Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Top 5 Tuesday: WHL Bantam Draft

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I'm going to be honest: With Millard on the shelf and me overbooking the show tonight I'm swamped so... I'm resorting to second hand info for this week's Top 5. With the Oil Kings in the cellar of the WHL there is interest in knowing something about the quality of the Bantam draft this year. It's not a level of hockey that we cover much on The Pipeline Show so I'm going outside the show's normal contributors for some insight.

Matt Bugg from Dobbershockey.com was kind enough to supply me with a few names that will be available for the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. Here is an excerpt from the 'Leans Teens?' piece "Mr.Bugg" contributed to the DobberHockey Mid-Season Guide that pertains to players eligible for the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft.

If you've got some information on other players available, feel free to add them to the comments section.

1. C Alex Forsberg (5'9, 170 lbs)
Beardy's Blackhawks/SMAAAHL- 27 GP, 19-28-47, 16 PIM

The only fourteen-year-old in the SMAAAHL, the latest gem from what's going to be known as the Prairie version of the Staal family- his brother is a top-ranked '93- Alex Forsberg is 2nd in the league scoring race despite being two years younger than those either above or below him. Forsberg has a lot of growing left to do at but that's not even really a concern when you're talking about someone this young. Forsberg's top-end speed would contend with the best in the WHL right now as would his butter-soft hands.

2. RW Brian Williams (5'8, 145 lbs)
LA Selects Bantam AAA- N/A

One of the top players in the 2010 WHL Bantam class, winger Brian Williams is the type of mega-talent that can put Los Angeles-area hockey permanently on the map. The danger of hyping him to extremes because of this potential marketability is a concern, but there's no doubting his explosive acceleration and elite puckhandling ability. Williams scored ten points- including a pair of hat-tricks- in seven games at the prestigious Bauer Invitational in November, and added a goal and two assists in the clinching game of the American Bantam champions last spring. Williams compares to NHL alum Joe Mullen.

3. D Jesse Lees (6'2, 185 lbs)
Calgary Northstar Sabres/ABHL- 20 GP, 15-15-30, 36 PIM

Alberta is thin on elite talent at this point when it concerns the 2010 Western League Bantam Draft, but the clear stand-out has been Jesse Lees. A long, powerful stride and better hands than most forwards have scouts intrigued, but therein lies the issue. As a couple of goal-scoring titles at tournaments would suggest, Lees plays with a fair amount of temerity and that may not translate well to the WHL.

4. D Madison Bowey (5'11, 165 lbs)
Winnipeg Monarchs/Winnipeg AAA- 18 GP, 10-25-35

A reasonable height and weight for being 15 years old, Madison Bowey is fifth among all scorers in Winnipeg AAA. It would not necessarily be a surprise to learn, then, that he is only a recent convert to defense. Bowey's vision is among the tops in the class and his short-range passes are hard and crisp. Many of his goals are scored from closer-in ala Scott Niedermayer thanks to an excellent wrist shot. Despite his lack of experience at the position, he was the top defenceman at the prestigious Medicine Hat Major Bantam Hockey Tournament in November. An early comparable would be Michael Del Zotto.

As with many young Canadian hockey players, Bowey is also an excellent baseball player.

5. G Eric Comrie (6'0, 170 lbs)
LA Selects Bantam AAA- N/A

Way back in the 90s, Bill Comrie created The Brick Invitational as a way to showcase the best local players (re: his sons) against the world. Both of them made the NHL, but unfortunate circumstances finished Paul Comrie's career before it could really begin and the other brother temporarily shamed the family name in such a way that it forced the patriarch to leave town.

However, there's still hope that two Comrie brothers play together in the show. 14 year-old Eric Comrie is a virtual unknown even to Edmontonians as he was born and raised primarily in California during Bill's hiatus there. As with Paul and Mike, Comrie Sr. has had an integral impact on Eric's career, coaching him and the rest of the LA Selects into national prominence (see: Brian Williams).

Comrie isn't just riding on the family name, however. Already taller than brother Mike, Eric is a highly-decorated player with MVP awards at most of the premier minor hockey tournaments in North America. At the Bauer Invitational, for example, he registered a 1.20 GAA. Although both of us his brothers played in the NCAA, it appears as though the youngest of the three will head to the WHL. He is expected to be a first-round selection.
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That again, is the work of Matt Bugg, follow the links above to read more of his work. Next week we'll be back to normal with our own Top 5 list.

18 comments:

Mr. Bugg said...

Thanks for the feature, Guy! Just to be clear for folks who might not follow much Bantam AAA, this isn't a pure top five: forwards like Morgan Klimchuk (Calgary Bisons AAA), Nicholas Petan (North Shore Winter Club) and Matt Needham (Penticton Vees AAA) will likely follow Forsberg, Williams and Bowey, but these five represent the two best at each skater position and the top goaltender.

Thanks again and I love the show!

Anonymous said...

Mr Bugg, are you able to share any more names from the US?

Mr. Bugg said...

Sure, anon.

