Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats Hockey Club made nine selections including one goaltender, three defencemen and five forwards Thursday in Calgary.
The Blue and White opened the 2014 Draft by making history for the organization by selecting a goaltender in the first round for the first time. The Pats called Jordan Hollett’s name at the 13th slot in the opening round. Hollett (6’3”, 175) played with the Okanagan Hockey Academy this season, posting a record of 23-4-0 with a 1.75 GAA and six shutouts.
Regina added to the forward group in the second round by taking Erik Gardiner with the 35th Overall pick. Gardiner (6’0”, 160) played with the Humboldt Broncos of the SBAAHL this season, totaling 61 points (24G, 37A) and 48 penalty minutes in 31 games.
The Blue and White didn’t have a pick in the third or fourth rounds and resumed their selections in the fifth by taking gritty defenceman Riley Bruce 101st Overall. Bruce (5’11”, 151 lbs) played with the Winnipeg Hawks in 2013-14, totaling 23 points (6G, 17A) and 165 penalty minutes in 28 games this season. He added 8 points (3G, 5A) and 65 penalty minutes in ten playoff games.
Picked by the Blue and White in the 6th round (123rd Overall), Garrett Ewert (6’1”, 165 lbs) suited up for 49 games with the Kamloops Blazers Bantam Tier 1. Over the season, he totaled ten points (2G, 8A) and added 72 penalty minutes. To make the pick, the Pats swapped their 2015 6th round pick with Lethbridge to re-acquire their own 2014 6th round selection which Regina originally sent to Everett for defender Tye Hand.
Taken by the Pats in the 7th round (145th Overall), Carson Welke (5’9”, 160 lbs) was 7th in SBAAHL scoring in 2013-14 registering 64 points (27G, 37A) and 109 penalty minutes in 30 games. He also led the league in playoff scoring with 23 points (14G, 9A) in nine games en route to the Yorkton UCT Terriers winning the provincial title.
Selected in the 8th round (167th Overall), Zachary Cox (6’2”, 154 lbs) was fourth on the AMBHL’s Airdrie Xtreme in scoring this season with 30 points (17G, 13A) and 22 penalty minutes in 32 games.
Taken in the 9th round (189th Overall), Gary Haden (5’8”, 140 lbs) led the Airdrie Xtreme in points, was sixth in AMBHL scoring with 70 points (39G, 31A) and tied for 3rd among goal scorers.
Picked in the 10th round (211th Overall), Adam Sandstrom (6’1”, 160 lbs) tallied 18 points (4G, 14A) and 50 penalty minutes in 33 games for the Red Deer Rebels (White) of the AMBHL.
The Regina Pats’ final pick of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft in the 11th round (232nd Overall) was Robert Holmes. The Pats swapped 11th round picks with the Swift Current Broncos to make the selection. Holmes (5’10”, 145 lbs) had nine points (2G, 7A) in 26 games over an injury shortened season.
"I think anytime you leave the draft you come away optimistic,” commented Regina Pats Director of Scouting Dale McMullin at the conclusion of the Draft. “Ultimately it’s a couple years down the road, but I think we left with some good kids, kids were excited about and I think kids that can develop and become a Regina Pat at some point."
The first opportunity for the Pats to see these prospects in action in Regina will be the annual Spring Camp beginning May 23rd on the ice at the Cooperators Centre.