Wheat Kings stockpile talent in annual WHL bantam draft

Photo: Brandon Wheat Kings

Brandon Wheat Kings Release

Red Deer, AB
. – The 2018 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft is underway in Red Deer and the Brandon Wheat Kings used their first pick and fifteenth overall selection to take power forward Jake Chiasson of Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Described as having excellent hockey IQ, the 6’1” 162 lb Chiasson scored 20 goals and 68 points in thirty games with the Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team this past season.

“He’s a great leader who does everything,” says Wheat Kings’ director of scouting Darren Ritchie.

A big forward with an excellent shot, Jake is known as a solid 2-way player.

“It’s truly an honour to be chosen in the first round by such a class organization,” says Chiasson, who served as captain for Yale in 2017-18. “I would describe myself as a power forward to likes to score. I always try to play a 200 foot game and take pride in my defensive game.”

“You work hard to get to this point and I have to thank my family, my coaches and teammates for helping me to get here,” he went on to say.

This marked only the second time since the WHL bantam draft was introduced in 1990 that the Wheat Kings, who finished as the first wild card team in the Eastern Conference this past season, has had the fifteenth overall pick.

Brandon chose defenceman Brett Dickie 15th overall in 1998 and the Pennant, Saskatchewan product went on to play four years in Brandon before closing out his major junior career with the Prince George Cougars in 2003-04.

The Wheat Kings, who selected Ridly Greig of Lethbridge with their first round pick (8th overall) in 2017 had three second round picks and used them to select Edmonton left-winger Brett Hyland(24th overall), Calgary forward Dylan James (37th overall) and Saskatoon blueliner Jacob Hoffrogge (41st).

In 30 games with the NAXtreme, the 5’11” 173 lb. Hyland scored 22 goals and 44 points, the 5’10” 150 lb James had 26 goals and 56 points in 25 games for the Calgary AAA Bantam Bisons while Hoffrogge, a 5’10” 142 lb defenceman had 42 points, including ten goals in thirty games.

In round three, Brandon returned home to Manitoba and selected Lorette’s Cabrel Labossiere (59th overall). The 6’4″ 188 lb forward scored 26 goals and 56 points in 32 games for the Eastman Bantam Selects this past year.

The Wheat Kings had three fifth round selections and opted for 5’9″ 167 lb forward Owen Weihs(95th) from Winnipeg, 6′ 160 lb Regina defenceman Logen Hammett (101st) and Jaxon Dube(108th), a 6′ 167 lb forward from St. Albert.

During the 2017-18 campaign, Weihs had 21 goals and 39 points for Rink Academy, Hammett had 48 points, including thirteen goals with the Regina Monarchs while Dube had 20 goals and 32 points for his hometown Sabres.

With their only sixth round selection, Brandon took defenceman Tyler Teasdale (125th overall). A 6′ 156 poiunder, Teasdale scored six goals and 19 points in 33 games for the Winnipeg Bantam Monarchs this past season.

With their final selection, the Wheat Kings turned their attention to North Dakota, taking 6’2″ 175 lb. defenceman Charles Larsen with the 169th overall pick. As a member of the Minot U14 Wolves, he scored seven goals and 23 points in 24 regular season games.

Rather than drafting in the tenth and final round, the Wheat Kings dealt their final two picks to Portland in exchange for a ninth round selection in 2019.

Brandon wound up taking ten players Thursday – four defenceman and six forwards.

The Edmonton Oil Kings won last month’s draft lottery and used it to take forward Dylan Guenther of the NAXtreme.

With the second overall selection the Kootenay Ice chose Winnipeg defenceman Carson Lambos and Prince Albert – with the third pick – grabbed defenceman Nolan Allan of the Humboldt Bantam Broncos.

Players eligible for the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft will be 2003 born players who reside in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The WHL bantam draft is the first opportunity for WHL clubs to replenish their systems with graduating bantam aged players.

To follow the remainder of the WHL Bantam Draft click HERE