The Victoria Royals are proud to announce the selection of 12 players at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft today in Red Deer, AB.
Victoria’s 12 draft picks were comprised of five skaters from British Columbia, that included four who call Vancouver Island home, two players from Alberta and Manitoba, and one from Saskatchewan. The Royals’ remaining two selections were drafted from Alaska and California. By position, Victoria selected six forwards, five defencemen and one goalie.
The Royals used their first pick, 13th overall, to select Victoria, BC native Nolan Bentham from the Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). The blueliner played in 30 games for Yale where he earned 22 points (5g-17a) to go with 34 penalty minutes and led his team in defensive scoring. The 6-2, 179 lb Bentham scored one goal and four assists for five points over three post-season contests this year and finished third in team scoring.
“Nolan is a mobile two-way defender who can play on both sides of the ice,” Royals’ Head Scout Ryan Guenter said.
With the 52nd overall pick, Victoria chose centre Matty Hodson from the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League’s (SBAAHL) Saskatoon Outlaws. During the 2017-18 season Hodson recorded 75 points (44g-31a) and 18 minutes in penalties over 31 games. The native of Saskatoon, SK led his club in both goals and points, and finished with the second-most goals and points in the league.
“Matty is a very agile player,” Guenter said. “He is offensively gifted and has high productivity.”
In the fifth round, 103rd overall, the Royals selected Morden, MB native Trentyn Crane from the Winnipeg Bantam AAA Div. 1’s (WBD1) Pembina Valley AAA Hawks. The 5-8, 159 lb centre played in 36 games for the Hawks last season where he recorded 70 points (46g-24a) and 18 penalty minutes. Crane finished the regular season with the most goals and points on his team, and tied for the most assists.
“Trentyn has really good speed on the puck,” Guenter said. “He also has a strong ability to shoot the puck while in motion.”
The Royals used their 117th overall pick to draft blueliner Braden Smith from the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association’s Thompson Blazers Bantam team. This season, the native of Kamloops, BC played in 17 regular season games and recorded five assists and 18 penalty minutes. The 5-11, 167 lb blueliner also registered five assists over six games at the Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament.
“Braden is a very steady and reliable defender who has good, quick feet,” Guenter said.
With the 147th selection, Victoria chose Parksville, BC native Cage Newans. The centre played for the Delta Bantam Prep team of the CSSHL where he scored 35 points (14g-21a) and added 52 penalty minutes in 30 contests. Newans finished first in team scoring during the regular season and led his club in helpers. In one game with the Delta Academy Elite 15s, Newans recorded an assist.
“Cage is an Island player who has very good speed,” Guenter said. “He also has a good shot while in motion.”
Victoria’s eighth round selection, 165th overall, was used to draft 5-11, 158 lb goaltender Keegan Maddocks from the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team of the CSSHL. Maddocks, who currently resides in Langford, BC, played in 19 games last season where he earned a 9-7-0 record to go with a 3.60 goals against average, a 0.869 save percentage and one shutout.
“Keegan is an athletic goalie who is able to move across the crease well,” Guenter said.
With their second pick in the round, 167th overall, Victoria chose defenceman Karsten Senden. The native of Anchorage, AK played for the Anchorage U14 North Stars in Tier 1 of the Alaska State Hockey Association during the 2017-18 season. In 16 games with the North Stars, the 6-0, 176 lb Senden scored three goals and five assists for eight points and added 10 minutes in penalties.
“Karsten is an athletic and powerful skater,” Guenter said. “He is a good two-way defender.”
The club used the 168th overall pick to draft Christopher Alexander. The 5-10, 166 lb forward spent the 2017-18 season with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Boys Bantam team. Through 51 contests, the product of Santa Clarita, CA recorded 25 points (15g-10a) to go with 104 penalty minutes.
“Christopher is a power forward who skates well,” Guenter said. “He is skilled and likes to engage while on the puck.”
The Royals fourth pick in the round, 170th overall, was used to select 5-8, 149 lb forward Roux Bazin from the Pembina Valley AAA Hawks of the WBD1. Bazin played in 31 games for the Hawks last season and scored 46 points (25g-21a) along with 12 minutes in penalties. The product of Treherne, MB finished the regular season with the third-most goals and points on his team, and tied for the most assists.
“Roux has high-end offensive ability,” Guenter said. “He is agile and able to produce.”
The club used the 189th overall pick in the ninth round to draft defenceman Graeme Hampton. The Sturgeon County, AB native spent the 2017-18 season with the St. Albert Sabres of the AMBHL and earned 24 points in 36 games. Hampton was also called up to the St. Albert Sabres Minor Midget AAA team for two games and scored a goal.
“Graeme is a two-way defender with an offensive side,” said Guenter. “He is reliable and steady in his own end.”
Victoria’s Round 10 selection, 200th overall, was used to draft Ross Roloson, who currently lives in Victoria. The 5-10, 154 lb blueliner most recently played for the Shawnigan Lake Bantam Prep team of the CSSHL. Roloson collected 15 points (2g-13a) in 31 games which was the second-highest total among defencemen on his team.
“Ross is an intelligent player who is able to see the ice ahead of him very well.” Guenter said.
Victoria’s 11th round selection, 223rd overall, was used to draft 5-10, 140 lb forward Brett Huxley. The native of Calgary, AB most recently played for the Calgary Northstar Sabres Bantam AAA of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL) and collected 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points in 33 contests. Huxley also won the Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament (KIBIHT) with the Northstar Sabres and registered seven points (1g-6a) in six games played.
“Brett is a two-way player who has good playmaking skills,” Guenter said.
The WHL Bantam Draft is an annual event in which the clubs of the Western Hockey League select players who have graduated from bantam. For the 2018 draft, players born in 2003 are eligible. The Draft order is determined by way of points in the regular season, with the exception of teams that missed the WHL Playoffs which are placed into a draft lottery for the first round only. With the exception of the lottery results in the first round, teams will select in order of fewest to most regular-season points.
During the bantam draft, players from Western Canada and the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are eligible to be selected.
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