Part Two of our WHL Draft analysis includes some of our evaluator’s favourite picks in the draft and provide reasons they might go on to better WHL careers than peers selected ahead of them.  While these are but a few selections that could pay huge dividends, this is a testament to how deep a draft class this year’s crop of kids were.  Here are just some of our favourite picks:

You can click on the player’s name to be directed to their profile page.

Brayden Abbott (Manitoba Scout)

Joey Lies – Center (133rd Overall, Round 7, Swift Current Broncos)

  • Size, he is enormous
  • Elite shot
  • Power forward
  • Good speed and power but skating requires improvement for next level
  • Good two-way game
  • Fantastic potential just needs to do the necessary work on his development

Phil Dietz (Oregon Scout)

Matteo Fabrizi – Defenceman (31st Overall, Round 2, Red Deer Rebels)

  • Built like a man (6’3″ and 220lbs!)
  • Heavy shot
  • Physical and heavy on the walls and at the net-front
  • Good skating and mobility for size
  • Good puck skills
  • Tough to play against
  • Potential diamond in the rough and a great fit with Red Deer

Adam Goodwin (Alberta Scout)

Thomas Matte – Forward (200th Overall, Round 10, Moose Jaw Warriors)

  • Huge frame, physically gifted at 6’3, 190 lbs.
  • Great hands
  • Good skating needs improvement though
  • Shows flashes of high-end skill
  • Very natural ability to play the game at both ends can score and distribute
  • Compete level is inconsistent, needs to use his size and physicality more frequently
  • Could be a case of learning how to use his body to his advantage

Matthew Paszkiewicz – Forward (173rd Overall, Round 8, Everett Silvertips)

  • Creative and skilled offensively
  • Great shifty skater, knows how to maneuver through traffic
  • Fantastic hands, chance creator
  • Undersized at the moment, only 5’5 and 130 lbs.

Benjamin Stokes – Forward (101st Overall, Round 5, Tri-City Americans)

  • Pure shooter/goal scorer (34 goals in 32 game)
  • Fantastic skater with the puck uses his edges well
  • Positions himself well to shoot
  • WICKED RELEASE on his shot
  • Trigger man on the PP
  • Attitude might be a problem, had some poor body language and shaking his head at teammates when he didn’t get the puck in certain situations
  • Pure offensive player, not much engagement in own zone

Aiden Oiring – Forward (58th Overall, Round 3, Winnipeg ICE)

  • Dynamic offensive player, unreal hands
  • Elite speed, edgework, and agility
  • Can score from any angle
  • Creates a ton of chances for linemates, fantastic vision
  • Leading scorer in AMBHL (28 goals, 45 assists – 73 points in 32 games)
  • Wins a ton of faceoffs
  • Doesn’t shy away from contact and goes to the dirty areas
  • Plays in all situations
  • Was the captain
  • Not sure if you would consider Round 3 a true steal but in my opinion this kid’s only weakness right now is his size (5’4, 130 lbs.)
  • If he was bigger I think he would’ve been a first-rounder easily

Logan Dochuk – Defenseman (115th Overall, Round 6, Kelowna Rockets)

  • Incredibly smooth-skating, two-way defenseman
  • Natural, effortless stride
  • Skating allows him to recover from mistakes
  • Moves the puck up the ice by both his skating and passing ability 
  • Good size at 6’0″, but needs to fill out a bit
  • Blocks shots, great defensive awareness
  • To me, just seems like a solid, reliable top 4 defenseman at the next level
  • Going to Kelowna is a good fit with how they develop countless top-level d-men

Brent Hoshowski – Forward (188th Overall, Round 9, Victoria Royals)

  • Well-rounded offensive player (18 g, 17 a, 35 points in 31 games)
  • Can score and make plays
  • Likes to be physical, likes to mix it up with opponents (96 PIMs)
  • Goes to the dirty areas, goes to net to score
  • Willing to battle for space and possession
  • Doesn’t wow you with anything but just solid all-around, reliable player
  • Could easily be a top 9 forward at the next level who can play in all situations 

Zach Moffat (Director of Scouting)

Kai Matthew – Winger (107th Overall, Round 5, Kamloops Blazers)

  • Mature playstyle ready-made for the WHL
  • Strong, balanced winger
  • Great skating (speed and explosiveness)
  • Strong off the rush or in the cycle
  • High-end puck skills
  • Good finish
  • Fell solely due to being the only player in the Draft with an NCAA commitment, otherwise, he is easily a first-round talent

Tyler Chan – Center (100th Overall, Round 5, Spokane Chiefs)

  • Great skater
  • Good motor
  • Great hockey IQ
  • Very-good playmaker (vision, controls play from half-wall)
  • Strong two-way game and excellent in battles
  • Size and lack of prolific scoring numbers contributed to his availability in the fifth round

Rhett Ravndahl – Defenceman (83rd Overall, Round 4, Portland Winterhawks)

  • Excellent hockey IQ
  • Strong defender
  • Good mobility, size, and range
  • Strong down low, on walls, and box-outs in front
  • Heavy point shot
  • Not a world-beater offensively, but the potential to be a strong shutdown guy

Grayden Slipec – Center (27th Overall, Round 2, Kamloops Blazers)

  • Very-good playmaker
  • Outstanding puck skills and deception
  • Ability to beat you with a shot or pass
  • High-end hockey IQ
  • Underrated two-way game
  • Easily a top-15 prospect in this draft, it is criminal he fell this far.

Matthew Wood – Forward (41st Overall, Round 2, Regina Pats)

  • Elite scorer
  • Good size and frame
  • Good compete
  • Very-good awareness and anticipation
  • High-end offensive potential
  • Skating needs work but has the ability to take it to the next level

Kaden Moore (British Columbia Scout)

Marcus Pacheco – Center (49th Overall, Round 3, Kelowna Rockets)

  • High-end skater
  • Smart two-way player
  • All situations guy
  • Very-good puck skills
  • This pick could literally and metaphorically burn the WHL for years

Luke Korte – Left Wing (52nd Overall, Round 3, Kamloops Blazers)

  • Tenacious, fast winger
  • High-ceiling
  • Great puck skills
  • Great playmaking
  • Johnny Hockey with a bigger motor
  • Was available in round 3 due to current size – 5’1″


Stay tuned for part three where we look at the potential winners of this year’s draft!