14th Overall: Marc Lajoie – NAX Bantam Prep
With their first selection in the 2018 WHL draft, Tri-City selected the big left defender out of St. Albert, Alberta. Marc Lajoie spent this past season with the NAX Bantam Prep’s where he would often log 25-40 minutes a game…. No seriously he logged that many minutes on most nights and for a kid of his stature it was impressive to see that sort of athleticism and conditioning. Marc is a stay at home defender who loves to impose his frame on players and make it tougher for anyone to beat him wide. Has a bomb of a shot and move well on the blue line. Still raw in terms of his overall skating abilities but scouts often compared him to Griffen Reinhart at this age.
58th Overall: Carson Haynes – Lethbridge Goldenhawks
Captain of his Lethbridge Goldenhawks team, Haynes is a rangy two-way defender who can make his mark on a game with steady defensive abilities or tenacious puck transporting. He certainly has the size and frame right now but really needs to fill out. In a similar position as Jarod Newall was last year. If he simplifies his game and can add some muscle he could be a top four defender at the WHL level.
80th Overall: Tyson Greenway – St. Albert Sabres
One of the steals of the draft if he commits and reaches his full potential. Greenway is cousin of NHL picks Jordan and James Greenway. A skilled power forward who loves to impact the game with his fearless feistiness and consistent physical game. Willing to play over the edge and has swagger to his game. A strong net driver who isn’t afraid to bull over a goalie or two if he needs to. Has the potential to be a top six forward and net front presence on the power play, projects out to be 6’3-6’5.
102nd Overall: Parker Bell – Yale Lions
One of the youngest players selected in the draft, Bell missed a tonne of games this past season due to a nasty shoulder injury he suffered early in the season. Bell started to come back into his own late in the season, a physical fore checker whose got good size and skating abilities. He big and rangy, getting up and down the ice quickly. Doesn’t own a tonne of offensive potential but a hardnosed player who is tough to play against.
118th Overall: Mason Duns ford – BWC Academy
Missed a lot of time this past season with a couple of injuries and ultimately lost his starting job because of it, but Dunsford was projected to be one of the top three goalies in this draft class at the beginning of the season. He’s an intelligent net minder whose puck focus and awareness are top of his class. In terms of physical abilities and athleticism is where he needs to grow, but the upside is there with this kid.
124th Overall: Ben Coghlan – Pacific Coast Hockey Academy
Taken with their sixth pick the draft, Coghlan was arguably Pacific Coast’s top player down the stretch. A strong offensive presence with a lanky frame he utilizes well to protect the puck. Has the ability to recognize time and space and make efficient plays with the puck. North-South style of game, has the WHL size at are 5’10 160lbs and isn’t afraid to play physical. I think Coghlan will be a WHL player or an effective BCHLer. Overall a great pick with potential depth scoring upside.
146th Overall: Paul Minnehan – LA Jr Kings
The first American born player selected by the LA Jr Kings. Minnehan is a productive power forward who still has a tonne of room to grow and polish off his raw abilities. Minnehan’s intelligent and positions himself well, I love the upside to this pick, if he commits he could be a top six forward.
190th Overall: Bryson Andregg – LA Jr Kings
The second of three LA Jr. Kings selected by the American’s. A fluid moving defender who plays a defensive orientated game, I’m excited to see where he ends up as he brings the necessary size to the WHL and can play with physicality. Interesting if he signs.
199th Overall: Calvin Osterberger – Rocky Mountain Roughriders
The third selected American by Tri-City, Osterberger spent his bantam season in the NAPHL with the Rocky Mountain Roughriders.
212th Overall: Cole Larocque – Lethbridge Goldenhawks
Larocque spent this past season in the AMBHL south with the Lethbridge Goldenhawks, Larocque plays a tough physical style of game. He’s big and strong, a feisty fore checker who wins puck races and finished plays with physicality. Has some puck skills to his game and plays with a shot first mentality, putting soft pucks on net and driving. Felt he should have gone earlier, plays that WHL style of game.
