The Spokane Chiefs follow the expected course and took defenseman Ty Smith of Lloydminster, Alberta, with the first pick of Thursday's Western Hockey League bantam draft. Read story
Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz took a break after the sixth round of the draft to offer some quick comments about Ty Smith. Speltz noted Smith's solid upbringing and mature personality.
"He's been very excited," Speltz said. "Not only excited but proud."
Smith watched the draft on TV from his home in Alberta. He tried to sum up his emotions when he heard his name called first.
"It was the greatest feeling," he said. "I was very honored."
Smith said he will train in Lloydminster this summer before attending Chiefs camp in August. He said he did a little research on learning about Spokane.
"But I'm mainly focused on developing as a player and person," he said.
After the draft, when the Chiefs passed on the 12th round, Speltz said he and his group stuck to the process with which they entered the event.
"When you have multiple picks ... you can fill holes pretty well," Speltz said.
Speltz noted that the team got a charge out of taking another local player, defenseman Luke Gallagher of Mead. Chiefs Kailer and Keanu Yamamoto are also from Mead.