Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Balls Drop Wheat Kings' Way

  The Brandon Wheat Kings will have the first overall pick in the 2014 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.
  The Saskatoon Blades won the WHL Draft Lottery on Wednesday, but the Wheat Kings had acquired the right to swap first round picks with the Blades when they dealt Brenden Walker to Saskatoon on Bantam Draft Day in 2012.

  "Great for our organization.  It's a chance to select the player that we think is the best in his age group.  You need to have a season where you finish last to be in this position and we're fortunate from a previous trade that we had the right to flip picks," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, "It's going to be real nice for our staff in terms of our final selections, and obviously a really important day for the organization when you look at some of the young players that we already have.  It gives us a chance to add a real premiere guy to that group."

  It'll be the first time in the 25-year history of the Bantam Draft that the Wheat Kings will have the #1 pick, and it'll give the team another quality building block to join an already strong prospect group that includes Nolan Patrick and Kale Clague, who were the fourth and sixth overall picks in the 2013 Bantam Draft.

  "It's going to give us a chance to draft a star player," added McCrimmon, "The more good players you have, the more depth you have, the stronger your team is going to be in the future and this is a big part of it."

  The WHL Bantam Draft will be held May 1st in Calgary.

  It'll be the first draft for Wade Klippenstein as the Wheat Kings' Director of Scouting.

  He was hired last August to replace long-time Director of Player Personnel Al MacPherson, who stepped down last July.

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