Winterhawks Select 11 Skaters in 2022 WHL Prospects Draft
Portland, Ore. - The Portland Winterhawks, proud member club of the Western Hockey League, made 11 selections during the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft today.
Portland drafted six forwards and five defensemen in the WHL Prospects Draft, adding to the two high-end prospects already chosen during the WHL U.S. Priority Draft.
Players eligible for the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft were 2007-born players residing in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Assistant to the General Manager and Director of Scouting Mike Coflin spoke with Winterhawks.com following the selection process.
Round 1, Pick 18 - Graham Jones, F
With Portland's first pick of the morning, they select Graham Jones from RINK Hockey Academy (RHA) Winnipeg's U15 program. Jones is a high-scoring forward who ranked third in the CSSHL with 33 goals and 81 points in 30 games.
This is the Winterhawks' first, first-round selection since they picked Gabe Klassen with the 19th overall pick in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft. Prior to that, it was Seth Jarvis (2017, 11th overall), Cody Glass (2014, 19th overall), and Nic Petan (2010, 16th overall).
Ian Duval, Jones' U15 assistant coach, said "Jones is a skilled forward with a great hockey IQ. He has a competitive edge that pushes everyone around him to their full potential." RHA is the same program that developed Winterhawks Seth Jarvis, Dante Giannuzzi, Ryder Thompson, Aidan Litke, and others.
This year, Jones was nominated by CSSHL coaches as a finalist for the U15 Prep Division Most Sportsmanlike Award.
Round 2, Pick 40 - Kyle McDonough, F
Next, Portland selected forward Kyle McDonough of the Okotoks Oilers U15 AAA. McDonough was named team captain and led all U15 skaters in the AEHL with 36 goals and was named a First Team All-Star.
"Kyle was the captain of his team in Airdrie, Alberta, and has some similarities to former Winterhawk Reece Newkirk," Coflin said. "He finds open players, is ultra-competitive and will be a fan favorite."
Round 3, Pick 66 - Ryan Miller, F
The Hawks traded down four positions to add some draft capital in the middle rounds and they still got their guy from Medicine Hat, Alberta. Ryan Miller played a big role for Northern Alberta Xtreme U15 Prep and registered 26 goals and 33 assists for 59 points in 30 games, putting him inside the top ten in league scoring.
"Ryan's an underrated player. He played on the top line for NAX with other top WHL drafted players and is a versatile, two-way player that fits our style here in Portland," Coflin said.
Round 4, Pick 84 - Kayd Ruedig, D
After a trio of forwards were selected, the Winterhawks selected their first of five defensemen on the day. Ruedig played for the Humboldt Broncos U15 program this past season, averaging over a point-per-game with 38 points in 34 games. Additionally, he got called up to play seven games at the under-18 level with the Tisdale Trojans.
"Smart, skilled right-handed defenseman from Saskatchewan. He showed leadership at the U15 level and is a high compete defenseman. We were impressed with his complete style of play," Coflin said.
Round 5, Pick 106 - Luke Myhre, F
With their fifth pick of the draft, Portland heads to Manitoba to select Luke Myhre, a 6-foot-1, 166-pound forward who played for the Parkland Rangers U15 AAA program this past season. In 31 games, Myhre led his team in scoring with 28 goals and 18 assists for 46 points.
"He's a big center who skates very well. He has a bit of an edge to his game, can score, and is hard to play against," Coflin said.
Round 6, Pick 113 - Callum Stone, D
The Hawks made a trade earlier in the day to get this pick from Saskatoon to select Callum Stone. With Stone, the Winterhawks add a high-scoring defenseman to their protected list, registering 52 points in 30 games with RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna U15 and representing his team as an alternate captain.
"He played for Jarome Iginla this past season at RINK Hockey Academy in Kelowna," Coflin added. "He's an intelligent, puck-moving defenseman with a good stick and mobility and has a chance to be a good Winterhawk."
Round 6, Pick 128 - Simon Garchinski, D
Portland continued to add to its defensive cupboard, this time adding left-handed defenseman Simon Garchinski. Playing for the Martensville Marauders U15 AA program, Garchinski scored 29 points in 31 games. He is signed to play for the Prince Albert Mintos program next season, the same organization that helped develop Gabe Klassen and Rhett Ravndahl to name a few.
"Another player selected for his strong hockey sense and ability to play in every situation. He's well-respected by his coaches and teammates and can fall into the mold of a Nick Cicek during his time in Portland," Coflin said.
Round 9, Pick 194 - Trevor Oishi, D
Next, the Hawks selected a champion defenseman in Trevor Oishi. The West Vancouver, B.C. native won a league title with Vancouver NW Hawks AAA and represented the team as an alternate captain. He recorded 27 points in 30 games and continued his production as a point-per-game player in the playoffs.
"His best qualities are his hockey sense, awareness, deceptive style of play, quickness, and for a smaller player, he demonstrated his willingness to compete and take charge on the ice," Coflin said.
Round 10, Pick 216 - Tyce Penrod, F
Tyce Penrod was picked with the team's tenth-round selection after a successful season in Saskatoon with the Stallions U15 program. The 5-foot-5 forward was second on his team in scoring, potting 31 goals in 31 games and he plays with a lot of speed.
"Despite his smaller build, he's a fearless player with a high motor, great skill set, and as he matures physically, he might just become one of the better later picks in the draft."
Round 11, Pick 238 - Griffin Brown, D
After selecting two players from the States on Wednesday, the Winterhawks headed to California with their next pick. Defenseman Griffin Brown, the son of former NHLer Curtis Brown, erupted for 35 points in 41 games with the San Jose Jr. Sharks U14 team and has good size already with his 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame.
"He's a bundle of potential," Coflin said. "He is big, smooth, and long and we can't wait to see what kind of a player he can become."
Round 12, Pick 260 - Mario Fate, F
With the final pick of the draft, the Winterhawks stayed in the U.S. to select Nebraska native Mario Fate. Fate played the 2021-22 season with Omaha Mastery AAA.
"He's an undersized player, but he plays to the mold of Patrick Kane on the Chicago Blackhawks. High speed, does everything in motion and is a treat to watch, and we think he has a chance to be a fan favorite here," Coflin said.
The Winterhawks finished the 2021-22 regular season with 47 wins, the most among U.S. Division Clubs. Regarded as one of the nation's elite junior hockey franchises, the Winterhawks are two-time Memorial Cup Champions and three-time WHL Champions. The Portland Winterhawks take pride in developing their players and have produced the most NHL-drafted players among WHL teams and 131 alumni have played in the NHL, including Hockey Hall of Fame members Cam Neely and Marian Hossa and recent Winterhawks stars like Seth Jarvis, Cody Glass, Seth Jones, Nino Niederreiter, and Ryan Johansen.
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