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WHEAT KINGS CHOOSE 11 AT BANTAM DRAFT

, ManitobaThe 2009 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft has come and gone in Edmonton, with the Brandon Wheat Kings choosing a total of  eleven players including  a league high seven from Manitoba.

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The Wheat Kings, who finished this past season with a 48-19-3-2 record, used their first pick – 18th overall – to select 6’2” 170 lb Eric Roy of Beauval, Saskatchewan. A mobile defenceman with outstanding skill, Roy scored 25 goals and 42 points in nineteen regular season games for the Meadow Lake Bantams of the Central Four Bantam League this past season. Eric becomes the first Saskatchewan born player to be chosen by the Wheat Kings in the opening round since Brandon opted for center Brayden Schenn in 2006 (9th overall).

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In the second round, the Wheat Kings turned their attention to Manitoba, selecting 6’1” 185 lb blueliner Dylan Kuczek from the Winnipeg Bantam Sharks. The second Manitoban to be chosen in Thursday’s draft (40th overall), Kuczek (pictured player on web site) scored nine goals and 25 points to lead all defencemen in scoring in the Winnipeg AAA Bantam Hockey League.

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With the 49th overall selection, Brandon chose  6’ 155 lb. Dakota Conroy from the Edmonton SSAC Bantams. In 33 games this past season, Conroy averaged close to two points per game, finishing the year with 36 goals and 64 points in 33 games.

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With the 73rd overall pick, obtained from Everett in last year’s deal involving Daniel Bartek, Brandon drafted Choiceland, Saskatchewan‘s Tyrel Seaman. A 6’1“ 170 lb left-winger, Seaman scored 17 goals and 41 points in 24 games with the Tisdale Bantam Trojans this past season.

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The Wheat Kings then used their fifth round pick (106th overall) to take Carter Proft from Spruce Grove, Alberta. A member of the St. Albert Bantams in 2008-09, the 5’11” 165 lb. center scored 39 points including nineteen goals in 33 regular season games this year.

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In round six, Brandon selected Steinbach center Brendan Harms with the 128th overall selection. The 5’9“ 145 lb Harms spent this past season with the Southeast Blizzard Bantams.

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The seventh round saw the Wheat Kings opt for 5’10” 170 lb center Ryan Pulock of Grandview, who spent the 2008-09 season with the Dauphin Bantam Kings. In round eight, Brandon took 6’ 170 lb center Daniel Asham from the Winnipeg AAA Monarchs. In 29 regular season games this year, Asham scored 12 goals and 30 points.

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The Wheat Kings then turned their attention to Brandon, selecting 5’9“ 140 lb blueliner Tanner Jago from the Bantam AAAWheat Kings. A local product, Jago had three goals and 10 points in thirty games this past season.

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Rounding out Brandon’s list of draft picks were right-winger Lyrik Friesen of the Winnipeg Bantam Hawks as well as another Winnipeg right-winger Jordan Dragojevic in the tenth and eleventh rounds respectively.

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Of the eleven players chosen by the Wheat Kings Thursday, eight were forwards and three were defencemen.

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The Portland Winter Hawks, who had the first pick in Thursday’s draft after winning the lottery earlier this month, chose defenceman Derrick Pouliot from the Weyburn Bantam Red Wings. Killarney’s Reid Gow was the top western Manitoban to be chosen, going to the Spokane Chiefs 16th overall. The top Brandon born player to be chosen was blueliner Landon Cross, who went to the Kamloops Blazers with the 54th overall pick (3rd round). Cross played last season with the Brandon Bantam Wheat Kings.

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Players eligible for Thursday’s Bantam Draft were 1994 born players who reside in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Territories, Yukon and the western United States.

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