There's some interesting drama brewing involving what is otherwise a weak 2010 American WHL class. Adam Erne is a teammate of Williams and Comrie in Los Angeles, but he was actually born in Ohio (OHL territory) and resides in Connecticut (QMJHL) in the off-season. As such, he could theoretically be eligible for any of the CHL's three leagues. It seems WHL is his chosen route, though. He's a top-ten pick. 6'0, 170 lbs. Great balance to go along with that size, and when you combine that with his long reach and above-average shot, you have a player. Tough to contain; if he can't pull the puck around his shadow, he will muscle through him. Loves to show up in big games. I can't count how many clutch goals he's nailed at various tournaments.

D Scott Savage will also be a high pick from that team.

Other US clubs:

Evan Feno from the Colorado Thunderbirds had a VERY strong showing in Medicine Hat. Explosive first few steps but he needs to skate with longer strides. Otherwise, he's great at using his teammates. He uses that speed to draw guys in and open up lanes. Head is always up and from what I can tell his peripheral vision is outstanding- he's so good at making guys jump up because he doesn't telegraph with his head. Quick shot. I'd compare him to Zach Hamill.

My sleeper favorite is Danny Kiraly, a 5'10 forward for Team Arizona AAA (although they play what's basically a AA schedule). The club's website lists Pavel Datsyuk as his favorite player, and you can see why when you watch him play. Extremely strong on his skates for his size, shifty, agile, and his one-on-one skills are tremendous. In the game I saw online he gave the LA AA team fits all night with his patience on the cycle.

I don't know if he'll get drafted but boy I like his game.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the additions. As for the TBirds, any thoughts on JJ Huerena?

Anonymous said...

Justin Spagrud from Swift Current is supposed to go top 10. He is an elite player and was the best player in Saskatoon on the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Okay Justin.:D

Anonymous said...

How unbelievably rude that you would take a well intentioned comment from me, and imply that a player posted it about himself. Justin Spagrud has been the top player in three major tourneys this year, and is one of the leading scorers in one of the best bantam leagues in Canada. I hardly think he needs to post about himself. As for the moderators - if you are going to open up the topic of 14 year olds on your blog, at least keep pieces of work like the last person from trying to belittle a kid who is a top prospect.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Are you sure you want to go down the road of name calling?

Guy Flaming said...

How about we change it so 'Anonymous' can't leave comments?

Anonymous said...

Better yet, why don't you remove the moronic comment that implies that a kid would post about himself? That would be a great start.

Anonymous said...

Here is our list as of November 27th. A new list of the Top 100 will be available on our site after the St. Albert tournament. We will then have a final list just before the Bantam Draft in May.

