Ethan Rowland falls to the ice as he is checked by Sam Pouliot during the 2017 Red Deer Rebels Prospect Camp Friday. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Rebels pick twice in opening round of WHL Bantam Draft Thursday

Through a season of scouting and projections, there is still plenty of wonder about the WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday.

Red Deer Rebels assistant GM and director of player personnel Shaun Sutter said there’s a number of different scenarios about how the first round will play out– which stems from no real consensus top pick this year.

“I don’t think there is a consensus number one. It depends what the teams picking at the top are looking for. So that will have a chain reaction even affecting us at the seventh pick. You just sit and wait and prepare for each pick as it comes up,” Sutter said.

The Rebels own the seventh pick in the draft, as well as the 16th overall selection, which they acquired in the Josh Mahura trade last year with the Regina Pats. Sutter said as of earlier this week, the team was set on selecting the best player available.

“These kids are 14, so the reality is they aren’t going to be impactful for a few years. The kids you pick at the early rounds, you do have the hope or expectation that they’ll develop to a point where they can push for a role and they’ll be a good player,” Sutter said.

The Rebels own five picks total in the first three rounds, a unique situation after the build-up to the Memorial Cup in 2016 saw them spend picks to acquire players. That could lead to an influx of talent joining the organization, or a possible trade for scoring depth up front.

“We know we’ll get a good player at seven and 16, and at 28 and two picks in the top half of the third round. We haven’t been in this situation for a while,” Sutter added.

“We’ve got some higher picks and you’re excited about adding some top end players and bringing them in to complement what we have.”

Some projections across the league have Rink Academy defenceman Carson Lambos of Winnipeg slotted first overall.

Others have Sean Tschigerl (forward, OHA Academy in Edmonton), Logan Stankhoven (centre, Yale Academy) and Jayden Grubbe (Right Wing, Calgary Bisons Bantam AAA) in the mix.

Zack Stringer, a forward for the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes won bronze at the Telus Cup and was second in the entire tournament in scoring with seven goals and 11 points in seven games. He could also get a look as an early selection.

At the Alberta Cup in Spruce Grove last weekend, team Central took home the title with a 2-0 shutout win in the championship game. That garnered them some attention from scouts, including Central Alberta players like Tees native Drew Sims, a goalie at the OHA Academy or Red Deer County resident Colby Knight.

“They’re both big guys and they definitely show the signs of being good goalies one day,” Sutter said.

There are other names in the mix looking to be drafted from Central Alberta on Thursday, including Boston Lajeunesse of Red Deer and Charlie Wright of Olds, who served as captain of the Red Deer Bantam AAA Rebels.

Forward Zachery Burns of Eckville, and Fox Doell and Myles Hilman of Blackfalds and Jayden Henderson of Sylvan Lake all could hear their names called in the draft.

“It is the type of draft where there’s a layer of players and a large group of guys that are close. Teams are going to look at these guys in different ways,” Sutter added.

The Rebels selected Ethan Rowland, a centre from Calgary with their 2017 WHL Bantam Draft first round pick.

The draft starts Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and can be streamed live on www.whl.ca.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City of Red Deer gets ball rolling on annexing more land

”It’s important we look ahead,” says Mayor Veer

Walmart melding online and in-store shopping

South Red Deer Walmart recently underwent six months of renovations

Updated: Nature trail unveiled at RDC

Trail unveiling and tree planting honours Nova Chemicals $2 million donation

Rural municipalities seek more funding to address cannabis legalization

Not enough supports in Municipal Cannabis Transition Program

Video: Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

OTTAWA — More than one million jobs could be lost to the… Continue reading

McGill research finds significant driving impairment 5 hours after cannabis use

MONTREAL — Driving under the influence of cannabis remains dangerous even five… Continue reading

Family: Remembering the important things

It seems so much of life is work and routine and then… Continue reading

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Most Read