Pats pick pair of centres early in Prospects Draft

The Regina Pats picked a pair of scoring centres with their first two picks of the Western Hockey League’s Prospects draft.

The Pats entered the draft with the sixth overall pick but selected centre Cole Temple out of Brandon fifth overall after swinging a draft picks-only deal with Swift Current.

Temple, 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, had a whopping, team-leading 108 points in 28 regular season games with the U-15 AAA Wheat Kings. Temple scored 58 goals and 50 assists in the regular season. He also added 15 goals and 15 assists in 11 games with the Wheat Kings in the Winnipeg AAA U15 Hockey League playoffs.

“He’s a highly skilled player. He can make plays, skates very well, has great edges and has the ability to spot open guys. He sees the ice as good as most in this 2007 draft. There’s not much not to like,” said Pats director of scouting Dale McMullin on the team’s website.

With their second-round, 31st overall pick, the Pats picked up centre Corban Almen from the U15 AA Saskatoon Outlaws. Almen, listed at 5-foot-10 and 163 pounds, scored 55 goals and 37 assists for 92 points in 31 games for the Outlaws and played six games as an affiliate with the U18 AAA Saskatoon Blazers, scoring two goals and an assist.

The Pats then went across town to the Saskatoon Generals U15 AA team for their third-round, 53rd overall pick, defenceman Brayden Smith. Smith, 6-foot, 155 pounds, scored 19 goals and 36 assists for 55 points in 31 games.

The Pats chose Wyatt Stinton, a 5-foot-8, 145-pound centre from Flin Flon with their fifth-round, 102nd overall pick. He scored 23 goals and 24 assists for 47 points in 30 games for the Rink Hockey Academy’s U15 prep team.

Their first seventh-round selection, 136th overall, was goaltender Cruz Chase from the U15 AAA Airdrie Xtreme. At 5-foot-10, 144 pounds, Cruz played 16 games with the Xtreme, getting a 2.13 goals against average and one shutout with a 14-2-0 record and a 92.5 save percentage. Their second seventh round pick, 141st overall, was Samuel Laplante, a 5-foot-11, 157-pound defenceman from the Okotoks Oilers’ U15 AAA program. He scored three goals and seven assists for 10 points in 29 games for the Oilers, adding two goals and an assist in four playoff games.

The Pats then picked Owen Nelson, a 6-foot-1, 160-pound right wing from the Prince Albert U15 AA Pirates for their eighth round, 163rd overall pick. Nelson scored 36 goals and 32 assists for 68 points in 31 games with the Pirates.

The Pats’ ninth-round, 185th overall pick was Kelsen Podworny, a 6-foot tall, 160 pound forward from the Okanagan Rockets U15 AAA team. He had 22 goals and 19 assists for 41 points in 28 games for the Rockets in the regular season, and topped that with seven goals and six assists for 13 points in seven playoff games.

The Pats also traded for a goaltender at the draft, picking up 20-year-old Koen McInnes from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for a sixth round pick in 2026 and a seventh round pick in 2024.

“We were looking for some experience in net, and we think Koen can provide that,” said Regina Pats Head Coach and GM John Paddock on the Pats’ website.

Grand Coulee product Luke Moroz was chosen 15th overall by the Prince Albert Raiders. He tallied 47 goals and 61 assists for 108 points in 27 games for the Prairie Storm in the Saskatchewan U15 AA hockey league, as well as a pair of games for the U18 AAA Moose Jaw Warriors, where he picked up an assist.

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