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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Bantam Draft Day

The draft has already started... and the Tbirds are up in two picks after Everett. I'll try to update this as the day goes along.

With their first 1st round selection the Tbirds have selected Dante Fabbro. Fabbro is a former teammate of Mathew Barzal and I don't think that's truly a coincidence. Fabbro is 6'0" and about 170 lbs. He's an offensive defensemen and was the captain of the Burnaby Winter Club.

Here are some links on Fabbro:

Seattle picks again at #22 and #27

At #22, Seattle selects Center Kaden Elder. Elder is 5'10" and 160 lbs. Played for the Notre Dame Hounds. He appears to be a right hand shot and it touted as a good two way player. I like hearing us select guys that have intangibles. For years we've heard about Seattle taking guys with "upside" and "size". Maybe Elder is finally the guy I've been hoping for who has great work ethic combined with some good skill and hockey sense. It appears to me as though he was the captain of the Notre Dame club but I can't confirm that. That would make two captains Seattle has selected in the first round. Now appears to me that the pick before Dillon Dube was the captain but Elder might have served as Captain at times.

Links for Elder:

Ar #27, Seattle selects Nolan Volcan, 5'6.5" Left Wing from Edmonton. This is a departure of sorts for the organization as they select a player on the small side and quite frankly I'm fine with that. In fact, I'm excited for it. The last few years have proven that you don't have to be 6'2" and above to dominate in the WHL. You need speed, skill and hockey sense. Playing for Edmonton MLAC Bantam AAA last season he amassed 40 Goals and 36 Assists for 76 Points.

This nugget directly from the team: Marty Volcan, father of Nolan Volcan, played with the Seattle Breakers in 1983-84
Links for Volcan:

In the 5th round Seattle selects Brandon Schuldhaus. Schuldhaus is listed at 6'0" and 166 lbs which is much different from his Elite Prosepects profile that lists him at 5'9" and 175. So I don't know. I would assume the 6'0" is probably more accurate. He's a left handed shot defensemen from Bearspaw, AB and played for Airdrie Bantam last year.

Links for Schuldhaus:

In the 6th round, Seattle selects Jagger Williamson, Right Wing from Lumby, BC. He played last season for Vernon Tier 1 and checks in at 5'7" and 150 lbs.

Couple of links on Williamson:

That will be it for me today. I have some things going on... make sure you follow your twitter feed to get some stock quotes from Russ and Colin about the players we select.


Seattle announces the signing of Mathew Barzal

At a press conference this morning/afternoon at the WHL Awards presentation, the Thunderbirds have announced the signing of 2012 1st overall Bantam Pick Mathew Barzal.

This is, quite obviously, a huge turning point for the Seattle franchise. Barzal is a once a decade (maybe more) type of talent who will see immediate time on the Power Play and has a very good chance to post significant points in his 16 year old season.

From what I saw during training camp... Barzal is exceptionally gifted with vision and hands for a player his age. He isn't the dynamic scorer that you would associate with someone like Ovechkin but he has a good shot and will score his fair share of goals (and possibly more as he matures). He's a player that has a very good chance of playing only 2 seasons in Seattle, being selected in the 2015 NHL draft and never seeing the WHL again.

Beyond having Barzal playing in Seattle next season, his presence also could create a domino effect whereby players like Ryan Gropp and Dylan Gambrell might come to Seattle simply for the opportunity to play with Barzal.

Nothing is guaranteed. Barzal isn't guaranteed to be a superstar any more than any player is guaranteed anything but... I will say this... Barzal is more talented than any draft pick Seattle has had in a very long time. Remember how excited everyone was when Thomas Hickey burst onto the scene as a 15 year old? Barzal has a chance to be better and more special than that.

Let's not hand the championship trophy to the Tbirds quite yet... but this is a major step in the right direction for the franchise.

Is it September yet?

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