By Scott Billeck
A Winnipegger has been chosen in the first round of this year’s WHL Bantam draft.
Nolan Patrick, son of former NHLer and Brandon Wheat Kings alumni Steve Patrick, will be following in his father’s footsteps. Patrick was chosen fourth overall by the Wheat Kings in today’s WHL Bantam Draft being held in Calgary.
“I am really excited,” says Nolan. “It’s awesome going there, trying to follow in my dad’s footsteps and then some of my buddies got drafted there too, so that’s pretty cool, knowing guys going out there for camp.”
Patrick played for the AAA Bantam Division 1 Winnipeg Hawks this past year. He led the division in scoring, tallying 75 points despite only playing in 19 games for the club. He was, obviously, the player of the year in Triple A Bantam in 2012-13.
“It is well-deserving; he is a very good player.” says Neil Chow, head coach of the Winnipeg Hawks. “He was always a good player, when we got him he was a good player and he continued to be a good player. They will be able to use him in a lot of different situations, he is a dynamic player, and he will be good wherever he plays.”
The Wheat Kings are thrilled to have him.
“Nolan is a tremendous player,” Kelly McCrimmon, Wheat Kings General Manager said via the Wheat Kings official website. “He does possess a lot of room for development…but we think he’s going to continue to improve and be a great junior and certainly a successful pro.”
The 6’1”, 170 lb center comes from quite the pedigree. His father, Steve Patrick, played for the Wheat Kings for three seasons in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
He was drafted in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, 20th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1980. He went on to play a total of six seasons in the NHL, racking up 108 points in 250 games played.
“It’s very exciting, the day came fast,” said the delighted father. “It’s very exciting for him to go to Brandon because I played there and it is close to home. They’ve got a great organization with a great history of making the playoffs and developing their kids, it’s a good start.”
Patrick is highly touted by scouts in the WHL.
“Patrick is a top prospect due to several intriguing factors,” says Tyler Niesz, head of Western Elite Hockey Prospects and WHL bantam scout of 10 years. “He projects as a huge centerman of over 6’4, his dad is a tall man and he is very much still growing. He has very high end offensive skill for a big player and his skating is improving all the time. He has the best pro potential of any player in this draft according to many in the scouting world. He has a long reach, good board work, hits hard and will be a big time power forward in the WHL.”
Encouraging words for the 14-year-old Patrick, who hopes to join up with the team in two years.
The WHL Bantam Draft 2013 sees teams selected players graduating from Bantam-aged programs. Players born in 1998 are eligible this year as teams look to repopulate their systems.
F – Nolan Patrick (Winnipeg) – 4th overall Brandon Wheat Kings
F – Brett Howden (Oakbank) – 5th overall Moose Jaw Warriors
F – Tanner Kaspick (Brandon) – 25th overall Brandon Wheat Kings
D – Liam Schioler (West St. Paul) – 28th overall Regina Pats
F – Vince Loschiavo (Winnipeg) – 31st overall Kootenay Ice
G – Ryan Kubic (Winnipeg) – 39th overall by Vancouver Giants
F – Dawson Martin (Winnipeg) – 40th overall Calgary Hitmen
F – Ty Lewis (Brandon) – 47th overall by Brandon Wheat Kings
F – Jermaine Loewen (Arborg) – 48th overall by Kamloops Blazers
F – Scott Mickoski (Winnipeg) – 57th overall by Vancouver Giants
D – Blake Jameson (Brandon) – 75th overall by Victoria Royals
D – Brady Pouteau (Oak Bluff) – 79th overall by Regina Pats
F – Kevin Jakisch (Winnipeg) – 81st overall by Everett Silvertips
D – Morgan Geekie (Strathclair) – 90th overall by Tri-City Americans
F – Dylan Thiessen (Winnipeg) – 91st overall by Brandon Wheat Kings
F – Nicholas Labossiere (Winnipeg) – 101st overall by Spokane Chiefs
G – Ryan Hall (Winnipeg) – 112th overall by Kelowna Rockets
D – Dean Stewart (Portage la Prairie) – 127th overal by Saskatoon Blades
F – Linden McCorrister (Winnipeg) – 135th by Brandon Wheat Kings
F – Conner Barley (Winnipeg) – 141st by Kootenay Ice
F – Adam Touchette (St. Adolphe) – 143rd by Portland Winterhawks
F – Josh Curtis (Winnipeg) – 156th by Prince George Cougars
F – Nathan Halvorsen (Winnipeg) – 172nd by Calgary Hitmen
D – Connor Bowey (Winnipeg) – 175th by Kelowna Rockets
F – Tristin Langan (Swan River) – 183rd by Moose Jaw Warriors
D – Garrett Kuklica (Winnipeg) – 185th by Kelowna Rockets
F – Tyler Kirkup (Virden) – 190th by Red Deer Rebels
D – Riley Shamray (Oak River) – 194th by Calgary Hitmen
D – Brandon Storey (Grandview) – 201st by Brandon Wheat Kings
F – Bennett Dalke (La Salle) – 213th by Brandon Wheat Kings
D – Eric Lavoie (Winnipeg) – 218th by Edmonton Oil Kings
F – Brayden Billaney (Boissevain) – 223rd by Brandon Wheat Kings
F – Ryan Sokoloski (Winnipeg) – 232nd by Swift Current Broncos
G – Brett Evans (Grandview) – 237th by Saskatoon Blades
F – Brendan Kokorudz (Brandon) – 240th by Edmonton Oil Kings
D – Matthew Stanley (Balmoral) – 248th by Swift Current Broncos