Cloverdale Colts, Semiahmoo Ravens picked high in WHL draft
Six weeks after the Cloverdale Colts placed second at the BC Hockey Bantam Tier 1 championship tournament, the team found something more to celebrate.
Seven players from the Colts were selected in Thursday's Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, including two in the first round.
And the Colts weren't the only local team to have its players' names called, either. The Semiahmoo Ravens top bantam team also had seven players selected in the draft, led by centre Cole Plotnikoff, who was selected in the second round (28th overall) by the Lethridge Hurricanes.
Cloverdale centre Tyler Soy was chosen eighth overall by the Victoria Royals while defenceman Parker Wotherspoon was claimed by the Tri-City Americans with the 26th pick.
"Victoria got a steal," said Colts head coach Brian MacGillivray. "I thought Tyler would be a top three pick. I judge a player by how much he makes his teammates better, and Tyler has that quality. He can play any style, he can be your best scorer or he can be your best checker.
"And Parker could one day play at the highest level. In my opinion, he's the best defenceman in the draft."
Other Colts selected were left winger Jakob Stukel (second round, 37th overall by the Vancouver Giants), left winger Chris Seto (third round, 45th overall by the Kelowna Wings), defenceman Tyler Fraser (third round, 55th overall by Tri-City), defenceman Jordan Henderson (fourth round, 72nd overall by the Spokane Chiefs), and Dylan McCann (ninth round, 178th overall by the Prince George Cougars).
Colton Kroeker, a centre with the Surrey Thunder, was also drafted. He was claimed 134th overall by the Regina Pats in seventh round.
After Semiahmoo's Plotnikoff was plucked by the Hurricanes with the 28th pick, his teammate, Matthew Bradley, a five-foot-nine centre, was chosen by the Medicine Hat Tigers later in the second round, at 38th.
Their bantam coach thinks both have a chance to make an impression at the junior level.
"In the WHL, if you're picked in the first couple rounds of the draft, it means that those teams really have a plan for you – they wouldn't spend a pick on you that high if they didn't see you in their lineup in a couple years," Mike Scardina said.
Ravens goaltender Stefan Wornig was the next Semiahmoo player off the board, going to the Vancouver Giants in the fourth round (85th overall).
"That's really cool for him, to be picked by his hometown team," said Scardina.
Other Ravens selected Thursday were defenceman Calen Whitworth (seventh round, 151st overall by the Kamloops Blazers), Darien Craighead (eighth round, 168th overall by the Spokane Chiefs), Jake Fletcher (ninth round, 192nd overall by Medicine Hat) and Mitch Newsome (12th round, 255 overall by the Saskatoon Blades).
"It's great. Last year, Semi didn't have any players selected, and the year before that, there was just one or two… you really have to go back to the years when (NHL players) Colten Teubert and Colton Gillies were drafted to find this many kids picked, and picked high," said Scardina.
"It just shows you what kind of team we had this year."
- with files from Nick Greenizan