Friday, June 24, 2016

One Pat and One Warrior Taken In First Round of 2016 NHL Draft

The 2016 NHL Draft began with the first round on Friday evening from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Four WHL players heard their names called within the first 30 picks.

Jake Bean (Calgary, AB / Calgary Hitmen), Brett Howden (Oakbank, MB / Moose Jaw Warriors), Lucas Johansen (Port Moody, BC / Kelowna Rockets) and Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, AB / Regina Pats) were all selected in the first round of the NHL Draft on Friday. The NHL Draft resumes Saturday morning with the second round beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET.

In total, 15 of the 30 selections made on Friday evening developed this year in the Canadian Hockey League. With the WHL’s 50th Season recently completed, a total of 1,937 players have now been selected in the NHL Draft out of the WHL.

Jake Bean (13th overall, Carolina Hurricanes)
A native of Calgary, AB, Bean had a breakout year with the Hitmen, leading all Western Hockey League defencemen with 24 goals and in the process setting the franchise record for most goals in single season by a blueliner. His long list of accolades this past campaign included his 12 power play goals, which tied for top spot among WHL blueliners, and his 64 points, sixth among rearguards. He was also named the WHL Eastern Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player in 2015-16.

Brett Howden (27th overall, Tampa Bay Lightning)
This season, Howden had 24 goals and 64 points in 68 games and finished fourth in team scoring.  During the 2016 WHL Playoffs he had four goals and 15 points in 10 games and was tied for third in team scoring. From Oakbank, MB, Howden was selected fifth overall by the Warriors in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. In 2014-2015 he finished with 22 goals and 46 points in 68 games and was fifth in WHL rookie scoring.

Lucas Johansen (28th overall, Washington Capitals)
Johansen played in 65 games for the Rockets in 2015-16, scoring 10 times and adding 39 assists, for a 49-point season, his second in the WHL. The Port Moody, BC native became the second Rocket chosen by the Capitals in the last three years on Friday after former Rocket Madison Bowey was drafted by Washington in the 2013 NHL Draft. Other Rockets defenceman to be drafted in the first round of the NHL Draft include Scott Hannan, Luke Schenn and Tyler Myers.

Sam Steel (30th overall, Anaheim Ducks)
The Sherwood Park, AB native had a strong year for the Regina Pats during the 2015-16 Season. He played in all 72 games and tallied 70 points (23g-47a). Steel added to his totals during a strong performance in the WHL Playoffs where he averaged over a point-per-game. Over 12 games in the WHL Playoffs, Steel managed 16 points (6g-10a). Steel also earned a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and received a spot on Team Cherry for the 2016 CHL Top Prospects game.




Anonymous said...

Nice spot for Sam to land. Getzlaf probably has 3 good years left and then he can slide in there.

Anonymous said...

I found it funny that Steel and Benson drafted a couple picks apart since they went 1-2 in the WHL Draft a few years ago. Steel a much better fit for Ducks (who are already huge). Oilers have enough tiny skilled forwards and I think would have ruined Steel. Benson taken by Oilers is also a perfect fit because he's bigger and plays a hard/rugged game that the Oilers are seeking badly.