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AVALANCHE CHOOSE BURZAN, MINER IN NHL DRAFT

Vancouver, BC – One member of the Brandon Wheat Kings and a former AAA Midget Wheat King were among the twenty-eight Western Hockey League players chosen in this weekend’s National Hockey League Draft in Vancouver.

After having seven players chosen in round one on Friday night, 21 more heard their names called on Saturday as the NHL Draft hosted rounds two through 7.

40-goal man Luka Burzan was the lone Wheat King selection, going to the Colorado Avalanche in the sixth round (171st overall).

A Surrey, B.C. product, who was acquired form Moose Jaw at the 2018 WHL Trade Deadline, Burzan was one of only eleven players to reach the 40-goal plateau this past season. In his first full season with the Wheat Kings, the former first round bantam draft pick scored 40 goals, including thirteen powerplay and six game winning goals, and 78 points.

The highlight of the season came back on September 29th when he fired five goals in a Brandon win over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Burzan, who was named to Hockey Canada’s Summer Development Camp this past week, becomes only the second Wheat King to be chosen by the Avalanche in the NHL club’s draft history.

The only other was center Codey Burki, who was a second round selection of Colorado in the 2006 draft.

Colorado does have a former Wheat King in its organization however as former scoring champion Ty Lewis signed with the Avalanche as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and spent this past season with the club’s American Hockey League affiliate in Colorado Springs.

Meanwhile the Avalanche closed out Saturday’s draft by taking Vancouver Giants’ goalkeeper Trent Miner in round seven.

A Brandon native, Miner shared netminding duties with David Tendeck this past season, helping Vancouver to a Western Conference Championship and two within a win of the League Title.

Miner compiled a 24-5-1-1 record, a 1.98 goals against average, a .924 save percentage and three shutouts for the Giants during the 2018-19 campaign.

The Kelowna Rockets, who will host the 2020 Memorial Cup, led the way among WHL clubs with four players selected. Seattle had three players chosen while Calgary, Everett, Prince Albert and the Giants had a pair of players selected.

71 Canadian Hockey League players were selected this weekend.

2019 NHL Draft – WHL Players
Overall – Player (Pos.) – NHL Team; WHL Team; Hometown

Round One (7) 
#3 – Kirby Dach (F) – Chicago Blackhawks; Saskatoon Blades; Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.
#4 – Bowen Byram (D) – Colorado Avalanche; Vancouver Giants; Cranbrook, B.C.
#7 – Dylan Cozens (F) – Buffalo Sabres; Lethbridge Hurricanes; Whitehorse, Yukon
#17 – Peyton Krebs (F) – Vegas Golden Knights; Winnipeg ICE; Okotoks, Alta.
#19 – Lassi Thomson (D) – Ottawa Senators; Kelowna Rockets; Tampere, Finland
#27 – Nolan Foote (F) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Kelowna Rockets; Kelowna, B.C.
#29 – Brayden Tracey (F) – Anaheim Ducks; Moose Jaw Warriors; Calgary, Alta.

Round Two (5)
#37 – Mads Søgaard (G) – Ottawa Senators; Medicine Hat Tigers; Aalborg, Denmark
#41 – Kaedan Korczak (D) – Vegas Golden Knights; Kelowna Rockets; Yorkton, Sask.
#49 – Matthew Robertson (D) – New York Rangers; Edmonton Oil Kings; Sherwood Park, Alta.
#55 – Dillon Hamaliuk (F) – San Jose Sharks; Kelowna Rockets; Leduc, Alta.
#56 – Brett Leason (F) – Washington Capitals; Prince Albert Raiders; Calgary, Alta.

Round Three (4)
#69 – John Ludvig (D) – Florida Panthers; Portland Winterhawks; Kamloops, B.C.
#75 – Adam Beckman (F) – Minnesota Wild; Spokane Chiefs; Saskatoon, Sask.
#77 – Gianni Fairbrother (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Everett Silvertips; North Vancouver, B.C.
#91 – Aliaksei Protas (F) – Washington Capitals; Prince Albert Raiders; Vitebsk, Belarus

Round Five (5)
#125 – Mark Kastelic (F) – Ottawa Senators; Calgary Hitmen; Phoenix, Ariz.
#133 – Carson Focht (F) – Vancouver Canucks; Calgary Hitmen; Regina, Sask.
#136 – Henrik Rybinski (F) – Florida Panthers; Seattle Thunderbirds; Vancouver, B.C.
#140 – Sasha Mutala (F) – Colorado Avalanche; Tri-City Americans; Vancouver, B.C.
#147 – Reece Newkirk (F) – New York Islanders; Portland Winterhawks; Moose Jaw, Sask.

Round Six (3)
#169 – Roddy Ross (G) – Philadelphia Flyers; Seattle Thunderbirds; Meadow Lake, Sask.  
#171 – Luka Burzan (F) – Colorado Avalanche; Brandon Wheat Kings; Surrey, B.C.
#182 – Quinn Schmiemann (D) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Kamloops Blazers; Wilcox, Sask.

Round Seven (4)
#194 – Cole Moberg (D) – Chicago Blackhawks; Prince George Cougars; North Vancouver, B.C.
#199 – Matthew Wedman (F) – Florida Panthers; Seattle Thunderbirds; Edmonton, Alta.
#202 – Trent Miner (G) – Colorado Avalanche; Vancouver Giants; Brandon, Man.
#214 – Dustin Wolf (G) – Calgary Flames; Everett Silvertips; Tustin, Calif.

Since the 1967 NHL Amateur Draft, a total of 2,048 players have been selected out of the WHL, including 121 Wheat Kings. Of those, 315 have been first round selections.

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