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June 25, 2017 3:28 pm

PG Cougars Bantam Draft Recap

Friday, May 5, 2017 @ 5:40 AM

It was a busy day in Calgary for the Prince George Cougars who made 12 selections at the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.

With their first round selection (18th overall) in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, the Prince George Cougars selected forward Tyson Phare (Maple Ridge, B.C.).

The 2002-born forward is a right-handed shot, and checks in at 5’11” and 180 pounds. In 28 games this season with the CSSBHL’s Yale Hockey Academy Lions Phare registered 18 goals along with 22 assists for 40 points while adding 56 penalty minutes. During the John Reid Bantam Tournament held in January in St. Albert, AB Phare posted six goals and seven assists for 13 points in six games.

Tyson Phare is a big bodied forward who controls the play down low offensively and can get to the front of the net to score goals. He competes hard, skates well and is reliable in all three areas of the ice,” said Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “He is going to compliment our forward group very well in the seasons to come, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome Tyson and the Phare family to the Prince George Cougars organization.”

“It’s an incredible honor to join the Prince George Cougars,” said Tyson Phare who mentions Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf as his favorite player, and the type of player that he tries to mold his game around. “Getting drafted is just the first step for me though. It’s going to be a lot of hard work over the next few months to get bigger, put on some weight and make sure I’m ready to have the best Training Camp possible.”

 Previous first round draft picks for the Prince George Cougars include:
  • Taylor Gauthier (G – 9th Overall, 2016)
  • Jackson Leppard (F – 8th Overall, 2015)
  • Justin Almeida (F – 5th Overall, 2014)
  • Josh Anderson (D – 3rd Overall, 2013)
  • Jansen Harkins (F – 2nd Overall, 2012)
  • Brad Morrison (F – 7th Overall, 2012)

With their third round selection (62nd Overall) in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft the Cougars selected forward Stanley Cooley (Regina, SK).

The 2002-born forward is 5’9”, 175 pounds and is a right-handed shot. In 30 games with the Notre Dame Hounds (CSSHL) he potted 18 goals while adding 14 assists for 32 points. He added 58 penalty minutes. He dressed in seven Midget AAA games as an under-ager with Notre Dame and added two goals and two assists.

Stanley Cooley is a very dynamic forward that competes at a high level. He loves to score and goes to the hard areas of the ice to do so,” said Cougars Saskatchewan Scout Jason Gordon. “When he was called up to Midget AAA he showed that he can compete and have success against older players. This is a great pick for the Prince George Cougars.”

Some previous third round picks for the Prince George Cougars are:

Jack Michell (D – 2016)

Tyler Ho (F – 2015)

Ethan O’Rourke (F – 2014)

Kolby Johnson (F – 2013)

Shane Collins (D – 2012)

In the fourth round of the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, the Prince George Cougars made two selections. With the 84th overall pick the Cougars went back to Saskatchewan to draft forward Boston Maxwell (Saskatoon, SK). Maxwell is 6’0, 177 pounds and is coming off a season where he scored 22 goals along with 21 assists in just 30 games with the Saskatoon Stallions (Bantam AA). The rugged left winger also had 96 penalty minutes.

“Our fans are going to love this player,” said Saskatchewan scout Jason Gordon. “He’s your prototypical power forward. He plays with heart and energy every shift. He reminds me a lot of Oilers power forward Milan Lucic.”

Maxwell will play for the Saskatoon Contacts (SMAAAHL) next season.

Four picks later the Cougars went South of the border to select forward Zachary Michaelis (Elk River, MN) at number 88 overall.

Michaelis is 5’11”, 180 pounds and had a phenomenal season in Bantam with Elk River. In 58 games he scored 64 goals while adding 72 assists and 34 penalty minutes. He was captain of his team and was a Player of the Year finalist.

Zach Michaelis can flat-out fly,” said Cougars US Director of Scouting, Don Harkins. “His speed makes him extremely difficult to defend. He’s a nightmare in the offensive zone and does a great job of setting up his teammates because of his skating and the way he sees the ice and reads the play. There is loads of pro-hockey upside with him.”

The most recent fourth round pick for the Prince George Cougars: Sam Ruopp back in 2011.

The Prince George Cougars drafted a pair of defencemen in the sixth round of the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.. With the 113th overall selection the Cougars drafted right-handed defenceman Brody Gagno (Langley, B.C.).

Gagno is 5’10, 157 pounds, and the first defenceman selected by the Cougars in the 2017 draft. He played with the Yale Hockey Academy Lions and scored twice while adding 11 assists for 13 points in 29 games. He was teammates with Cougars first round selection Tyson Phare.

“He’s a slick puck-moving defenceman who reads the play, makes the right decisions and gets out of trouble with ease,” said Cougars Scouting Director Bob Simmonds. “The fact that he’s a right-handed shot was also a big bonus for us. We’re thrilled he was still on the board when we were on the clock for this pick.”

