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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wheaties get their man, No. 1 pick Mattheos

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BRANDON -- The Brandon Wheat Kings have their first ever first overall draft pick signed, sealed and soon to be delivered.

One month after being selected as the No.1 pick in this year's Western Hockey League bantam draft, top prospect Stelio Mattheos of Winnipeg has made it official by signing with the WHL club. For Mattheos, committing early wasn't a difficult decision.

"I'm really excited that it's official now and I can't wait to get started," Mattheos said Tuesday from Winnipeg.

"With Brandon it really wasn't a hard choice.àThey are such a great organization and they are on the rise. They have a lot of great players and I really like Mr. McCrimmon (Kelly, head coach/general manager), so it wasn't a very tough decision for me. I am just really happy I signed with the Wheat Kings."

Mattheos joins a crop of blue-chip prospects such as fellow first-round bantam draft picks Nolan Patrick of Winnipeg and Kale Clague of Lloydminster, Alta., as well as Wheat City products Tanner Kaspick, Ty Lewis and Connor Gutenberg.

Mattheos, who won't be eligible to play full-time in the WHLàuntil the 2015-16 season, led the Winnipeg AAAàBantam Hockey League in scoring with 53 goals and 103 points in 35 regular-season games. The 6-2, 180-pound captain of the Winnipeg Monarchs offers size, speed and skill and was the obvious pick for the club after Brandon won the WHLàBantam Draft lottery this spring.

"He's a mature kid that is really focused on being the best player he can be and he sees Brandon as the next step in his career, which is exactly what we were counting on and hoping for," said McCrimmon.

-- The Brandon Sun

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 11, 2014 C4

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