Sask. WHL teams, talent ready for future after 2022 draft
The WHL U15 draft is the time where teams, players, families and fans can look toward the future of their respective franchises. In all, 240 teenagers got the call Thursday saying they had been selected in the 2022 draft.
The Regina Pats missed the 2021-22 playoffs by just 2 points. They were slated to draft 6th overall but after a trade with the Swift Current Broncos, selected Brandon, Man. forward Cole Temple with the 5th pick.
“He’s an outstanding player,” said Pats’ head coach and G.M. John Paddock. “We jumped at the opportunity to draft Cole.”
Temple tallied 108 points – 58 goals and 50 assists – in just 28 games with the Brandon U15 AAA Wheat Kings this past season.
“He’s one of those kids that in a glide, he picks up speed,” said Pats’ head scout Dale McMullin. “Seems like a great kid with obviously some athletic ability.”
One pick later at 6th, the Broncos selected Rink Hockey Academy (Winnipeg) defenceman Peyton Kettles. Kettles scored nine goals in 30 games, adding 26 assists.
The Moose Jaw Warriors picked defenceman Connor Schmidt at 14th.
“He’s a complete defenceman,” said Warriors’ G.M. Jason Ripplinger. “He’s got skill, he knows how to defend, not scared to battle. We’re excited for him in the future.”
At 15, the Prince Albert Raiders drafted Grand Coulee, Sask. product Luke Moroz. Moroz scored 47 times with 61 assists, totalling 108 points with the Prairie Storm U15 squad.
The Saskatoon Blades rounded out Saskatchewan’s portion of the first round at 21st overall, picking Moroz’s teammate, Isaac Poll from White City, Sask.
Saskatchewan players were also valuable elsewhere in the league. Macklin’s Cole Reschney was selected 3rd by Victoria and Whitewood defenceman Reese Hamilton went 4th overall to Calgary.
“Reese is a modern-day defenceman,” said the Hitmen Director of Player Personnel, Garry Davidson. “He checks all our boxes and will be a great addition to our back end.”
Reschney and Hamilton were teammates with the Northern Alberta U15 Prep Extreme. Rescheny tallied 92 points in 25 games while Hamilton notched 54 points – 42 of those being assists.
In all, six Saskatchewan products were selected in the first round of the draft:
(3) Cole Reschney (F) Macklin, SK – Calgary Hitmen
(4) Reese Hamilton (D) Whitewood, SK – Victoria Royals
(9) Lee Shurgot (F) Saskatoon, SK – Prince George Cougars
(12) Joby Baumuller (F) Wilcox, SK – Brandon Wheat Kings
(15) Luke Moroz (F) Grand Coulee, SK – Prince Albert Raiders
(21) Isaac Poll (D) White City, SK – Saskatoon Blades
Paddock said the hard work for these players starts now to ensure they’re ready to step into lineups.
“It’s up to them to a great extent to do their part over the next five years,” he said. “It’s also up to us as an organization to do what we can to help them. They may be good players now, they are not just going to remain that way without a lot of work.”
“You’re always excited on this day,” said Ripplinger. “We were able to fill all the holes. The future looks good here.”
Included in the 240 draftees was Chloe Primerano – the first woman skater chosen in Canadian Hockey League history – selected in the 13th round, 268th overall by Vancouver.
“Chloe’s play in one of the top U15 leagues in Canada made her fully deserving of this selection today,” said Giants’ G.M. Barclay Parneta.
Primerano had 19 points – 2 goals and 17 assists – with Burnaby Winter Club U15 Prep.
“We are thrilled for Chloe and her family and congratulate her on her achievements so far in her bright, young career,” said WHL Manager of Hockey Operations, Taylor Green in a statement on social media.
Primerano joined Taya Currie as women who have been drafted into the CHL. Currie, a goaltender, was drafted into the Ontario Hockey League in 2021.
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