Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

He's ready for prime time

Wheaties make Monarchs star Mattheos No. 1 pick in WHL draft

  • Print

Stelio Mattheos went to sleep on Wednesday night as a happier-than-average 14-year-old.

He had seen the future and it felt good.

On Thursday morning, the Winnipeg Bantam AAA Monarchs' scoring sensation stayed home from school for a while so he could watch the Brandon Wheat Kings make him the first-overall selection of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft in Calgary.

Wheat Kings GM and coach Kelly McCrimmon called Mattheos and his family late Wednesday night to confirm the team planned to select him first.

"He just told me that they'll be really happy to have me aboard and I'm thrilled to be aboard with the Wheat Kings and it's a dream come true," Mattheos said, then smiled, "Not much trouble (sleeping), no."

The 6-21/2, 174-pound centre doesn't turn 15 until next month. Mattheos scored 50 goals and 53 assists for 103 points in 32 regular-season games with the Monarchs this season.

"(Being the top pick) was my goal since the start of the year, for sure," Mattheos said. "But really, during the season, I was just focusing on our team winning and that's where the focus was. As long as we kept winning, I was happy."

The scoring and winning certainly attracted attention, from both WHL scouts and teams and U.S. college programs. Mattheos and his family weighed the options, he said, and came down firmly in the WHL's and the Wheat Kings' camp.

"There was some interest there but I'm completely committed to the Brandon Wheat Kings," he said.

So, unlike one of his hockey heroes -- Jonathan Toews was a first-overall WHL pick in 2003 but went to school at the University of North Dakota -- Mattheos will be a junior player.

He said he was happy to confirm Toews is someone he tries to model himself after, but then in a sheepish moment, qualified the thought.

"For him (Toews) being a complete player," Mattheos said. "But I think we'll be going different places in our development. I have a lot of work to do before me and Jonathan Toews can be used in the same sentence."

After making the pick in Calgary, McCrimmon told the Brandon Sun: "Size, skill, character, skating ability. Really a good young player. He, I think, is going to really continue to develop and he's going to be a power forward that's a real good player for our organization and a real hard player to play against."

The Wheat Kings wound up with the top selection for the very first time in the bantam draft's history through good trading and good fortune.

They cut a deal to possibly swap 2014 first-round picks with Saskatoon two years ago and in March, when the WHL conducted its draft lottery and the lowly Blades won to move to the top of the selection order, it was a bonus day in Brandon.

Mattheos said his plan is to be a member of the Winnipeg AAA Midget Wild next season.

"Right now, I'm just trying to become a better player every day," he said. "Today was a fun day but after today, I've got to get back to work and keep getting better every day."

He said his explosiveness will get much attention during training this summer. He expects that will be four days a week, plus three more days a week on the ice.

This was the second year in a row Brandon turned to a Winnipeg source for its first selection.

With the fourth-overall pick in 2013, the Wheaties chose Winnipeg forward Nolan Patrick, who joined the WHL team for some action late this season.

Thursday's bantam draft featured two other Manitoba-born players chosen in the first round. Roblin product Josh Brook, a defenceman with the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Sask., went fourth overall to the Moose Jaw Warriors. At No. 19, the Portland Winter Hawks chose Winnipeg Hawks centre Cody Glass.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 2, 2014 C1

History

Updated on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 5:34 PM CDT: Corrects spelling of Dane Hirst.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Weather for final Fringing weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Horses enjoy a beautiful September morning east of Neepawa, Manitoba  - Standup Photo– Sept 04, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google