LIVE Silvertips Bantam Draft Coverage

EVERETT – Welcome to our live coverage of the Everett Silvertips’ 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, which began at 7:30 PST this morning from Calgary, AB.  Everett was expected to make nine picks today, but made two trades to add a pair of draft choices and BCHL scoring star starting Jujhar Khaira to their system.  The players selected today will be some of the top 1997-born talents from throughout western Canada and the western U.S.

CLICK HERE to watch the first round LIVE via a free online webcast hosted by the WHL.  We’ll be updating this article throughout the day to provide live pick-by-pick coverage of the Silvertips’ 2012 selections, and you can also follow the Silvertips on Twitter for the latest draft news.  Thanks for joining us today here on, and make sure to scroll down to see the latest action in the Silvertips 2012 Bantam Draft!

Here’s the rundown of the picks Everett is expected to make today:
Round 1:  #11 – D Kevin Davis (Kamloops, BC)
Round 2:  None
Round 3:  #57 – F Auston Mathews (Phoenix, AZ)
               #59 – G Nik Amundrud (Melfort, SK)
               #66 – F Matt Fonteyne (Wetaskiwin, AB)

Round 4:  #70 – D Noah Juulsen (Abbotsford, BC)
Round 5:  #98 – D Jordan Wharrie (Port Moody, BC)
Round 6:  #128 – F Patrick Bajkov (Nanaimo, BC)
Round 7:  #136 – D Daniel Woolfenden (Mill Creek, WA)
Round 8:  #158 – F Carson Richards (Vernon, BC)
Round 9:  #180 – F Jake Durflinger (Walnut Creek, CA)
Round 10: #202 – D Desmond Nevin (Steinbach, MB)
Round 11: #224 – F Michael Wirth (Morden, MB)
Round 12: #246 – F Alec Mehr (Los Angeles, CA)

7:25 am – Hello Silvertips fans and welcome to our live coverage of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.  Everett is currently slated to pick seventh in the draft, just behind the six non-playoff teams from 2011-12.  Other than the picks exchanged through trades, the ‘Tips will have the fourth selection in each of the successive rounds today.

7:38 – After winning the WHL Draft Lottery to gain the first overall pick, the Seattle Thunderbirds have selected Burnaby Winter Club forward Matt Barzal, who was the consensus to go number one prior to the draft..

7:51 – Five forwards and one defenseman selected so far in the first six picks.  Prince George moves up from third to second in a trade with Prince Albert in order to grab forward Jansen Harkins

7:54 – The Silvertips have made a trade with Prince George, sending the #7 pick and forward Jari Erricson to the Cougars in exchange for the #11 pick, 1994-born BCHL forward Jujhar Khaira, and a third round pick (#57 overall) from Prince George.

8:01 – Jujhar Khaira (6-3, 195 pounds) could be quite the pickup for the Silvertips.  Last season with the BCHL’s Prince George Spuruce Kings, he totaled 79 points on 29 goals and 50 assists in 54 games; good for 10th in the BCHL in scoring.  He’s also likely to be a mid-round NHL draft pick this year after being ranked 74th among all North Americans skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

8:06 – Ryan Murray’s little brother Troy is selected tenth overall by the Kootenay Ice.  Troy, also a defenseman, has drawn some comparison’s as being a simliar player to his star big brother!

8:09 – With the 11th pick in the draft, the Silvertips select Defenseman Kevin Davis of Kamloops, British Columbia.  “He’s a player we’ve had our eyes on all year,” says ‘Tips Head Scout Bil La Forge.

8:13 – Davis was nearly a point-per-game defenseman for the Kamloops Jardine Bantam Blazers last season.  His stats courtesy of Alan Caldwell’s “Small Thoughts at Large” blog:

Kevin Davis – D, 6’0″, 150 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Kamloops Jardine Blazers (OMAHA AAA bantam) 49 15 31 46 15
Kamloops Jardine Blazers (KIBIHT AAA bantam) 5 3 1 4 0

The top stat line is Davis’ regular season stats from this year, while the second line represents his numbers in the Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament, where he was named a tournament All-Star.

8:23 – Silvertips Head Scout Bil La Forge on Davis:  “He skates well and moves the puck well, and his game sense is off the charts.  He’ll be a solid all-around defenseman who can play the powerplay, the penalty kill and eat up a ton of minutes.  Kevin is a guy we identified early on and a player we believe can be a top-pairing defenseman.  He has tons of growth potential as well – his brother is 6-foot-4.”

8:42 – The first round is complete after a few deals and some player swapping.  Most notably Tri-City sends overage goaltender Ty Rimmer (this year’s Western Conference Goaltender of the Year) to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for two draft picks.

9:17 – The second round has come to an end, and things are about to get busy for the Silvertips.  After not picking in round 2, Everett will make three selections in the third round and another early in the fourth.  The ‘Tips acquire the 57th pick in this morning’s trade with Prince George, the 59th choice from Moose Jaw in the Luke Siemens deal back in October and the 66th pick from Edmonton in the November deal involving Tyler Maxwell.

