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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Western Canada AAA Hockey Championships

The Western Canada AAA Hockey Championships are set to being next week in Stony Plain, AB.  The host Spruce Grove PAC Saints will be joined by provincial winners; BWC (BC), SSAC (AB), Pembina Valley (MB) and the winner of Friday's game between Balgonie and the North East Wolfpack from Saskatchewan.

This year's championships feature many of the top prospects in western Canada, many of whom will be top two round selections in this year's bantam draft.  Here are the players who we feel could be top 2 rounders and who are participating at this year's event.

Matt Barzal, Ty Ronning, Adam Musil, Ty Schultz and Nick McBride all have a chance to be top 2 round selections for the bantam draft on May 3.  Matt Barzal will be making his 3rd appearance at westerns.  He was a 12 yr old Peewee call-up back in 2010 when BWC hosted.  Scouts and others will also get a chance to watch 98 born D- Dante Fabbro who will be a first round in next year's bantam draft.

Giorgio Estephan is a consensus top 10 selections for the bantam draft.  We will also get a sneak peak at western Canada's best 98 born talent in F- Tyler Benson, who many feel would be a top 10 selection this year if he were available!  Another is D- David Quenneville who will be a first rounder by the looks of things, he won the AMBHL North defenceman of the year.

Pembina Valley (MB)
Colt Conrad should garner serious first round consideration on draft day.  He is perhaps the most dynatmic and offensive forward from the province of Manitoba this year.  Pembina Valley have several other players who should get a look but perhaps not in the top couple rounds.  Maybe a strong westerns against some top teams can change that.

Balgonie (SK)
Jayden Halbgewachs has been the top forward in Saskatchewan all long by evidence of his SBAAHL leading 55 goals and his winning of MVP at both major Saskatchewan bantam tournaments in Prince Albert and Regina.  Jayden should be taken somewhere in the first round depending on team need etc.  Brennan Riddle is another garnering some series attention in the second round of the draft.  Nolan Reid is a 98 born defenceman who people will notice.

North East (SK)
Nobody currently ranked by us in the top 2 rounds but some like the play of Tristan Elder or Caleb Seaman.  However, the play has been a bit sub-par so far in the playoffs.  Again a strong Sask First and/or westerns could vault either of these players in to that area of the draft.

Spruce Grove (Host)
They have some talent with Conner Lukan, Nathan Bizeau and Justin Jacobson but again none are ranked up in that range as of yet!

So with this year's Western Canada Bantam AAA Championships set to go, here is a look at some history surrounding the tournament, with various records and other statistics of note.

2010 Championships

Draft Picks (31)
Calgary Bisons (AB), BWC (Host), NSWC (BC), Saskatoon (SK), Winnipeg Monarchs (MB)

Winnipeg Monarchs (7)
Madison Bowey 23, Paul Stoykewych 38, Michael Lorange 50, Kurt Keats 95, Jonathan Martin 135, Taeron Lewis 151, Nick Zajac 174

Burnaby Winter Club (3)
Anthony Ast 19, Joe Cavalho 73, Bo Pellah 126

North Shore Winter Club (6)
Nicolas Petan 16, Jackson Houck 57, Trevor Lima 123, Braden Krogfross 140, Daniel Urbani 233, Dexter Dancs 255

Saskatoon Frostbite (5)
Colby Harmsworth 54, Brett Lewchuk 105, Conner Kortko 130, Dawven Berggren 188, Elliott Peterson 242

Calgary Bisons (10)
Jonathan Merkley 3, Morgan Klimchuk 5, Spencer Morse 43, Coleman Vollrath 55, Brodie Clowes 90, Kyle Krabben 125, John Edwardh 136, Austin Seaman 148, Braeden Salverda 220, Andrew Weich 235

2011 Championships

Draft Picks (25)
Winnipeg Sharks (Host), Winnipeg Hawks (MB), BWC (BC), SSAC (AB), Prince Albert (SK)

Winnipeg Sharks (3)
Reid Zalitach 38, Ryley Lindgren 96, Ryan Pruden 286

Winnipeg Hawks (4)
Adam Brooks 25, Dane Schioler 36, Dallas Starodub 77, Maverick Rafter 227,

Burnaby Winter Club (3)
Lucas Mercer 133, Victor Dombrovskiy 156, Brandon Delgrosso 191,