1. Alex Forsberg - SK Forward, Left Shot, 5'9 155 Beardy's Blackhawks Smaaahl
2. Madison Bowey - MAN Right Defence, Right Shot, 6'0 175 Winnipeg Monarchs, WBAAA
3. Brian Williams - CAL Forward, Left Shot, 5'9 141 LA Selects, CAHA
4. Matt Needham - BC Forward, Left Shot, 5'9 170 Penticton, Bantam Tier 1
5. Josh Morrisey - AB Defence, 5'11 170, Calgary Royals Gold, AMBHL
6. Morgan Klimchuk - AB, Forward, 5'10 155, Calgary Bisons, AMBHL
7. Craig Leverton - SK LW, 5'9 165, Warman Wildcats, C4HL
8. Anthony Ast- BC, Forward, 5'9 170, Burnaby Winter Club, Bantam Tier 1
9. Jon Merkely - AB, Forward, 5'10 155, Calgary Bisons, AMBHL
10. Nick Petan - BC, Forward 5'7 150, NSWC, Bantam Tier 1
11. Jesse Lees - AB, Defence, 6'0 165, Calgary Northstar Sabres, AMBHL
12. Cory Millette - SK, Forward, 5'9 165, Notre Dame Hounds, SSBHL
13. Wyatt Noskey- AB, Forward, 5'11 175, Knights of Columbus Squires, AMBHL
14. Joseph Carvalho - BC, Defence 5'8 160, Burnaby Winter Club, Bantam Tier 1
15. Joel Topping - AB, Defence, 6'0 170, Red Deer Rebels Black, AMBHL
16. Tristan Jarry- BC, Goalie, North Delta Sundevils, Bantam Tier 1
17. Michael Lorange- MAN, Defence, Winnipeg Monarchs, WPG AAA
18. Eric Comrie - CAL, Goalie, LA Selects, CAHA
19. Tim MaGauley - SK, Forward, Lumsden/Bethune Lions, SSBHL
20. Torrin White -AB, Forward, 5'10 145, Airdrie Xtreme, AMBHL
21. Ty Mclean - SK, Forward, Moose Mountain Wild, SSBHL
22. Macoy Erkamps - BC, Defence, 5'11 175, South Delta Flyers, Bantam Tier 1
23. Demico Hannoun - BC, Forward, 5'9 160, North Delta Sundevils, Bantam Tier 1
24. Paul Stoykewich - MAN, Defence 5'11 170, Winnipeg Monarchs, WPG AAA
25. Brandon Scheidl – SK, Defence, 5’9 155, Saskatoon Maniacs, GSHL
26. Matt Mcleod – SK, Forward, 5’9 155, Saskatoon Stallions, GSHL
27. Carter Popoff - BC, Forward, 5'10 170, Richmond Eagles, Bantam Tier 1
28. Brayden McDonald - MAN, Forward, 5'11 165, Interlake Lightning, WPG AAA
29. Kyle Burroughs - BC, Defence, Langley Bantam Eagles, Bantam Tier 1
30. Kayle Doetzel - SK, Defence, West Central Wheat Kings, C4HL
31. Jace Henning - BC (injured), Burnaby Winter Club, Bantam Tier 1
32. Cade Owad - AB , Forward, 5'10 165, Calgary Northstar Sabres, AMBHL
33. Luke Mahura - AB, Forward, 5'9 151, St. Albert Gregg Dist Sabres, AMBHL
34. Austin Callidine - SK, Forward, Saskatoon Bandits, GSHL
35. Justin Spagrud - SK, Forward, Swift Current Kabos Raiders, SSBHL
36. Chandler Irvin - AB, Defence, 5'10 155, Airdrie Xtreme, AMBHL
37. Tyler King-Cunningham - SK, Defence, Notre Dame Hounds, SSBHL
38. Jordan Tkatch - SK, Forward, Humboldt Broncos, C4HL
39. Kevan Kilistoff - BC, Langley Bantam Eagles, Bantam Tier 1
40. Devan Schram - MB, Forward, 5'7 140 Winnipeg Hawks, WPG AAA
41. Kurt Keats - MAN, Forward, 5'7 155, Winnipeg Monarchs, WPG AAA
42. Tyson Baillie - AB, Forward, 5'8 148, Fort Saskatchewan Winners Way Rangers, AMBHL
43. Tyson Predinchuk - SK, Forward, Regina Hurricanes, SSBHL
44. Greg Chase - AB, Forward, 5'9 155, Sherwood Park Flyers, AMBHL
45. Spencer Jensen - AB, Defence, 6'4 175, Airdrie Xtreme, AMBHL
46. Jackson Houck - BC, Forward, 6'0 180, North SHore Winter Club, Bantam Tier 1
47. Garrett Foster - BC, Forward, North Delta Flyers, Bantam Tier 1
48. Mason Geertzen - AB, Defence, 6'0 160, Leduc Allen's Transport, AMBHL
49. Ty Symenuk – SK, Forward, 6’0 145, Saskatoon Generals, GSHL
50. Carter Hanson – SK, Defence, 5’11 160, Lumsden-Bethune Lions, SSBHL


Tyler-HP

Anonymous said...

NOTE:

Adam Erne is a top 10 selection as is Scott Savage if they choose the WHL route. We didn't include too many Americans on the list for the simple reason as in Colin Jacobs case last year, he was taken in the 4th round due to doubt and pre determined terms I'm guessing.

Justin Spagrud from SC we have early 3rd round right now.

Tyler-HP

Anonymous said...

Spagrud's stock really shot up this weekend in Saskatoon. I heard on Wednesday night from a very reliable source that he was now being considered a top 10. I haven't seen him a whole bunch this year, but I know that guys I know saw him in Saskatoon and he was the best player there and his team won the whole thing. Anyway, a very good story on a player who has gone through an incredible personal tragedy and come back from it. I was very excited to hear top ten for the kid. Thanks and glad to be able to comment. As well, Josh Wik also really climbed on the weekend according to my sources. 6 foot 3 dman who works hard away from the rink. He was first team all star dman. A cousin to Travis Moen. He is a huge body and a great attitude.

Anonymous said...

King and Predenchuk will sneak up into top round from what I hear as well.

Anonymous said...

How unbelievably rude that you would take a well intentioned comment from me, and imply that a player posted it about himself. Justin Spagrud has been the top player in three major tourneys this year, and is one of the leading scorers in one of the best bantam leagues in Canada. I hardly think he needs to post about himself. As for the moderators - if you are going to open up the topic of 14 year olds on your blog, at least keep pieces of work like the last person from trying to belittle a kid who is a top prospect.

So you can say absolutely 100% that somebody would not comment on themselves? That it has never happenend before?
Wow!

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if people post about themselves and I am certain they probably do. However, what about my post would indicate that I was a player posting about themselves? Just a very senseless attempt at a joke or a very inflammatory thing to do to a kid. I came on here to lend some info (on topic) and some joker ends up attempting to defame someone. Anyway...whatever. This blog took on a junior B mentality with that post being allowed to remain. Why open up a topic, encourage posts on it, and then allow a player to be made fun of like that? That post should have been eliminated.

Anonymous said...

So now you are making fun of Junior B. You should keep going, you are on quite a roll (name calling, belittle those who play Junior B..). You sound like a real classless Canadian hipocrate!

Guy Flaming said...

OK... this needs to end now or I WILL remove the ability to for anonymous comments.

Thank You