With their first-ever first-overall pick, the Brandon Wheat Kings looked to Winnipeg this morning and called out an expected name.
The Wheaties selected Winnipeg Monarchs bantam scoring sensation Stelio Mattheos as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 WHL bantam draft in Calgary.
Mattheos, a six-foot-one, 174-pound forward, scored 50 goals and 53 assists for 103 points in the Winnipeg AAA bantam regular-season in 2013-14.
He turns 15 on June 14 and said in an interview this afternoon that he’s long had his eye on another first-overall WHL pick, Jonathan Toews, as someone to pattern himself after.
"For him 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."
Mattheos said today that he plans to play next season for the midget Winnipeg Wild as he continues his development.
Mattheos also said today that Wheat Kings GM and coach Kelly McCrimmon called him Wednesday night with the news that team planned to select him in the first-overall spot today.
"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," he said.
After making the pick this morning, McCrimmon told www.whl.ca: "He’s a powerful skater. He’s got the ability to score. He has high character and we think he’ll be a great addition to our organization and will complement some of the young players we’ve taken in the past."
Brandon obtained today’s first-overall pick in a trade two years ago made with the Saskatoon Blades.
And when the Blades won this season’s draft lottery just more than a month ago and moved up to the first pick, it gave the Wheat Kings the top selection.
It’s the second year in a row that Brandon has turned to a Winnipeg source for its first selection.
Last year in the fourth-overall slot, the Wheaties chose Winnipeg forward Nolan Patrick, who joined the WHL team late this season for some action.
The bantam draft’s first round finished with three Manitobans selected.
At No. 4 in the first round, Roblin, Man., product Josh Brook, a defenceman with the Notre Dame Hounds, was chosen by the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Brook, five-foot-10 and 148 pounds, had six goals and 32 points in 32 games this season with the Hounds.
At No. 19, the Portland Winter Hawks chose Winnipeg Hawks bantam centre Cody Glass.
Glass scored 31 goals and 77 points in 32 Winnipeg AAA league games this season. He’s listed at five-foot-nine and 139 pounds.
In the second round, Mattheos’s teammate Max Martin, a defenceman from the Winnipeg Monarchs, was selected by Prince George, No. 27 overall.
Also taken in the second round were centre Logan Christensen of Morden, No. 30, who's heading to Saskatoon, centre Hayden Ostir of Winnipeg, No. 36, to Spokane, and goalie Rilan Rommelaere of Boissevain, No. 39 to Medicine Hat.