WHL Bantam Draft underway in Calgary

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Broncos select defenseman in first round

Swift Current Broncos 2014 first round pick Dominic Schmiemann was the captain of the Notre Dame Bantam Hounds last season as they competed in the South Saskatchewan Midget AA Hockey League.

The Western Hockey League Bantam Draft is underway in Calgary this morning.

The Swift Current Broncos held the 12th overall pick in the draft and selected Dominic Schmiemann, a 6'2'', 170-pound defenseman from James River Bridge, AB.

“Obviously we have taken a forward the last couple of years so it was probably time to take another D, but we would have taken whatever was there for best player,” explained Swift Current Broncos Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel Jamie Porter. “He kind of ended up being the guy that we were targeting the last little while.”

Schmiemann posted three goals, 12 assists, and 97 penalty minutes while captaining the Notre Dame Hounds in the South Saskatchewan Midget AA Hockey League last season to help them to a 16-16-4 record. He added two assists in three playoff games.

“He has really good size. He is mobile for a big man. We don’t think he is done growing. He has a really good shot. Obviously being the captain of Notre Dame speaks a lot about his character. We have heard a lot of good things about him from people in Alberta. So he fits everything we are looking for in our culture,” added Porter.

Schmiemann spent most of the season playing against Midget AA players, making the evaluation process it bit difficult for Porter and his staff. He saw him play against the K Motel AA Midget Hurricanes in Swift Current on January 8, a 6-1 loss that was much closer than the final score.

“It is a bit of a challenge for us,” said Porter. “Mark [Lamb] was there and Jamie Heward so that we could get a bit of a gauge of him. Dennis Ulmer sees him quite a bit in that league in Saskatchewan. The only time you get to do comparables was at a couple of major Bantam tournaments at the and of the year and at the Alberta Cup. He just continued to progress for us all the way through that.”

Schmiemann and Broncos’ 2013 first-round pick Tyler Steenbergen were teammates on the Red Deer Rebels White in the Alberta Bantam AAA Hockey League in 2012-13.

The Broncos added Calgary forward Tyler Oakenfold in the fifth round with the 91st overall pick. The 5'11'', 163-pound right-wing played for the Calgary Flames last season. Oakenfold had 14 goals and 16 assists in 30 games in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League this season.

They selected Tanner Mole nine picks later with the 100th overall pick. Mole is a 6'3'', 212-pound left wing from Winnipeg. Mole registered 17 goals and 18 assists in 29 regular season games with the Winnipeg Monarchs before adding 11 points in eight playoff games.

The Broncos used their sixth round pick, 122nd overall, to select Edmonton’s Ben Kellog. The 6’2’’, 175-pound right wing had five points and 149 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers last season.

The Broncos used the 144th overall pick to select defenseman Kyle Dronyk in the seventh round. The Edmonton native is a 5’11’’, 150-pound blueliner who totaled eight goals, 16 assists, and 82 penalty minutes in 28 games with the Maple Leaf Athletic Club Scott Pump last season.

They added 5’10’’ defenseman Solomon Seibel from Kamloops in the seventh round with the 153rd overall pick.

The Brandon Wheat Kings opened the draft by selecting Winnipeg forward Stelio Mattheos with the first overall pick. Mattheos is a 6'2'', 177-pound forward who played for the Winnipeg Monarchs and registered 53 goals and 50 assists in 32 games to lead all Winnipeg AAA Bantam Division 1 scorers.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes added forward Jordy Bellerive with the second overall pick. Bellerive is a 5'10, 160-pound centre from the North Shore Winter Club.

The Kamloops Blazers selected the first defenseman in the draft with the third overall pick when they selected North Vancouver's Nolan Keen, also from the North Shore Winter Club.

The Moose Jaw Warriors were the first Saskatchewan team to make a selection and they picked defenseman Josh Brook from the Notre Dame Hounds with the fourth overall pick.

The Prince George Cougars used the fifth selection to add forward Justin Almeida from the North Shore Winter Club. The Red Deer Rebels were the first team to enter Saskatchewan when they selected Saskatoon centre Jake Leschyshyn sixth overall after he posted 31 goals and 28 assists in 31 games with the Saskatoon Stallions in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League.

The Prince Albert Raiders selected the first goaltender with the ninth pick when they took Calgary's Ian Scott, a 6'2'' netminder from the Calgary Northstars.

The first round concluded with a total of 10 players selected from British Columbia, six from Alberta, three from Manitoba, and two from Saskatchewan. 11 forwards were taken, followed by eight forwards, and two goaltenders.

Organizations: Swift Current Broncos, WHL, WHL Bantam Draft Brandon Wheat Kings

Geographic location: Calgary

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