9:25 – Just a few notes on the second round.  First off, 11 of the 22 second round picks were used on players hailing from British Columbia.  The Portland Winterhawks selected defenseman Keoni Texeira from Fontana, CA with the 26th overall pick they acquired from Everett.  Also, after no goalies were taken with the first 21 picks of the draft, five of the next 12 players selected were netminders.

9:36 – Another notable trade happened a short time ago:  the Saskatoon Blades have acquired forwards Shane McColgan and Jessey Astles from the Kelowna Rockets, who got forward Ryan Olsen, and two draft picks (a 2nd and a 5th rounder) in return.

10:05 – With their first of three 3rd-round choices, the Silvertips are thrilled to find right winger Auston Mathews of Phoenix, Arizona still on the board and select him with the #57 overall pick

Auston Mathews – F, 5’10″, 145 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Phoenix Firebirds (NAPHL 14U) 9 11 11 22 4

10:08 – Moving quickly now, the ‘Tips have used the 59th overall pick on goaltender Nick Amundrud from Melfort, Saskatchewan.

Nik Amundrud – G, 5’11”, 130 lbs GP GAA W L T/OTL SV%
North East Wolfpack (SBAAHL AA bantam) 11 2.82 6 3 2 n/a
North East Wolfpack (Western Canadian bantam champ.) 3 ? 1 2 0 ?

10:13 – Former Silvertips goaltender Luke Siemens finds himself on the move for his overage season today, heading from Moose Jaw to Prince Albert for third and fourth-round draft picks

10:16 – With their third choice of the third-round, the Silvertips have picked Center Matt Fonteyne (Wetaskiwin, AB) at #66 overall

Matt Fonteyne – F, 5’7″, 149 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Leduc Oil Kings (AMBHL AAA bantam) 30 29 22 51 2
Leduc Oil Kings (AMMHL minor midget AAA) 6 1 3 4 0
Central Thrashers (Alberta Cup) 5 2 1 3 0

10:23 – Moving on to the fourth round now, the ‘Tips have gone just up the road to select Abbotsford, BC native Noah Juulsen, a defenseman.

Noah Juulsen – D, 5’11”, 140 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Abbotsford Hawks (PCBHL AAA bantam) No Stats
Avalanche (B.C. U-16 Cup) 4 0 4 4 n/a

10:40 – Now that the flurry has passed, it’s time to start breaking down some of Everett’s picks with additional information.  We’ll start by adding stats for the recent selections.  If you scroll backward to when each player was selected, those posts will now be updated with stats courtesy of Alan Caldwell’s hard work.

10:55 – Looks like we’ve reached the end of the fourth round in Calgary, which means its time for all the hard-working team managers and scouts to break for lunch.  Looks like they’ll resume making picks with the start of the fifth round at 11:30 am Pacific time.

11:06 – It’s obvious through a quick conversation with General Manager Garry Davison that the Silvertips are pretty excited about being able to nab forward Auston Mathews with the 57th pick in the draft.  Davidson says the only reason he fell to the ‘Tips in round three is because he hasn’t fully committed to playing in the WHL yet. 

Here’s Davidson on Mathews:  “We had Auston rated among the top ten players in the draft this year.  We’re very excited that we had the opportunity to draft him, and now we’ll get to work on recruiting him to come to Everett.  He’s a skill player with good height who can do some good things on the rush.  He has the potential to be a top-three forward for our hockey club someday.”

11:17 – Garry Davidson’s comments on goaltender Nik Amundrud, who was taken with the 59th pick:  “We saw Nik play a fair amount this year and rated him among the top five goalies we saw.  He took his team to the Western Canadian Bantam Championships by winning Saskatchewan.  We’re excited about him, because he has a lot of confidence and composure in the net and can play the puck as well.

11:26 – Davidson talks about Alberta-born forward Matt Fonteyne:  “We saw Matt again this past weekend in the Alberta Cup.  He is a smart, two-way player who gets around very well and has a very good shot also.”

11:34 – Looks like it’s back to work in the WHL draft war room in Calgary, where lunch has ended and the fifth round is now underway.  The Silvertips next pick is in the sixth round at #128

11:39 – Before we move on, Garry Davidson also gave us his thoughts on Everett’s fourth-round pick, defenseman Noah Juulsen:  “Noah is a puck-moving, two-way defenseman who was the captain of his team in Abbotsford.  He is pretty physical for his size, moves the puck well and has a good shot.”

11:46 – Well, never mind about Everett not having a fifth-round pick!  The ‘Tips have swung their second trade of the day, acquiring Kootenay’s fifth-round selection (#98 overall) in exchange for forward Jordyn Boyd.  With the newly acquired pick, the Silvertips took defenseman Jordan Wharrie from Port Moody, BC.

