May 25th, 2024

Hurricanes stock up on centremen in Prospects Draft

By Lethbridge Herald on May 9, 2024.

Herald FILE photo Hurricanes G.M. Peter Anholt went centremen heavy in this year's WHL Prospects Draft

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Hurricanes officially wrapped up another season with the completion of the WHL Prospects Draft on Thursday.

The Canes chose eight forwards, a goalie and six defencemen in total.

“When I zero in on our group, we are just as excited as can be,” said Peter Anholt, Hurricanes GM.

The Canes’ first pick was at 13th overall where they selected big centreman Tyden Lafournaise from the Winnipeg Bruins U15AAA Gold team.

The six foot, 170 -pound centre had 126 points (66 goals, 60 assists) in 32 games played with the Bruins last season.

“He’s a big centre icemen that plays the game with a lot of skill, and that was one of the things that we really, really wanted to focus in on was that centre ice position and add some skill to our line-up,” said Anholt.

The Hurricanes stocked up on more centremen at the draft that included Cohen Pentney at 80th overall from the Calgary Flames U15AAA  program, Jake Evans at 84th from the Saskatoon Generals U15AA, Matteo Di Stefano was selected out of the Yale Hockey Academy U15 Prep team at 124th overall, Grady McNish was selected at 190th overall from the Yellowhead Chiefs U15AAA team and local Dawson Spence was taken 234th overall from the Val Mateotti Golden Hawks.

“The centre ice position is a really hard position to back fill and if you don’t pick centre icemen, now you got to go look for them,” said Anholt.

“We’ve been backfilling here  for the last couple of years with centre ice because we haven’t had the luck in some cases to get those centre icemen.”

In the second round ,at 32ndoverall, the Canes took  6’2”, 175-pound defencemen Reid Soper from Northern Alberta Xtreme U15 Prep team.

“Big strong guy that plays hard, competes and his character is high,” said Anholt.

“I think when we add another Noah Chadwick-type player on our backend that plays hard and has some nastiness to him, I think that’s a real key.”

Lethbridge took their only  goalie of the draft at 58th overall with Leif Olson of the Edge School U15 Prep team.

“We feel that we added arguably the top goaltender in the draft with Leif,” said Anholt.

The 14-year-old compiled a record of a 11-1 in 12 starts, a .914 save percentage and a 2.90 GAA.

The Canes gained the 84th overall pick in the draft after a trade earlier in the day where forward Trae Wilkie was traded to the Red Deer Rebels.

“We just felt that we needed to build up some assets,” said Anholt.

Lethbridge also received a fourth round big in the 2026 draft in the deal.

The Canes welcomed Red Deer Rebels U15AAA’s defenceman Finn Kelly to the organization with the 102nd overall pick.

Defenceman Colt Carter was taken with the 132nd overall pick from the St. Albert Sabres U15AAAs, left winger Eric Berger of the Southwest Cougars U15AAA was chosen at 146th overall, defenceman Tate Serfas out of the Rink H.A. Kelowna U15 Prep team at 168th overall, left winger Kale Breton was 256th overall, defenceman Maysen Devries was chosen at 278th overall and  defenceman Lucas Jacobson was chosen at 289th overall to wrap up the draft for the Canes.

The Hurricanes began draft week on Wednesday with the US Priority Daft where they drafted forward Enzo Didmenicantonio and goalie Aydan Murphy.

Didmenicantonio was selected 13th overall by the Canes from the Los Angles Jr, Kings 14U team where he had 102 points.

“At some point if we can parachute him into our line up, it makes us better and it pushes us to another level as an organization and we’re prepared to wait on that,” said Anholt.

Murphy was drafted from the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 14U team where he had a 3.50 GAA and .878 save percentage.

“I don’t think you can ever have enough depth at the goaltender position,” said Anholt.

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I hope they did their homework this time and did not draft someone who has no intention of paying here. Last year’s first-round pick, Dayne Beuker, signed with the USNTDP.

Last edited 14 days ago by Sharkmeister

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