The Spokane Chiefs had to wait until the 16th pick of the first round to make a selection in the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, but they couldn’t have been much happier with the result.
The Chiefs nabbed defenseman Reid Gow from Killarney, Manitoba. The only other time in the 20-year history of the draft they went with a defenseman they took current standout Jared Cowen first overall (2006).
“For us, Reid was highly regarded and we had him as one of our top four defensemen in the draft,” director of player personnel Chris Moulton said. “We were excited to get him 16th overall. He’s a great skater and makes plays. He is the leader of his team and makes everyone around him better.”
Spokane added 11 players with 1994 birthdays – six forwards, four defensemen and a goalie.
“I think we were really well-rounded in this draft,” Moulton said. “We selected a little bit of everything – skill kids who can skate and players with high character. These players fit the Chiefs’ profile.”
Derrick Pouliot of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, was the first overall pick by Portland. A total of 233 players were selected.
Gow, who is 5-foot-11, led the Killarney Raiders of the Westman High School Hockey League to the Manitoba AA provincial title and the bantam Killarney Stars to the Bantam A Tournament of Stars title.
In the second round the Chiefs picked up forward Connor Chartier of Calgary, Alberta. He was the captain of the Airdrie Xtreme, winners of the Western Canadian Bantam Championship. He had 19 goals and 41 points in 31 games, and added nine goals and nine assists in nine playoff games.
“You can’t win without leadership and skill and that is what both Reid and Connor have,” Moulton said. “The most important part for me was that Connor was on the best team in Canada and he was their leader. He is a hard-working kid who sees the ice real well, gets involved physically and does all the things someone needs to do to be a great WHL player.”
The Chiefs did not have a third-round pick, but they had two apiece in the fourth and sixth rounds.
They picked up forward Dillon Bogart, a 5-10 forward from the Spokane Jr. Chiefs, in the 10th round – the only local player selected.
“It’s nice to have a Spokane player in the draft, but we didn’t draft him because we had to but because we wanted to,” Moulton said. “Dillon is a quality player who deserved to be selected and we’re excited to have him as part of our organization.”
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