SSAC (10)
Aaron Irving 9, Jordan Papirny 22, Zach Patterson 34, Bryar Ortynski 44, John Quenneville 54, Erik Donald 117, Zachary Riauka 122, Riley Simpson 123, Ben Sowa 132, Jake Debrusk 137

Prince Albert (5)
Jordan Harris 10, Miles Warkentine 16, Bryton Sayers 48, Ryan Duret 111, Lance Yaremchuk 116

Scoring Leaders Since 2007 
1.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins  BWC  10-4-14 - 2008
2.  Adam Brooks  WPG HAWKS  9-5-14 -2011
3.  Matt Barzal  BWC  7-7-14  - 2011
4.  TJ Foster  Spruce Grove  8-5-13 - 2007
5.  Michael St. Croix  Winnipeg Monarchs  6-6-12  - 2007
6.  Ty Rattie  Airdrie  7-5-12  - 2008
7.  Charles Inglis  Winnipeg Sharks  6-6-12 - 2007
8.  Mike Winther  Airdrie  5-6-11 - 2009
9.  Mitch Holmberg - Sherwood Park  8-3-11 - 2008
10.Jason Swyripa - Airdrie 4-7-11 - 2008

Participating Teams Since 2004
British Columbia
BWC 12, 11, 10, 08, 07
NSWC 10, 05
Kelowna 06, 04
Abbotsford 06, 09

SSAC 12, 11, 05
Airdrie  09, 08
MH  06
Calgary Bisons 10
Spruce Grove 07
Fort Sask. 04

Prince albert '11
Saskatoon Frostbite '10
Weyburn '09
Warman '08, 09
Balgonie, 07
Martensville '06
Yorkton '05
Moose Jaw '05
Naicom '04

Winnipeg Monarchs '10, 09, 08, 07, 04
Winnipeg Sharks '11, 07, 06
Winnipeg Hawks '11, 05
Pembina Valley '12 (first time a non Winnipeg team has represented Manitoba since 1994 when the Russell Rams made it)


Anonymous said...

Terrell Draude should also be considered as the top forward out of Sask. Led the SBAAHL in scoring with 54 goals and 94 points, 1st team All-star in Regina Tournament. Also good chance Sask Valley would be in league final if Draude wasn't suspended for the final game against the Wolfpack. Saskatchewan has several top end players that deserve recognition as well, try promoting them all NOT just one.

The PA. tournament did not have a MVP just an All-Star team that consisted of Matthew Campese, Jayden Halbagawachs, Regan Nagy,
Tate Olson, Brennan Riddle and Blade Roh.

Anonymous said...

Feel sorry for Spruce Grove, would it be a better idea to maybe wait to name the host of Westerns until after Christmas? At least that way the host is not one of the weakest teams in the league, they are going to get destroyed. Maybe pick a few potential hosts before the season starts and whoever has the best record after a certain point gets it, that way the location is still spread around but the host team is decent.

Anonymous said...

I see balgonie is listed as 2012 rep. A little premature maybe? Game 3 hasn't been played yet.

Anonymous said...

That's better. For what it's worth I think the wolfpack will represent Saskatchewan this year. They have more overall depth.

annon said...

I agree with 1:40 pm, Sask Valley wins that 3rd game easy, if Draude plays.

Anonymous said...

Prairie Storm wins tonight as North East is without their best defenceman in Fiske and the rest of the d will not be able to handle Halbagawachs.

Anonymous said...

Well PS is missing their starting goalie and have 2 kids that shouldnt be playing with injuries, so lets call it square lol... if it was anything like game 1 it will be a gooder!

Anonymous said...

Which goalie is their starter Pyne or Roh? Pyne has played both games in the finals, (playing very well with a 2.00 GAA) and Roh was the top goalie in the Prince Albert tournament. Sounds like they are both good.

Injuries are a part of the game. They happen and can't be controlled.

Its called adversity. Teams and players are better after working through adversity.

Having self control, an unselfish attitude and a team first mentality are attributes all people, not just hockey players, should strive for.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a toss up. Balgonie coach has a hang nail, but now I heard NE coach has an ear infection, so it will be close. Usually teams wait till they lose to start making excuses, but maybe it is better to do it in advance, so there are no surprises when one or the other team loses. By the way, where is their best defenceman(cough, cough) Fiske.

Anonymous said...

Huge Wolfpack win... They were just a deeper 3 line team. Wolfpack goaltending was better and they basically weathered the Storm pressure.