Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2012 WHL Bantam draft preview: Top 10 Defencemen

Each year we gather the thoughts of WHL scouts and compile lists about the upcoming future stars for one of the best development leagues in the country. To kick things off, we'll start with blue liners. Some will be franchise players, others solid but silent, while others not on this list will also rise up successfully.

Please remember this isn't personal, and it's the opinions of scouts.

10. Kevin Davis (RD)- Kamloops Bantam Blazers 5”11” 155lbs
“steady , plays in all situations."
"Good leader and the top Dman on Kamloops".

9. Brady Reagan (RD)- Okanagan Hockey Academy 6’2” 183lbs
“He has skill and grit, with loads of upside."
"Has shown ability to overcome adversity”

8. Evan Fiala (RD) Sask Valley Vipers 6’2” 171lbs
“possibly the quickest riser in this year’s draft..."
"Had a monster of a second half of the season.."
"....I think it should push Evan into top two rounds”

7. Ryan Gardiner (LD) Winnipeg Sharks 5’11” 168
“...His brother was taken in the first round and didn't pan out...let's hope the apple does fall far..."
"Ryan is the real deal”

6. Joe Gatenby (RD) Pursuit of Excellence 5’11” 165
“could be the best skating blue liner in the whole draft.."
"I like him a lot, but he needs to decide if WHL is his path to enhance draft status and for us to take an early chance on him"

5. Parker Wotherspoon (LD) Cloverdale Colts 5’11” 162lbs
“He's the quarterback to possibly the top defence corps in bantam hockey, so that's a good start."
"...he's a proven winner with pedigree...his brother is Tyler in Portland."

4. Ethan Bear (RD) Pursuit of Excellence 5’11” 180lbs
The best dman from Saskatchewan may not be living in the land of the living skies.
" Ethan's from Sask but has been excellent season in BC’s Okanagan."

3. Thomas Lenchyshyn (RD) Eastman Selects 6’1 185lbs
“ tough, competes, the only bantam playing AAA midget in this draft"
"... needs to find a balance between, physical and undisciplined play, when that happens he'll be a star..."

2. Ty Schultz (RD) Burnaby Winter Club 5’11” 160
“ best dman in BC’s lower mainland this year"
"Watch for him if they get to Western Canada Bantam Championships” (They did)

1.Tate Olson (LD) Saskatoon Stallions 6’0 170lbs
“a man amongst boys..."
"this kid is big, strong, and skilled, a franchise Dman”

Knocking on the Door- Brennan Riddle (Prairie Storm), Chaz Redekopp (POE), Brendan Guhle (Sherwood Park), Justin Mills (Westside), Troy Murray (Prairie Storm),Shane Collins (West Central), Brad Forrest (Calgary Bisons),Mark Matsuba (St Albert),Ben Baker (LA Selects).

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