May 19th, 2024

Golden Hawk players selected in WHL Draft


By Lethbridge Herald on May 10, 2024.

Dawson Spence

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Four Val Matteoti Golden Hawks U15AAA players got closer to playing in the WHL down the road after being drafted in the Prospects Draft on Thursday.

The highest player to be picked from the city was defenceman Nolan Pilsner as he went 106th overall to the Swift Current Broncos.

Pilsner had 16 points in 34 games with the Hawks last season.

Damen Vanderberg was taken 130th overall by the Everett Silvertips.

The forward had a great year with a 27 goals and 19 assists for 46 points in 34 games last season.

Dawson Spence was taken 234th overall by the hometown Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Spence had 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 34 games.

Lincoln Eaves was taken by the Saskatoon Blades at 265th overall and had 30 goals and 20 assists in 33 games last season.

“Honestly, just couldn’t say [enough] good things about all four of them, all really great kids, all were leaders on our team and all very well deserving of the accolades,” said Mitch Maxwell, Golden Hawks head coach.

 “The WHL teams saw the same things in them that we see in them and we hope that kind of pays off for them moving forward.”

Maxwell was asked about the drive each player had.

“Each of them had very positive and very successful seasons, but I’m sure there were blips in the road,” said Maxwell.

“I think what made them successful and stood out to the scouts in my opinion was  just their perseverance through those times. They kept getting better and better as the year went on.”

Maxwell thought the main reason for coaching is getting players to the next level.

“It’s rewarding as a coach,” said Maxwell.

“The reality is all of  the accolades and praise goes to the player. We’re just there to help and we’re lucky to have a great team full of some great character guys.”

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