It was a little bit of a wait before the Regina Pats had a selection in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft.
When it was over, the Pats ended up taking five players from Manitoba, a pair of players from both Saskatchewan and Alberta along with one player from Colorado.
Following trades before the draft, Regina had no picks in the opening two rounds.
In the third round, the Pats with the 51st selection they picked forward Cohen Klassen from the Martensville Marauders U15 AA team. Last season in 24 games, the 5’10 forward had 61 points (32G-29A).
With their second choice in the third round, the Pats picked 6’1 forward Cameron Kuzma from St. Albert, Alberta with the 61st overall selection. He was with the HC Edmonton U15 team last year.
In the fourth round at the 67th spot, the Pats selected defenceman Hudson Kowalchuk from the U15 AA Winnipeg Wild.
Regina’s second pick in the fourth round at the 78th position, saw them take Zachary Lansard from the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg.
The Pats selected Jett Deschamps, once again from the Rink Hockey Academy with the 96th selection in the fifth round.
With 120th selection in the 6th round, Regina took Kohen Volk, a defenceman from Saskatoon. Also in the sixth round, the Pats picked forward Carter Haney from Winnipeg.
In the seventh round with the 148th pick, Regina selected Winnipeg Wild forward Fenton Mann.
Regina selected forward Maddox Malmquist from Rink Hockey Academy with the 173rd selection in the eighth round.
The first goalie taken by the Pats was in the ninth round, when they selected St. Albert product Kai Zurowski.
In the 10th round, the Pats took Dain Gordon from Denver, Colorado. Gordon came from the same program produced Pats forward Matteo Michaels.
With their final pick, Regina selected forward Teagan Kurtz from the Winnipeg Wild.
Following the draft, Pats Head Coach and General Manager John Paddock was happy with how the draft ended up for the team despite not having a pick in the opening two rounds. He noted that they had Klassen ranked higher on their draft board than the 51st overall selection and the team was excited to grab him. He described Klassen as a hardworking two-way centre.
Paddock said the Pats focused on the prairie prospects in this draft, especially with a number of players from B.C. considering the NCAA path.
The best player strategy is on the minds when they make their selections on Draft Day, but was happy that the team was able to add players at all of their positions.
It may not have the same thrill as winning a championship on the bench, the Pats G.M. enjoys the draft process.
“It’s exciting because you’re drafting for the future. ”
Around the League
The Prince Albert Raiders had the first two overall picks in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft.
Their first choice was defenceman Daxon Rudolph from Lacombe, Alberta.
With the second pick they picked centre Riley Boychuk from Cochrane.
Dayne Beuker from Humboldt was the first player selected from Saskatchewan as he went to Lethbridge with the 14th overall pick.
Moose Jaw picked defenceman Aaron Sawatzky from Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA with the 16th overall selection.
Players from Regina who were selected in the Prospects Draft include defenceman Dryden Deobald who taken by Kamloops in the third round with the 64th pick. Prince Albert selected centre Jonah Sivertson in the fourth round with the 71st pick. Portland took centre Cash Lanigan with the 83rd pick in the fourth round. In the seventh round with the 133rd pick, LW Ethan Dundas was picked by Calgary. Medicine Hat took RW Sutton Verot with 141st pick. The 154th pick was defenceman Eli Johnson who was grabbed by Prince George. The eighth round featured Swift Current taking LW Keaton Lesperance with the 162nd pick. Pilot Butte’s Boston Schmidt was selected by Kelowna in the ninth round with the 180th pick.