Swift Current, SK: The Swift Current Broncos completed the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft in Calgary, AB on Wednesday morning, selecting eight 2002-born players.
The Broncos had a pair of first round selections (9th overall from a prior trade with the Red Deer Rebels) and their own 13th overall pick. They used their first pick to select defenceman Joel Sexsmith from the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. The native of Edmonton, AB amassed 16 points (4g-12a) in 30 regular season games to go along with one assist in one playoff contest with the Rink Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team. Sexsmith also took part in the 2017 Alberta Cup, suiting up for Team Edmonton Blue in which he notched three assists in five games.
With the 13th pick, Swift Current used it to draft forward Ben King from the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. The 6′, 159lb forward from Vernon, BC recorded 46 points (16g-30a) in 22 regular season games for the Pursuit of Excellence Bantam Prep squad. Furthermore, King played in the John Reid Memorial AAA Hockey tournament and contributed on the score sheet with 10 points (2g-8a) in six games.
“We were able to get some guys that we’re really high on and comfortable with,” said Director of Hockey Operations Jamie Porter. “Our forwards can skate, our defencemen are mobile, they got size and we certainly got some skill. There’s a lot of character in the group. We had some goals in mind coming into it and filled them. Now we need to see where these players go in the next steps and where they progress.”
The Broncos added goaltending depth by taking Saskatoon, SK product Ethan Hein in the third round, 57th overall. Hein posted a stellar 14-2-0 record to go along with a 2.37 goals against average for the Saskatoon Maniacs Bantam AA team.
Swift Current made five additional picks with two sixth round selections followed by a pair of seventh round picks and a tenth round pick.
Round Six – 117th overall: Alex Thacker, Centre, Fort Sask. Rangers BAAA, 36GP 23G 34A 57PTS | 5’7.5, 148 lbs.
Round Six – 123rd overall: Bryce Margetson, Defenceman, Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep, 30GP 2G 7A 9PTS | 6′ , 166 lbs.
Round Seven – 145th overall: Massen Ziola, Forward, Yorkton Terriers Bantam AA, 27GP 24G 31A 55PTS | 5’7.5, 121 lbs.
Round Seven – 154th overall: Daron Cyr, Defenceman, Fort Sask. Rangers BAAA, 36GP 7G 18A 25PTS | 5’10, 140 lbs.
Round Ten – 211th overall: Wyatt Marlow, Forward, Okanagan H.A. Bantam Prep, 27GP 8G 12A 20PTS | 5’7, 150 lbs.