|North Bay Battalion|
|Owen Sound Attack|
|Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds|
|Acadie-Bathurst Titan||Baie-Comeau Drakkar|
|Blainville-Boisbriand Armada||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles|
|Chicoutimi Sagueneens||Drummondville Voltigeurs|
|Gatineau Olympiques||Halifax Mooseheads|
|Moncton Wildcats||PEI Rocket|
|Quebec Remparts||Rimouski Oceanic|
|Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||Saint John Sea Dogs|
|Shawinigan Cataractes||Sherbrooke Phoenix|
|Val-d'Or Foreurs||Victoriaville Tigres|
Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes addressed a number of areas at the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft by adding size and speed as well as adding depth at every position on their roster. For the first time, the Canes also drafted players from every province as well as the USA as they added 12 players to the team.
With their 1st pick (4th overall) the Canes selected Forward Giorgio Estephan from Edmonton, AB. Estephan at 5’11 and 168 pounds registered 100 points (43G, 57A) in 32 games with the Edmonton SSAC Bantam AAA (AMBHL); he also had 32 PIM’s. The 15-year old is a right-handed shot and was born February 3rd, 1997. Of Estephan, Hurricanes Scout Blake Robson says “we’re getting a really good player. Not only has he led his team in scoring, but he led tournaments in scoring as well. He has good size, very good hands and he’s a great leader on a very good Edmonton Bantam team.” Robson adds “Estephan was highly sought after and was highly ranked among other WHL clubs. He’s a great addition to our team and he has a very bright future with the Canes.”
The Hurricanes also had the 18th pick in the first round – acquired when they traded Cam Braes to the Moose Jaw Warriors back for their 1st round pick. With that selection the Canes added Defenceman Thomas Lenchyshyn from Steinbach, MB. Lenchyshyn is a big strong blueliner at 6’0 and 178 lbs.; he had 14 points (5G, 9A) and 123 penalty minutes in 42 games with the Eastman Selects of the Midget AAA League. Hurricanes Assistant GM, Brad Robson says “he was highly sought after by a number of teams. He’s a big strong kid and the only kid in the draftto play and compete in the Midget AAA Hockey League. He had over 100 PIM’s and with his size, he will add to our defensive core.”
With their 3rd pick (28th overall), the Lethbridge Hurricanes selected 15-year old Forward Cole Plotnikoff from Surrey, BC. Plotnikoff is 5’11 and 150 lbs., and with Semiahmoo (PCBHL) he had 29 points (8G, 21A) in 20 games. Hurricanes Scout StewartRobertson calls Plotnikoff “a complete player who has good work ethic. He skates well and has good hands. He’s not flashy, he’s just a solid up and down skater who doesn’t makes mistakes; he’s a character guy, a team player and also shows some leadership.”
The Canes lone pick of the 4th round was 87th overall, a selection they acquired from Tri City with the trade of Derek Ryckman. The Canes selected Zachary Goberis of Arvada, CO. At 6’0 and 181 pounds, Goberis had 7 goals and 5 assists in 12 games. Assistant GM, Brad Robson says “he’s strong at the net, creates offense with his size, strength and his hands.” Blake Robson had a chance to scout him at the US Prospects camp in Anaheim, CA and says “he’s a big strong kid - a power type forward.”
The Hurricanes would make 7 more picks to round out this year’s draft. In the 5th round, they had the 103rd overall pick from Vancouver (from the Mark Reners trade) and they added 6’1, 162 pound Defenceman Kade Jensen. In 33 games, he had 15 points and 93 penalty minutes. Blake Robson likes what he saw in Jensen calling him “a smooth skating d-man, he’s got good size to him and he makes a good first pass … he works hard at both ends of the ice … has a lot of upside to him and he has a bright future.”
The Canes had a pair of picks in the 6th round and at 113 (which was from Seattle) they selected Defenceman Brandon Kennedy from Tsawwassen, BC. Area Scout Stewart Robertson calls the South Delta Bantam pick “a big, solid stay at home defenceman. He’s a heads up player, a good passer who quarterbacks the powerplay and plays consistently. He also skates well and has a good shot.” Robertson was also pleased the Canes were able to get him in the 6th round as he expected that he may have gone higher in the draft.
The Canes next selected 121st overall, a pick from Regina, and they added their first goalie of the draft, Eric Szudor of Edmonton. The 6’2, 175 lb. goalie of the Edmonton KC Bantam Chiefs (AMBHL) played 20 games posting a .907 save percentage and a 4.46 goals against average. Hurricanes Assistant Coach Chris Chisamore calls him “a 6’2 goalie that uses his size very well … I saw him at Alberta Cup and liked his overall fundamentals and style. He uses his size aggressively to make shooters miss.”
With the 138th pick overall (7th round), the Hurricanes selected 5’8, 140 pound Forward Josh Hayward from the Edmonton SSAC. In 33 games, Hayward registered 51 points (27G, 24A) and added 24 PIM’s. Of note on the selection of Hayward, he’s a linemate of the Canes 1st pick of the draft (4th overall) Giorgio Estephan. “He has lots of speed he was very good in the playoffs and at the Western Canadian Championships. He’s a game changer and it’s nice surprise to still be able to get him in the 7th round as we had him ranked higher” commented Blake Robson.
The Canes did not have a selection in the 8th round (traded to Spokane), but in the 9th round (182nd overall) they drafted Winger Tyler Rohl from the Calgary Royals (AMBHL). At 5’11 and 165 lbs., Assistant GM Brad Robson describes him as “a big strong kid, he block shots, he’s a leader and a character kid that plays hard in all areas of the rink.” In 33 games he had 30 points (14G, 16A) and 18 penalty minutes.
The Canes added another Defenceman in the 10th round (204th overall) with the selection of Logan Fauber of Niwot, CO. The 5-foot-11, 162 pound blueliner is a teammate Zachery Goberis and another strong addition to the backend. The Canes closed out the draft with an 11th round (226th overall) selection of Centre Kody White of the Saskatoon Bandits Bantam AA. White stands 5’9 and 153 pounds. Hurricanes Scout Todd Hassen calls White a “hardworking energy type player with a pretty good skill level.”
The Hurricanes drafted 12 players – 1 Goalie, 7 Forwards and 4 Defencemen. The Canes also made a trade today, acquiring All-Star Goalie Ty Rimmer from the Tri City Americans for a pair of draft picks in 2013 and 2014. The coaching staff are thrilled with how things went in today’s draft and are eager to see their latest additions when training camp opens up later in the fall.