Rebels pick 11 players at 2019 WHL Bantam Draft

The Red Deer Rebels were content sitting out of the opening round of the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.

Brent Sutter and the Rebels Brass made quick work in the second round at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre, moving up nine spots to make their first pick in the draft.

Red Deer decided a move was necessary and they swapped the 31st pick overall for the Brandon Wheat Kings 23rd selection and took right shot defenceman Hunter Mayo of Martensville, Sask.

“Part of the process with players we target, not having a first round pick… we often communicate with them and ask them to communicate with us to get a feel if anyone has interest,” said Rebels assistant GM Shaun Sutter.

“We knew there was a team in front of us that had communicated to the family that they were probably going to take him, so we moved in front of that team to pick him. We really like Hunter.”

In Bantam AA last year with the Martensville Marauders, Mayo had 42 points in 28 games. The five-foot-nine, 173-pound defenceman was one of the top-rated rear guards from Saskatchewan.

The Rebels looked to bulk up on the blueline again at 38th overall, picking Jace Weir, a six-foot-1, 165-pound defenceman of the North Zone Kings in British Columbia.

”We drafted two defencemen with our first two picks that could skate and move the puck, but they’re guys that are real hard to play against. They have a lot of leadership and they’re guys that when the other team plays against them, they know when they’re on the ice,” Sutter said.

Overall, the Rebels picked 11 players, four forwards, five defenceman and two goalies. That included four players from Saskatchewan and two American-born products.

“With not having a first-round pick, you often wonder how it’s going to go. You play the waiting game. There wasn’t a lot of right shot defenceman, what’s the thing your always kind of looking for as an organization? You look at your team now, where it’s at and things we lack,” Sutter said.

With their only pick in the third round, Red Deer picked five-foot-seven, 159-pound forward Carter Anderson of the Rink Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team. Anderson, a Thompson, Man. native recorded 17 goals in 29 games last season.

In the fifth round, Red Deer took their first Alberta-born player. They picked goalie Justen Maric of the OHA Edmonton Bantam Prep team. He had 11 wins on the year to go along with a 2.37 goals against average and .915 save percentage.

“Unique situation, wasn’t at the Alberta Cup and I think that kinda hurt his draft standing. The whole year, he’s been one of the best goalies. So we get one of the best goalies in the fifth round, which is great value,” Sutter added.

With their 114th overall selection, the Rebels went back to Saskatchewan and picked Parker Lalonde of Aberdeen, Sask. He played for the Warman Bantam AA Wildcats.

Jhett Larson was the Rebels eighth-round selection. Larson was the third player from Saskatchewan picked by the Rebels. He split time last year between the Hounds Bantam AAA and Midget AAA group. With the Bantam group, he had seven goals and 17 points in 27 games and grabbed five points in six games.

The last five picks for the Rebels included defenceman Kody Norberg (ninth round, 181), forward Michael Valdez (ninth round, 185), forward Declan Cosford (10th round, 207), goalie Merik Erickson (11th round, 229) and defenceman Logan Wright (12th round, 229).

“Valdez is from Colorado, he’s one of the best American forwards in the draft. You take a long shot on a guy, if you get him it’s a home run, you roll the dice on that one, but he’s an elite player,” said Sutter.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — A fire-threatened town in northern Alberta says a… Continue reading

India’s ruling party claims win with assured lead in votes

NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party claimed it had… Continue reading

China says door open to trade talks, but slams tech controls

BEIJING — China held the door open to resuming talks in the… Continue reading

Clean energy one of Canada’s fastest-growing industries

OTTAWA — Canada’s clean-energy sector is growing faster than the economy as… Continue reading

Red Deer’s single parents and children at greatest risk of poverty, says report

Yet almost half of local low-income families are people living alone

Dogs and drugs don’t mix: Red Deer business wants to leave downtown after 18 years

One business owner is done with downtown Red Deer after 18 years.… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Canada’s Rebecca Marino drops second-round French Open qualifying match

PARIS — Canada’s Rebecca Marino fell just short in a second-round qualifying… Continue reading

Jiménez hits 2 HR, White Sox turn triple play to beat Astros

HOUSTON — The Chicago White Sox used a rare combination to beat… Continue reading

Acclaimed writer Casey Plett wins $60K First Novel Award for ‘Little Fish’

TORONTO — Casey Plett has won the Amazon Canada First Novel Award… Continue reading

Nik Wallenda and sister plan highwire walk over Times Square

NEW YORK — For his next trick, daredevil Nik Wallenda plans to… Continue reading

Gardening: Adding a new dimension with water

A water feature, large or small, adds a whole new dimension to… Continue reading

Alberta throne speech promises changes to expand economy, end carbon tax

EDMONTON — The new Alberta government has set its first legislature sitting… Continue reading

Wider fire bans, off-highway vehicle restrictions in northern Alberta

The fire ban prohibiting campfires and unauthorized burning, and restricting the use… Continue reading

Most Read