Thunderbirds select defenseman in first round of WHL Bantam Draft

The Seattle Thunderbirds selected defenseman Jerret Tyszka in the first round, 16th overall, in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday morning in Calgary, Alberta.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Tyszka played for the Langley Eagles in the PCBHL this past season. He played 68 games with the Eagles and had 74 points on 27 goals and 47 assists with 117 penalty minutes.

"Jarret is a big, mobile defenseman with a very nice combination of size and mobility. He has a physical presence on the ice, with strong offensive skills who could develop into a good two-way defenseman," said Colin Alexander, T-Birds director of player personnel.

In the second round, with the 32nd overall pick, the T-Birds selected left wing Matthew Wedman from the South Side Athletic Club Bantam team in Edmonton, Alberta.

The 6-foot, 165-pound Wedman had 72 points on 32 goals and 40 assists in 33 games with the South Side team.

"Matthew is a big, physical forward with good offensive skills and was a prolific scorer in the Alberta Major Bantam League," said T-Birds General Manager Russ Farwell.

The T-Birds did not have any picks in the third or fourth rounds of the draft but had two picks in the first round.

With the 102nd overall pick the Thunderbirds chose right wing Wyatt Bear from Hodgson, Manitoba. Hodgson played 33 games with the Interlake Lightning of the Winnipeg Bantam Division 1 league. He had 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 points with 32 penalty minutes.

"Wyatt is a big power forward with top end skill and hockey sense," Alexander said.

In the fifth round, with the 104th overall pick, the T-Birds chose center Ian Briscoe from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Briscoe, 5-8 and 141 pounds, had 25 goals and 28 assists for 53 points and 20 penalty minutes.

"Ian is a very skilled, speedy forward who is always engaged in the play. He is a very competitive player," said T-Birds Manitoba Scout Mark Romas.

The T-Birds selected forward Baker Shore from Cherry Hills Village in Colorado in the sixth round, with the 126th overall pick. Shore played with the Colorado Thunderbirds and had 42 goals and 30 assists for 72 points in 73 games.

"Baker is a highly skilled player who is very competitive. The reason we got this player at this point in the draft is because of recruiting. We feel that Baker is an impact player and potential NHL draft pick," Alexander said.

Shore has three older brothers who have all been selected in the NHL draft: Drew by the Florida Panthers in the second round in 2009, Nick by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round in 2011 and Quentin by the Ottawa Senators in the sixth round in 2013.

In the seventh round, with the 148th overall selection, the T-Birds took right wing MacKenzie Wight. Wight, from Burnaby, British Columbia, is 5-10 and 170 pounds and played for the Burnaby Winter Club this past season.

"MacKenzie is a big, power forward who has a physical presence on the ice," said T-Birds BC Lower Mainland Scout Leland Mack.

The T-Birds chose defenseman Reece Harsch from Grand Prairie, Alberta, in the eighth round, 170th overall. Harsch had two goals and 12 assists for 14 points with 84 penalty minutes in 33 games.

"Reece is a big, stay at home defenseman who plays a physical game and is a good skater," said T-Birds Edmonton Scout Kevin Georgy.

The T-Birds had back-to-back picks in the ninth round of the draft.

Seattle selected forward John Ormsby in the ninth round, 192nd overall. Ormsby, 5-10 and 150 pounds played for the Los Angeles Junior Kings this past season.

"John is a very smooth skater who uses his speed effectively. He played for a very good program in LA, which is one of the top Bantam programs in the U.S., but he is from Monroe, Washington," Alexander said.

The T-Birds took right wing Reginald Pohl from Douglas, Manitoba, with the 193rd overall pick. Pohl, at 6-2 and 186 pounds, played for the Southwest Cougars last season and had six goals and 14 assists for 20 points with 44 penalty minutes in 32 games.

"Reg is a big, strong winger with an aggressive style of play. He has a strong, physical presence on the ice," Romas said.

The T-Birds took goalie Hunter Bancroft in the 10th round, 214th overall. Bancroft is from Greeley, Colo.

"Hunter ... plays a good hybrid style in the net. He was the starting goaltender for the Colorado Thunderbirds program where he played with Baker Shore. This program also produced current T-Birds Danny Mumaugh and Scott Eansor and former T-Birds Seth Swenson and Griffin Foulk," Alexander said.

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