The Victoria Royals are proud to announce the selection of nine players at the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft today in Red Deer, AB.
Victoria’s nine draft picks were comprised of four skaters from British Columbia, which included two who call Victoria home, as well as three players from Saskatchewan, and one from each of Alberta and Minnesota. By position, Victoria selected five forwards, and four defencemen.
The Royals used their first pick, 19th overall, to select Victoria, BC native Jason Spizawka from the Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). The defenceman played in 28 games for Yale where he earned 25 points (2g-23a), total along with 26 penalty minutes. His 23 assists were tied for the second most on his team. Spizawka also dressed in five postseason contests for Yale and helped the club capture the CSSHL Bantam Prep championship with a 3-1 victory over the Northern Alberta Xtreme.
The 5-11, 160 lb Spizawka is a product of the Victoria Racquet Club Minor Hockey Association and is the twin brother of Ryan, who the Royals drafted in the seventh round.
“He is an intelligent defender who skates well,” Royals’ Senior West Regional Scout Ed Fowler said. “He makes a good first pass out of the defensive zone and is capable of adding offense.”
With the 32nd overall pick, Victoria chose 5-7, 133 lb defenceman Kalem Parker from the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League’s (SBAAHL) Martensville Marauders. During the 2018-19 season, Parker recorded 36 points (6g-30a) and 52 minutes in penalties over 30 games. The native of Clavet, SK finished second in scoring amongst defencemen on his team.
“Parker is an exceptional young defenceman,” Senior East Regional Scout Garry Pochipinski said. “He has great vision and speed.”
For their second selection of the round, the Royals took forward Carter Dereniwsky with the 39th overall pick in the draft. In his most recent campaign, the native of Canora, SK tallied 25 points (8g-17a) and 36 penalty minutes over 41 contests, as an under-age player, with the Yorkton Maulers of the Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League (SMHL).
Last season, the the 5-8, 145 lb forward was also selected by his coaches as the team’s most valuable player and rookie of the year.
“Carter is an offensive forward, who is intelligent and highly skilled,” Pochipinski said. “He uses the whole ice surface and can score, as well as compete at a high level.”
In the third round, 48th overall, Victoria selected Sherwood Park, AB native Tanner Scott from the OHA Edmonton Bantam Prep Team of the CSSHL. The 5-9, 139 lb centre played in 29 games for OHA last season where he accumulated 43 points (18g-25a) and eight minutes in penalties. Scott finished the regular season with the second most points and goals on his team.
“Tanner is a dynamic forward with high pace and speed, who has a great work ethic,” Alberta Scout Scott Fukami said.
The Royals used their 69th overall pick to draft centre Brayden Schuurman from the Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep Team of the CSSHL. This past season, as captain of his team, Schuurman played in 29 regular season games where he recorded 17 goals and 20 assists, to go along with 26 penalty minutes. The Abbotsford, BC product also registered four points (1g-3a) over five postseason contests for Yale as they went on to win the 2018-19 CSSHL Bantam Prep Championship.
“Brayden is a hard working and physical kid,” Fowler said. “He possesses great skills and is a good skater.”
With the 102nd selection, Victoria chose Regina, SK native Carter Briltz. The 5-10, 167 lb forward played for the Regina AA Aces of the SBAAHL where he finished with 51 points (27g-24a) and added 42 penalty minutes in 30 contests. Briltz’ point total ranked him second in team scoring during the regular season, while he also finished in a tie for the club lead in goals.
“Carter is a power forward who has excellent hands and a strong compete level,” Pochipinski said. “He can play a two-way game as well as contribute offensively.”
Victoria’s sixth round selection, 112th overall, was used to draft Powell River, BC product Lukas Shipley of the Vancouver Island hockey Association’s Powell River Kings Bantam Tier 3 Team. Shipley, a defenceman, scored the game winning goal for Powell River in the 2019 BC Midget AAA third-place game to help his team win the bronze medal. Additionally, the 5-10, 145 lb spent the beginning of the 2018-19 season with the West Vancouver Academy Bantam Prep Team of the CSSHL. In 16 contests, he collected 17 points (1g-16a).
“Lukas is great skater with vision, who has a physical side to his game,” Fowler said.
With their 137th overall draft pick, the Royals selected defenceman Ryan Spizawka from the Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep Team of the CSSHL. In 28 games played for Yale, Spizawka, who is a product of Victoria, BC, collected 20 points (8g-12a). The 5-9, 158 lb blueliner won the 2018-19 CSSHL Bantam Prep Championship with Yale.
Ryan is the twin brother to Jason and is also a product of the Victoria Racquet Club Minor Hockey Association.
“Ryan has showed the ability to play both defence and forward,” Fowler said. “He has a great shot and enjoys moving the puck up the ice with agility and speed.”
Victoria used their 10th round pick, 208th overall, on forward Charlie Stramel. The 6-1, 165 lb right winger from Rosemount, MN played parts of last season for the Rosemount Irish Under-14 AA Team and the Minnesota Bantam Elite Great Plains Team of the Minnesota Bantam League. Over the course of the campaign, Stramel collected 22 points (10g-12a) in 19 games.
“Charlie is a big, strong kid who skates very well,” Fowler said. “He has elite offensive skills.”
The WHL Bantam Draft is an annual event in which the clubs of the Western Hockey League select players who have graduated from bantam. For the 2018 draft, players born in 2003 are eligible. The Draft order is determined by way of points in the regular season, with the exception of teams that missed the WHL Playoffs which are placed into a draft lottery for the first round only. With the exception of the lottery results in the first round, teams will select in order of fewest to most regular season points.
During the bantam draft, players from Western Canada and the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are eligible to be selected.