217th Overall: Alexander Bonrouhi – LA Jr Kings
One of the best goalies in America, Bonrouhi doesn’t possess the necessary size for a WHL goalie but makes up for it with his competitive nature and quickness in the crease. One of the smartest goalies in the draft, Bonrouhi has Griffen Outhouse upside to his game.
234th Overall: Matt Dorsey – Wenatchee Wild
An interesting pick given that Dorey is 1999 selected in a bantam draft…. He has had some time in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen where he had 6 points in 34 games in 2016-2017. Spent last season with the BCHL Champions the Wenatchee Wild.
Daniel Booker (2001)
Tyson Greenway (2003)
Cole Larocque (2003)
Tristan Rand (2002)
Riley Stuart (2002)
Nolan Price (2003)
Kash Rasmussen (2001)
Landon Roberts (2002)
Jack Barnes (2000)
Parker Bell (2003)
Ben Coghlan (2003)
Kaden Kohle (2002)
Daxton Purser (2002)
Sequoia Swan (2002)
Bryson Andregg (2003)
Tom Cadieux (2002)
Kyle Crewe (2002)
Ross Duthie (2001)
Jarod Newell (2002)
True Crowe (2002)
Ian Ferguson (2002)
Carson Haynes (2003)
Marc Lajoie (2003)
Luke Mittelstadt (2003)
Alexander Bonrouhi (2003)
Talyn Boyko (2002)
Xavier Cannon (2001)
Mason Dunsford (2003)
The Tri-City Americans are in quite an interesting situation going into this season, it seems like it could really be there year to reach the finals with a strong 20 year old core in Parker AcCoin, Nolan Yaremko and either Danny Gatenby or Anthony Bishop. They loss a tonne of talent however from last year, Morgan Geekie, Dylan Coghlan, Jake Bean, and Juuso Valimaki are all 1998’s that will head to the pro levels this season. While last year’s overages Maxwell James, Jordan Topping and Patrick Dea move on from there WHL career. They could also potentially lose their captain in Michael Rasmussen if he managed to make the Detroit Red Wings. This would leave the Americans without their seven of their top eight scorers from last season… Despite these losses Tri-City has a team full of players who look as if they could break out. Isaac Johnson was a 48 points player last year who looks like he could push 70 this upcoming season with more minutes. Sasha Mutala heads into his NHL draft year, and after a strong Ivan Hlinka Gretzky performance he is touted to break out into a 60-65 points player. Kyle Olson is expected to return to that 50-60+ point player he was in 2016-2017, he struggled with injuries in 2017-2018 and only managed 18 points last year. Others to watch are Connor Bouchard, Mitchell Brown and Paycen Bjorklund who are all young kids with potential to break out offensive. My dark horse break out player for this team would be Connor Bouchard who I think could reach 40-50 points this year… The team didn’t really bring in any new players to the team but drafted 1999 born Matt Dorsey in the bantam draft who is expected to make the team, he played in Wenatchee last season with the Wild and won a BCHL championship… Roman Kalinichenko is a player to watch, he’s an old school defender who can log minutes when they need him to, I felt he should have been drafted but I expect he comes in with a chip on his shoulder… The American’s selected 1999 born Krystof Hrabik in the CHL import draft, a big heavy forward who has been able to produce in the Czech 2 league… the rookie situation in Kennewick will be interesting to watch, 2002 born Talyn Boyko has an opportunity to take the reins in net this season a super under age with his late birthday. 2017 first round pick Kaden Kohle is expected to make the team despite not getting an opportunity with the club last season. Jarod Newell and Tom Cadieux should make the team as 2002 born defenders, both had great seasons with their respective clubs and spent some time with the team last season. 2001’s Blake Stevenson and Bryan McAndrew’s could also crack a roster spot out of camp… There 2018 draft class was quite strong in my opinion, the snagged LD Marc Lajoie with the 14th overall pick who can step into the team as early as next season. Tyson Greenway and Carson Haynes are two physically matured players who could also compete into a spot as a 16 year old next year. They also listed Luke Mittelstadt who was our second ranked American born, he is younger brother of Casey Mittelstadt. Paul Minnehan is a steal of a pick if he commits. All in all, we could be looking at 3-4 16 year olds out of this 2003 group making it next season, something that is rare but the group they selected are all quite big and mature.