Calgary, Alberta – The 2004 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft has come to an end in Calgary and the Brandon Wheat Kings stole the spotlight engineering two early morning trades, landing a big, mobile defenceman as well as 17-year old local product in the process.r 

The Wheat Kings, who had the sixth overall selection in today’s draft dealt the pick to Red Deer in exchange for the Rebels’ first round pick (16th overall), the rights to 17-year old Tyler Dittmer as well as three other draft picks.r 

Brandon then swapped first round picks with the Kamloops Blazers and used the 11th overall selection to take 6’4” 185 lb defenceman Keith Aulie of the Weyburn Bantam RedCoat Rams. In 27 games with the Rams this year, Aulie had 12 goals, 27 points and 58 minutes in penalties.r 
Aulie becomes the the sixth Saskatchewan born player to be taken by Brandon in the opening round of the WHL draft. He joins Brett Dickie (1998), Mike Wirll (1997), Wade Skolney (1996), Aaron Goldade (1995) and Wade Redden (1992).r 

A third round pick (53rd overall) of the Rebels in 2002, Dittmer is coming off an outstanding season with the AAA midget Wheat Kings. In addition to leading Brandon to it’s first ever National Midget Championship, the speedy 5’10” 170 lb. Dittmer led the league in scoring with 37 goals and 83 points in only 38 games and finished four in scoring at last week’s tournament with six goals and 11 points in seven games while being named the Top Forward.r 

In round two, Brandon chose 6’2” 175 lb defenceman Derek Robinson of the Winnipeg AAA Bantam Sharks (24th overall) and 6’1” 165 lb center Matt Hallick from the Medicine Hat Hounds. Hallick had 22 goals and 43 points in 36 games this past season while Robinson finished the year with three goals, 11 points and 89 penalty minutes.r 

Of the eleven players chosen by the Wheat Kings – there were three defenceman, two goalkeepers and six forwards. The top western Manitoba player chosen was defenceman Alex Plante of the Brandon bantam Wheat Kings, who was drafted by Calgary with the first pick of the second round (21st).r 

Round 1 11th Keith Aulie Defence Rouleau, Sask.r 
Round 2 24th Derek Robinson Defence Winnipeg, Manitobar 
Round 2 36th Matt Hallick Centre Medicine Hat, Alta.r 
Round 4 65th Mike Proudley LW Winnipeg, Manitobar 
Round 4 67th Nathan Green Centre Winnipeg, Manitobar 
Round 4 69th Allan Gudmundson RW Selkirk, Manitobar 
Round 6 105th Matt Smith Defence Debden, Saskatchewanr 
Round 7 136th Jay Fehr Centre Morden, Manitobar 
Round 8 144th Christian Chivilo Goal Landon, Albertar 
Round 9 164th Cale Jefferies LW Glenboro, Manitobar 
Round 10 184th Joe Caligiuri Goal Winnipeg, Manitobar 

The Prince George Cougars had the first selection of today’s draft and used it to select Ryan Kerr of North Vancouver. The Saskatoon Blades then gook White Rock, B.C. native Colton Gillies with the second selection. With the third pick, Seattle opted for Thomas Hickey of Calgary.r 

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