Chiefs wrap up 2020 WHL Bantam Draft

Forward Adam Beckman is the WHL's Player of the Year for 2019-20
Forward Adam Beckman is the WHL's Player of the Year
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Spokane, Wash. — The Spokane Chiefs added to their prospect pool on Wednesday, selecting 11 players of the future in the annual WHL Bantam Draft, held online for the first time. With their first pick at 18th overall in the first round, they selected defenseman Saige Weinstein out of Edmonton, Alberta. In total, the Chiefs picked up eight forwards, two defensemen and one goalie. The annual draft was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the end of the day, I thought our scouting staff did a great job communicating with each other and we identified a strong draft class for this season,” said Assistant General Manager Jim Hammett, who leads the Chiefs’ scouting department. “We feel all of these players have the characteristics to be a Chief and we look forward to seeing them at camp.”

Weinstein spent the 2019-20 season with the Northern Alberta Xtreme (NAX) of the CSSHL, posting four goals — two on the power play — and 16 assists for 20 points in 23 games. Standing 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, the left-handed shot added 32 penalty minutes while the Xtreme went 19-5-3-3, good for fourth in the CSSHL’s Bantam Prep standings.

“First of all, Saige has the character that we like as a Spokane Chief,” said Hammett. “He plays a 200-foot, two-way game. He’s a very mobile defender and plays hard in his own zone, with good offensive sense.

Weinstein demonstrated the ability to set up teammates with a four-assist and three-assist game back-to-back early in the season.

“He is a well-rounded, dependable and versatile defenseman,” added Hammett. “We expect him to play in all situations in the future.”

The Chiefs then added Weinstein’s NAX teammate and skilled goal scorer Kooper Gizowski with their second-round pick at 40th overall.

Gizowski led NAX with 51 points (27G-24A) in 29 games. He finished tied for sixth in the CSSHL in goals scored, tallying two hat tricks and six multi-goal games. He had more games with three or more points (6) than games with zero points (4).

In the fourth round, Spokane selected Jake Gudelj from North Vancouver, B.C. Gudelj posted 35 points (19G-16A) with West Vancouver Academy during the 2019-20 campaign. He showed the ability to score in bunches, exploding for four goals on Oct. 27 versus Shawnigan Lake and three (plus an assist) on Nov. 23 versus Notre Dame.

The Chiefs continued to bolster their ranks up front with forward Tyler Chan at 100th overall (5th round). Chan played for Burnaby Winter Club of the CSSHL during the 2019-20 season, ranking tied for second on the team with 36 points (17G-19A). A consistent scorer, he recorded 13 multi-point games, highlighted by a four-point outing versus Delta Hockey Academy on Oct. 18.

Goaltender Cooper Michaluk was next up at 119th overall (6th round). Standing 5-foot-10, the Sherwood Park, Alberta native earned a 4.33 GAA and .872 SV% in 14 appearances during the 2019-20 season for OHA Edmonton of the CSSHL. His season was highlighted by a 29-save shutout in a 5-0 blanking of the Edge School on Nov. 30.

Spokane returned to the blue line six picks later, selecting defenseman Kyle Federico at 125th overall. Federico, at nearly 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, played 33 games with the Calgary Flames Bantam AAA of the AMBHL, scoring twice and adding nine assists for 11 points. The Chiefs went back to the Flames for their seventh-round pick, taking forward Nolan Kelly. Kelly was nearly a point-per-game player in 2019-20, scoring 20 goals and 11 assists for 31 points in 33 contests.

Forwards Josh Perreault of Red Deer, Alberta and Carter Zalischuk of the Dauphin, Manitoba were called by the Chiefs in the eighth round. Perreault put up 18 goals and 10 assists for 28 points in 33 games with the Red Deer Rebels of the AMBHL, competing against the likes of Federico and Kelly. Zalischuk piled up 52 points (23G-29A) in 35 games with the Parkland Rangers Bantam AAA club of the Winnipeg AAA league.

Filling out the draft class were forwards Tysen Durant from Martensville, Sask. in the ninth round and Carter Nailen in the 10th. Durant registered 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 points for the Martensville Marauders of the SBAAHL. Nailen scored 26 points (17G-9A) in 29 games with the Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep squad.

Spokane Chiefs’ 2020 WHL Bantam Draft Class

1st Round (18th Overall) – Saige Weinstein

  • Position: Defense
  • Hometown: Edmonton, AB
  • Measurables: 5’10″, 160 lbs, shoots left
  • 2019-20: Northern Alberta Xtreme (CSSHL)
  • Stats: 4 goals, 16 assists, 20 points, 32 PIM in 23 GP
  • Scouting Report: (see above)

2nd Round (40th Overall) – Kooper Gizowski

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Edmonton, AB
  • Measurables: 5’9″, 165 lbs, shoots left
  • 2019-20: Northern Alberta Xtreme (CSSHL)
  • Stats: 27 goals, 24 assists, 51 points, 26 PIM in 29 GP
  • Scouting Report: “He’s a highly intelligent offensive player. One of the best shots available in the draft. Plays with pace, sense and smarts. Very tenacious.”

