WINNIPEG — ONLY one Manitoba-born player was selected in the opening round of the annual Western Hockey League bantam draft in Edmonton today -- defenceman Reid Gow of Killarney, who went 16th overall to the Spokane Chiefs.
Gow was a tournament all-star for the Killarney Raiders of the Westman High School Hockey League, who won their second AA provincial title in the past four years last month. The 5-foot-10, 150-pound rearguard also played with the bantam Killarney Stars.
In the second round, the Brandon Wheat Kings chose Winnipeg defenceman Dylan Kuczek with the 40th pick overall. Kuczek, 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, led all Winnipeg AAAA Bantam Hockey League defencemen with nine goals and 25 points in 30 games this season with the Winnipeg Sharks.
Four more Manitobans — all defencemen — were chosen in the third round: Brette Cote of Oakbank (48th overall by Chilliwack), Landon Peel of Virden (50th by Regina), Landon Cross of Brandon (54th by Kamloops) and Winnipeg's Adam Henry (55th by Lethbridge).
Last year, high-scoring forward Michael St. Croix of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League's Winnipeg Wild was selected fourth overall by the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings and in 2007, two Manitobans went in the top 10, including Moose Jaw Warriors' forward Quinton Howden, who went first overall.
Selected No. 1 overall this year was defenceman Derrick Pouliot of Weyburn, Sask., by the Portland Winter Hawks. Moose Jaw chose Vancouver defenceman with the No. 2 pick while Chilliwack nabbed Vancouver defenceman Griffin Reinhart third overall.
Other Manitobans selected today:
RW Matthieu Vigier (Notre Dame), 67th overall by Moose Jaw; D Matthew Miller (Winnipeg), 74th by Edmonton; D Travis Brown (Winnipeg), 76th by Moose Jaw via trade; G Brenden Biebelkorn (Winnipeg), 78th by the Prince Albert Raiders.
G Chris Driedger (Winnipeg), 80th by the Medicine Hat Tigers; C Sutton Olsen (Deloraine), 81st overall by the Swift Current Broncos.
C Brayden Cuthbert (Brandon), 89th by Moose Jaw; RW Brett Stovin (Stony Mountain), 90th by Portland; RW Kurt Johnas (Winnipeg), 101st by Kootenay; D Justin Hamonic (Winnipeg), 102nd by Tri-City.
LW Brendan Leipsic (Winnipeg, 112th by Portland); LW Jordyn Boyd (Winnipeg), 117th by the Everett Silvertips; C Brandan Harms (Steinbach), 128th by Brandon.
RW Colin Baudry (La Broquerie), 133rd by Moose Jaw; C Ryan Pulock (Grandview), 136th by Brandon; D Ryan Leonzio (La Salle), 138th by Regina.
D Brendan Dusik (Oak Bluff), 157th by Chilliwack; LW Jack Rodewald (Winnipeg), 160th by Regina; C Daniel Asham (Winnipeg), 172nd by Brandon.