Later in the sixth round the Cougars stayed in B.C. to select defenceman Gabe Shipley from the Delta Academy. Shipley also shoots right, and is coming off a season where he had 10 assists and eight penalty minutes in 29 games with the Delta Wild.

Bob Simmonds adds, “Much like Gagno he’s a right handed shot defenceman. You can never have enough of them. His upside is huge. There’s plenty of potential with this kid. He’s got a strong hockey IQ and his compete level is off the charts. It doesn’t hurt that he was also born in Prince George!

Previous sixth round selections from the Prince George Cougars include:

Jesse Mistelbacher (F – 2016)

Reid Perepeluk (F – 2015)

Liam Lytton (F – 2014)

In the seventh round the Cougars snagged their third consecutive defenceman in the draft when they selected Vernon, B.C.’s Scott Gilowski. The left-handed shooting rearguard stands 6’5” and weighs 181 pounds.

In 25 games with the Okanagan Hockey Academy, Gilowski struck for three goals along with 12 assists and 47 penalty minutes.

“He’s 6’5” with a huge wing-span and he’s still growing. His ability to control space and distance with his reach is impressive and he’s got superb upside,” adds Bob Simmonds.

Previous seventh round draft picks for the Cougars include:

Edge Lambert (F – 2016)

Zach Bolton (F – 2016)

Liam Ryan (F – 2015)

Ryan Schoettler (D – 2014)

With their eighth round selection (172nd Overall) the Cougars stayed in B.C. to select forward Michael Hoekstra (Saanich, B.C.). Hoekstra stands 6’0” and weighs 155 pounds and played this season with the Saanich Braves Bantam T1 team. He also dressed in seven games with the BCMML’s South Island Royals where he scored a goal.

Michael Hoekstra was a revelation. He wowed us at the B.C. Cup with his tenacity and compete level. He’s the type of player with his energy and enthusiasm that could end up being a real ‘steal’ from this draft,” comments Bob Simmonds.

 Recent eighth round picks for the Cougars include:

Eric Parker (D – 2016)

Isaiah DiLaura (G – 2015)

Joel Patsey (D – 2014)

Logan Mazerolle (F – 2014)

Josh Curtis (F – 2013)

In the ninth round (194th Overall) the Cougars stayed in B.C. when they selected Prince George’s own Matthew Magrath. The defenceman is 5’11”, 150 pounds and played for the Prince George Bantam Cougars in 2016-17.

 Bob Simmonds adds, “Every single time I watched the Prince George Bantam Cougars play, Magrath stood out for his calm and steady play. We’re very excited to see him at Training Camp competing for a spot one day on his hometown WHL team.”

Matthew Magrath has been a stick boy for the Cougars for each of the past four seasons.

In the 10th round the Cats made two selections. Thanks to a trade with the Prince Albert Raiders the Cougars acquired the 201st overall pick, which they used to select forward Mitch Kohner from Rosemount, MN.

The 5’8”, 172 pound forward dressed in 25 games for Lakeville North Varsity’s high-school team where he scored four goals and four assists for eight points.

“He’s a speedy, high-energy forward who plays the game with an edge. He finishes every check. He’s a pest and Cougar fans will quickly learn to appreciate his style of play,” comments Don Harkins.

The Cougars parted with their 10th round pick in 2018 (which heads back to Prince Albert) in order to move up to select Kohner.

Then with the 216th Overall Pick the Cougars selected their first of back-to-back goaltenders. Up first was Logan Turness (Burnaby, B.C.) from the Burnaby Winter Club Bruins.

Turness is 5’6” and 150 pounds, but is a late birth-year player that has the Cougars staff very excited.

“As far as goaltenders go he could be one of the sleeper picks of this draft. He’s going to grow. He already competes and battles so hard for every inch of his crease and technically he’s a very sound for a kid his age,” said Cougars Goaltending Coach Sean Murray.

With their final pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft the Cougars went back south to Littleton, CO to select goaltender Kannon Flageolle from the Colorado Rampage. The 5’10”, 155 pound netminder is another late birth-year player could also be a late-round steal from the United States.

 Don Harkins adds, “He competes like crazy. Another technically sound goaltender who battles for every puck. He keeps his team in games and I’m very excited to see how he develops.”

In total the Cougars made 12 selections on Thursday in Calgary. Six were forwards, four were defencemen and two were goalies. Geographically the Cougars selected seven players from British Columbia, three from the United States and two from Saskatchewan.

“We’re very happy with our draft today,” said Todd Harkins. “I want to recognize my scouting staff who worked so hard and were so detailed throughout this process. We feel very confident about the 12 new players that we’ve added to our organization today. Now it’s time to meet these families, get these players signed and get them to Training Camp in 2017.”

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