4th Round (84th Overall) – Jake Gudelj

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: North Vancouver, BC
  • Measurables: 6’0.25″, 183 lbs, shoots left
  • 2019-20: West Vancouver Warriors (CSSHL)
  • Stats: 19 goals, 16 assists, 35 points, 8 PIM in 30 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Big, strong player that plays with physicality. Solid, two-way sense with strong work habits and character.”

5th Round (100th Overall) – Tyler Chan

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Burnaby, BC
  • Measurables: 5’6″, 133 lbs, shoots left
  • 2019-20: Burnaby Winter Club (CSSHL)
  • Stats: 17 goals, 19 assists, 36 points, 52 PIM in 30 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Exceptional skater with speed and agility. Very good offensive sense and skill. Plays the game with pace, energy and desire.”

6th Round (119th Overall) – Cooper Michaluk

  • Position: Goalie
  • Hometown: Sherwood Park, AB
  • Measurables: 5’10”, 141 lbs, catches left
  • 2019-20: OHA Edmonton (CSSHL)
  • Stats: 4.33 GAA, .872 SV%, 1 shutout in 14 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Good size and athleticism. Very strong fundamentals, which allow him to be a good goalie.”

6th Round (125th Overall) – Kyle Federico

  • Position: Defense
  • Hometown: Calgary, AB
  • Measurables: 6’0.75″, 170 lbs, shoots right
  • 2019-20: Calgary Flames Bantam AAA (AMBHL)
  • Stats: 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points, 20 PIM in 33 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Plays a competitive, physical style. Strong defensive awareness and high comepete level.”

7th Round (147th Overall) – Nolan Kelly

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Calgary, AB
  • Measurables: 5’9.25″, 150 lbs, shoots left
  • 2019-20: Calgary Flames Bantam AAA (AMBHL)
  • Stats: 20 goals, 11 assists, 31 points, 14 PIM in 33 GP
  • Scouting Report: “High energy style. Strong work habits and tenacity. Can play a full 200-foot game with versatility.”

8th Round (162nd Overall) – Josh Perreault

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Red Deer, AB
  • Measurables: 5’8.75″, 156 lbs, shoots right
  • 2019-20: Red Deer Rebels Bantam AAA (AMBHL)
  • Stats: 18 goals, 10 assists, 28 points, 36 PIM in 33 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Similar to Kelly. He brings a very strong work ethic. Competes every night and is consistent every game.”

8th Round (172nd Overall) – Carter Zalischuk

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Dauphin, MB
  • Measurables: 5’8″, 138 lbs, shoots left
  • 2019-20: Parkland Rangers B1AAA (Winnipeg AAA)
  • Stats: 23 goals, 29 assists, 52 points, 40 PIM in 35 games
  • Scouting Report: “Highly competitive and a good skater. He can play the game with speed and skill.”

9th Round (194th Overall) – Tysen Durant

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Martensville, SK
  • Measurables: 6’0″, 160 lbs, shoots left
  • 2019-20: Martensville Marauders (SBAAHL)
  • Stats: 26 goals, 26 assists, 52 points, 69 PIM in 30 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Plays a heavy game. Can be physical and works hard.”

10th Round (216th Overall) – Carter Nailen

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Surrey, BC
  • Measurables: 5’7″, 111 lbs, shoots right
  • 2019-20: Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep White (CSSHL)
  • Stats: 17 goals, 9 assists, 26 points, 32 PIM in 29 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Strong skater who has very good speed and quickness. Nice combination of skill and hockey sense.”

Spokane Chiefs’ 2020 WHL Bantam Draft Class

  • 1st Round (18th Overall) – Saige Weinstein, D
  • 2nd Round (40th) – Kooper Gizowski, F
  • 4th Round (84th) – Jake Gudelj, F
  • 5th Round (100th [from Calgary]) – Tyler Chan, F
  • 6th Round (119th [from Victoria]) – Cooper Michaluk, G
  • 6th Round (125th [from Prince Albert]) – Kyle Federico, D
  • 7th Round (147th [from Prince Albert]) – Nolan Kelly, F
  • 8th Round (162nd [from Kelowna]) – Josh Perreault, F
  • 8th Round (172nd) – Carter Zalischuk, F
  • 9th Round (194th) – Tysen Durant, F
  • 10th Round (216th) – Carter Nailen, F

Players eligible for the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft included 2005-born players who reside in the following provinces or states: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Players not selected in the Bantam Draft are then eligible to be listed by WHL clubs, with many being added to WHL Club Protected Player Lists as spots become available.