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Hockey Challenge 2014

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IMac signs with Preds

Just announced by the Thunderbirds.... Ian McKenzie has been signed to an entry level contract by the Nashville Predators.

Congratulations to Ian on the contract, we all wish him well.

Website story can be found here.


Draft Coverage...

I'm getting a late start this morning... and Seattle has already selected two players.

Kelowna jumped on the Los Angeles kid in the pick before Seattle, so he will not be joining Brandon Carlson.

Round 1, Pick #15 - The 1st Round selection in the 2008 Bantam Draft #15 overall is Connor Sanvido a Center from Maple Ridge, BC. Sanvido is 5'9" and 165... so he will need to grow (which he probably will). This seems like a steal for the Tbirds at the 15th pick and I love this selection even if the kid doesn't work out. Seattle needs goal scoring and they went out and got a kid who scored 74 goals this year and 67 the year before in AAA Bantam.

Comment from Director of Player Personnel Colin Alexander about Connor Sanvido "He is a dynamic player with prolific scoring ability. His speed makes him a threat whenever he is on the ice.”

Round 2, Pick #36 - With their 2nd Round selection.... Seattle selects Tanner Muth out of Calgary. Muth is 5"11" and 165 and played for the Calgary Royals Bantam AAA team this past season where he had 35 points (8 goals) in 31 games to go along with 65 PIMs. Tanner was also named the "fastest skater" in the Wheatland Classic AAA tournament.

Comment from Alexander on Tanner Muth "Tanner is a good open ice hitter. Confident, puck moving defenseman that comes from the same program that developed Thomas Hickey.

Interesting note that Portland just selected Brayden Holloway from Wapella, SK with the first pick in the 3rd round. Not sure if its a brother or maybe a cousin...

Round 3, Pick #58 - With their 3rd round selection Seattle selects a 6'3", 173 Defensemen Ryan Armbruster from Neudorf, SK. Armbruster played with Brayden Holloway on the Melville Bantam AA Millionaires. He served as one of the Alternate Captains for the team. Here is a crappy video of Armbruster fighting (that's what it says) He had 6 points (2 goals) and 73 PIMs in 26 games for the Millionaires. CORRECTION... if you include games outside of their league schedule, Ryan had 12 points (4 goals) and 194 PIMs in 64 games.

Another interesting note as Calgary takes a Center out of Arlington, Texas.

Also... only 4 goaltenders taken through 3 rounds... which I believe is relatively normal.

Round 4, Pick #67 - This is a pick Seattle got from Portland and is the first of the 4th round and they use it to select Colin Jacobs, Center from Coppell, Texas. Very interesting selecting here by the Tbirds who are obviously hoping for a Home Run with Jacobs. The question with kids south of the border is always whether they will actually report to the team. Jacobs would be a similar selected to the Brandon Carlson selection from a year ago where they have appeared to get 1st round talent in a later round in hopes of convincing the kid to come play in Seattle. Here is an article on Colin. He also played for the Bauer Selects teams in the past. I'll see what more I can dig up on Colin.

Here is what Alan Caldwell had to say about Jacobs:

"Jacobs is one of the best 1993-born players in the United States. The fact that he went this low means he'll be a tough sell on the WHL. First-round talent if he comes."

Round 4, Pick #80 - Seattle selects Right Wing Robbie Newton from Saskatoon, SK. 6'2", 165... Robbie played for the Saskatoon AA Bantam Generals this past season. I can't find any stats on Newton, but hes a good sized kid for a 14 year old. UPDATE: Stats for Newton from the previous season... He had 12-13-25 and 48 in 46 games.

Round 5, Pick #95 - Seattle received this pick in a trade with Prince George... and they use it to select Left Wing Mitch Elliot from Prince George, BC. Mitch is 6'3" and 175 and in 11 tournament games had 14 points (8 goals) and 12 PIMs. Here was a scouting report on Elliot from Dave Smith a Prince George area scout who works for Chilliwack but previously worked for the TBirds:

"Mitch, he's a big hockey player -- sort of a power forward," Smith said. "He skates extremely well. With the new rules and the way the game is progressing, he's one of those players that has the ability to combine the size and the great skating. Again, he's a guy with a lot of upside -- sort of sky's the limit as to how far he wants to go. It'll be a matter of him pursuing it if that's what he wants to do."

Round 5, Pick #102 - Seattle selects Defensemen Zach Walker from Saltcoats, SK who is yet another player from the Melville Bantam AA Millionaires. Walker is 5'11" and 140 lbs and if he is a Defensemen... Seattle just got a scoring Defensemen. In 64 games he had 75 points (26 goals) and 52 PIMs.

Round 6, Pick #124 - I like this pick... an American named Tyler, ha. Seattle selects Right Winger Tyler Alos from Spokane, WA. Alos played for the Spokane Jr. Chiefs AAA Bantam team this past season and had 106 points (whoa) on 49 goals to go with 48 PIMs in 42 games. Wow... 106 points in 42 games. Not sure on Height and Weight but his team picture has him wearing a Spokane Chiefs shirt... hope he doesn't mind switching side.

Round 7, Pick #146 - This is my last pick of the day... even though Seattle won't be done. I'll have more profiles later tomorrow and you can always check out Alan Caldwell's blog for the stats on all of the picks. Seattle selects Right Wing Seth Ambroz from New Prague, MN. In 25 games playing for New Prague High School, Ambroz had 34 goals and 32 assists. Caldwell and I agree on this pick... the numbers are outstanding but can they really convince this kid to come to Seattle instead of playing at Minnesota?


Few more quotes from Colin Alexander on some of the draft picks.

On Ryan Armbruster: “Ryan is a rugged physical, defenseman with raw skills that we look forward to seeing develop in the upcoming years.”

On Colin Jacobs: “Colin is a prototypical NHL style player that combines exceptional size and skill. We are excited to add a top first round quality player at this point in the draft."

On Robbie Newton: "Robbie is a big guy that skates well and is projected to be a power forward in our league."

On Mitch Elliot: "Mitch is a big player that skates well. He really started to establish himself when he was moved to forward part way through this past season."

On Zach Walker: "Zach is smart, puck moving defenseman. He showed good offensive instincts on the power play. He is also a real competitor in his own end."

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