He plays with pace and we like him a lot."
A 5'10" 173 lb Russell product, Zimmer played this past season with Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, averaging two points per game with 22 goals and 52 points in 26 games.
"This kid has a great shot and we see these two prospects as two thirds of a top line in the league," Ritchie says when describing the former Parkland AAA Bantam Ranger.
This marked the first time that Brandon has had two "top six" picks in the bantam draft since 2013 when they chose Nolan Patrick and Kale Clague fourth and sixth overall.
Brandon then rounded out a busy first round by choosing center Rylan Roersma of Raymond, Alberta with the sixteenth overall selection.
The 5'11" 160 lb. center from the Lethbridge AAA Golden Hawks scored 23 goals and 44 points in 29 games during the 2018-19 campaign.
"We're really excited to get Rylan," says Ritchie. "This kid has speed, scores and plays a 200-foot game."
Brandon hasn't had three first round selections since 1992 when they drafted Wade Redden (2nd), Justin Kurtz (6th) and Joel Korenko (7th).
In order to move up to get the fifth overall selection, the Wheat Kings moved the tenth pick as well as the playing rights to Sean Comrie to the Rockets. A second round draft choice of the Wheat Kings in 2015, Comrie is currently skating at the University of Denver.
Brandon's next pick comes up early in the second round (23rd overall). As for the balance of the draft, the Wheat Kings will have two third round selections, no picks in round four, three more in the fifth, another in the sixth and eighth rounds, followed by two more selections in round nine.
If needed, Brandon has single picks in the tenth, eleventh and 12th rounds.
The Winnipeg Ice meanwhile used the first overall selection to take Matthew Savoie of the Northern Alberta Xtreme. The Ice then moved up in the draft to grab Strathclair's Conor Geekie with the second overall selection.
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