Thunderbirds make two first-round picks in Bantam Draft

Seattle selects 13 players overall

  • Monday, May 6, 2019 12:20am
  • Sports

The Seattle Thunderbirds selected center Jordan Gustafson in the first round, eighth overall, in the 2019 Bantam Draft Thursday morning at Red Deer Alberta.

Gustafson, from Ardrossan, Alberta, played for the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers Bantam AAA team in the AMBHL this season and had 31 goals and 39 assists for 70 points in 33 games.

“Jordan has elite quickness, competes and has pace,” said T-Birds Director of Player Personnel Cal Filson. “He is great on faceoffs. He was the captain of the team that won the Alberta Provincial championship.”

The T-Birds had two picks in the first round after completing a trade with the Kelowna Rockets just after the selection of Gustafson. Seattle sent defenseman Jake Lee, left wing Dillon Hamaliuk and goalie Cole Schwebius to the Rockets for left wing Conner Bruggen-Cate, Kelowna’s 10th overall selection in the draft, a first-round pick in 2022 and a second-round pick in 2021.

Seattle used the 10th overall pick to select defenseman Kevin Korchinski from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Korchinski played for the Saskatoon Generals last season and had 10 goals and 37 assists for 47 points in 31 games.

“Kevin is an offensive, puck-moving defenseman with an elite hockey IQ,” Filson said. “We will love him running the power play from the point.”

Seattle had two picks in the second round, 29th and 42nd overall.

With the 29th overall pick, the T-Birds selected defenseman Spencer Penner from Blumenort, Manitoba.

Penner had 14 goals and 26 assists for 40 points in 35 games with the Eastman Selects Bantam AAA team last season.

“Spencer is a really good skater who pushes the pace of the game,” Filson said. “He has good awareness. He played on the top pairing on the Manitoba provincial championship team.”

The T-Birds then selected forward Gabe Ludwig from Eagle River, Alaska, with the 42nd overall selection.

This season with the Anchorage North Stars 14U team he had eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points in 11 games.

“Gabe is a skilled, intelligent playmaker with elite vision,” Filson said. “He was the captain of his team and he makes everyone on the ice better.”

The T-Birds did not have a third-round selection.

In the fourth round with the 78th overall selection they took left wing Connor Gourley from Calgary, Alberta.

Gourley had 36 goals and 39 assists for 75 points in 33 games this season with the Calgary Bisons Bantam AAA team.

“Connor led the Alberta Bantam league in scoring,” Filson said. “He’s physically dominant and uses his size to his advantage.”

Other selections:

Fifth round – defenseman Cole Tanchuk, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Sixth round – center Nico Myatovic, Prince George, British Columbia.

Seventh round – right wing Kyle Grysiuk, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Mateo Mrsic, Surrey, British Columbia.

Eighth round – forward Cruz Lucius, Blaine, Minn.; defenseman Tyler Dodgson, Winnipeg; forward Jacob Lize Rochon, San Jose, Calif.

Ninth round – defenseman Brodrick Williams, Huntington Beach, Calif.


Prior the start of the ninth round the T-Birds announced they had acquired goalie Blake Lyda from the Everett Silvertips for a third-round pick in the 2021 Bantam Draft.

The T-Birds made 13 selections in the draft, choosing eight forward and five defenseman. They selected nine players from Canada and four players from the United States.

Season tickets for 2019-20 season are on sale. They can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

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