Jordan Wharrie – D, 5’11”, 145 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Port Moody (PCBHL AAA bantam) No Stats
Wild (B.C. U-16 Cup) 4 0 0 0 n/a

12:19 – We’ve made our way to the sixth round, where the ‘Tips own a pick obtained from Regina as part of the Campbell Elynuik trade in August.  With the 128th pick in the WHL draft, Everett takes forward Patrik Bajkov from Nanaimo, BC.

Patrick Bajkov – RW, 5’9, 140 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Nanaimo Clippers (VIBHL AAA bantam) No Stats
Stars (B.C. U-16 Cup) 4 2 3 5 n/a

12:23 – Barring any other moves, the Silvertips will have their own pick in each of the next four rounds, picking in the fourth position from rounds seven through ten and giving the club a total of four remaining picks in this year’s draft.

12:31 – The Silvertips have used their seventh-round pick (#136 overall) to take a local product!  Defenseman Daniel Woolfenden of Mill Creek won’t have far to go to attend training camp this year.  Congratulations Daniel on getting the opportunity to someday play for your hometown club!

Daniel Woolfenden – D, 5’10”, 155 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Seattle Sno-Kings (PCBHL AAA bantam) No Stats
Seattle Sno-Kings (KIBIHT AAA bantam) 5 2 3 5 0

12:47 – Exciting stuff with the Silvertips drafting a local kid today.  Although a select few Washington natives have pulled on the Silvertips uniform in the past (ie. Damir Alic of Kent from 2005-2007 and Eric English of Vancouver, WA in 2007-08), Woolfenden becomes just the second Washington product to be drafted by the Silvertips as a bantam.  Here’s hoping things work out and Daniel will have a fruitful WHL career.  Wonder if he would still live with billets even though his family only lives 20 minutes from Comcast Arena?

12:58 – Back to work in the eighth round, where the ‘Tips have used the 158th pick on forward Carson Richards from Vernon, British Columbia.  With Head Coach Mark Ferner coaching Vernon’s BCHL team before coming to Everett and Garry Davidson living nearby in Salmon Arm for a number of years, it’s a good bet that both of them have had a good look at this young man in recent years.

Carson Richards – RW, 6’0″, 155 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Vernon Renegades (OMAHA AAA bantam) 48 28 25 53 93
Leafs (B.C. U-16 Cup) 4 1 1 2 n/a

1:31 – Now in the ninth round of the draft, the Silvertips have used the 180th pick to take forward Jake Durflinger of Walnut Creek, California.

Jake Durflinger – F, 5’7″, 170 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Phoenix Firebirds (NAPHL 14U) 9 3 3 6 18

1:43 – Durflinger becomes the third American taken by the Silvertips in today’s draft, making this just the second time in franchise history (2006 being the other time) that three U.S.-born players have been selected by the club in the same bantam draft.  In fact, today’s trio brings the total number of American players drafted by the Silvertips to 11 all-time.  Also – we mistakenly reported earlier the Daniel Woolfenden was the first Washington native ever drafted by Everett, when goaltender Michael Smith of Spokane actually holds the honor from that 2006 draft.  Sorry Michael!

1:56 – Another note on Durflinger:  he was actually on the team coached by Mark Ferner at last month’s WHL U.S. Prospects Camp in Anaheim, CA.  Coach Ferner commented on the competitive fire and intensity Durflinger showed during those tournament games.  The penalty minute number above seems to support that assertion.

2:03 – With their tenth-round pick in the draft (#202 overall), the Silvertips have reached for a sizable young blueliner.  Hailing from Steinbach, Manitoba, defenseman Desmond Nevin measures in at 6-foot-6 and 190 pounds.

Desmond Nevin – D, 6’6″, 200 lb GP G A Pts PIM
Southwest Jets (Eastman AA bantam) No Stats
Eastman Selects (Manitoba Bantam Showcase) 12 2 2 4 1
Team Red (Manitoba U-16 P.O.E.) 3 0 1 1 2

2:20 – ‘Tips not done at the draft just yet:  as some teams pass on the 11th round, Everett picks forward Michael Wirth from Morden, Manitoba with the 224th selection.  No word yet on whether or not Wirth’s hometown is named after fellow Manitoba native Evan Morden…

2:35 – And Everett is the first team to make a 12th round pick, choosing forward Alec Mehr from Irvine, California and the LA Selects Major Bantam program in California at #246.  2012 has just become the first year in which the Silvertips drafted four U.S. born bantam players.  Will the draft continue into a 13th round?

Alec Mehr – F, 5’9″, 160 lb GP G A Pts PIM
LA Selects (Tier 1 Elite Major Bantam AAA) 10 5 4 9 6
Los Angeles Selects (St. Albert bantam AAA tournament) 5 3 4 7 8

3:07 – After nearly eight hours and more than 200 picks over 15 rounds, the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft has finally come to an end.  The Silvertips added 13 players via draft today and one more in a trade, while saying goodbye to two forwards from last year in the process.  It’s been a crazy day, but we thank you for following our live coverage of today’s action.  Check back frequently here at in the next few days for much more coverage on Everett’s newly acquired prospects!  Let’s Go ‘Tips!

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