It was an exciting day for hundreds of young hockey players from all over North America on Wednesday as the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft.
The Portland Winterhawks made 11 selections over the course of the morning, selecting six forwards, three defensmen and two goaltender from the 2005-born age group. Eight of the prospects call Canada home while three are from the States.
“I thought our scouts did a great job in preparation for the draft especially under the circumstances. We were really pleased to get the selection of players and to ensure we had every position covered,” stated Vice President, General Manager and Head Coach, Mike Johnston.
2nd Round, 23rd Overall: Jayden Perron (Forward)
The Portland Winterhawks used their first pick of the draft on forward, Jayden Perron from Winnipeg, MB. Perron spent his 2019-2020 season playing for the Winnipeg Warriors Bantam AAA team where he scored an impressive 46 goals and had 58 assists for a total of 104 points in 36 games.
“Our first pick Jaden Perron is an elite talent. Like all our draft picks we are looking forward to getting to know them and their families over the next several months,” said Johnston.
Weight: 126 lbs.
Notable Winterhawks drafted in the second round of the WHL Bantam Draft:
2008 – Tyler Wotherspoon, Defense (Drafted 2nd round NHL. Active: 30 NHL games)
4th Round, 83rd Overall: Rhett Ravndahl (Defenseman)
The Hawks used their second of the draft to select a strong defenseman Rhett Ravndahl from Nipawin, SK. Playing for North East Wolfpack Bantam AA, Ravndahl recorded 29 points in 31 games.
Weight: 152 lbs.
Notable Winterhawks drafted in the fourth round of the Bantam Draft:
1999 – Cody McLeod, Forward (Active: 775 NHL games)
5th Round, 97th Overall: Carter Sotheran (Defenseman)
With the third pick for the Winterhawks, they selected their second defeseman of the day, Carter Sotheran from Sanford, MB. In 36 games with the Pembina Valley Hawks Bantam AAA team, Sotheran recorded 44 points on the season.
Weight: 160 lbs.
Notable Winterhawks drafted in the fifth round of the Bantam Draft:
2002 – Brandon Dubinsky, Forward (Drafted 2nd round NHL. Active: 823 NHL games)
2003 – Michael Sauer, Defense (Drafted 2nd round NHL. Played 98 NHL games.)
5th Round, 110th Overall: Tanner Bruender (Forward)
In the 5th round, the Portland Winterhawks drafted Tanner Bruender from Portland, Oregon. Bruender was the second U.S. player drafted on Wednesday and is the first Portlander to be drafted by the Winterhawks since Paul Gaustad.
Bruender grew up in Portland playing at the Winterhawks Skating Center and then spent the last two years in Minnesota.
Weight: 150 lbs.
7th Round, 141th Overall: Donavan Bodnar (Goaltender)
The Portland Winterhawks acquired their fifth pick from the Victoria Royals and picked up goaltender Donavan Bodnar from West St Paul, MB.
Weight: 161 lbs.
Notable Winterhawks drafted in the seventh round of the Bantam Draft:
1998 – Scott Nichol, Defense (Drafted 11th round NHL. Played 662 NHL games.)
2007 – Ryan Johansen, Forward (Drafted 1st round, 4th overall NHL. Active: 660 NHL games.)
2013 – Kieffer Bellows, Forward (Drafted 1st round, 19th overall NHL. Active: 8 NHL games..)
7th Round, 154th Overall: Dante Nunes (Defenseman)
From West Kelowna, BC, Dante Nunes was selected 154th overall by the Winterhawks. In 22 games, Nunes recorded 20 points, 16 of which assists.
Weight: 124 lbs.
8th Round, 176th Overall: Josh Zakreski (Forward)
Josh Zakreski was drafed 176th overall by the Hawks and put up impressive numbers last season. The Saskatoon forward scored 32 goals and had 29 assists in 31 games for the Saskatoon Maniacs Bantam AA team.
Weight: 140 lbs.
Notable Winterhawks drafted in the eighth round of the Bantam Draft:
2013 – Skyler McKenzie, Forward (Drafted 7th round NHL.)
9th Round, 198th Overall: Aiden Sotas (Forward)
Grand Prairie, AB native, Aiden Sotas was drafted in the 198th overall by the Winterhawks. He played for the Yellowhead Chiefs Bantam AAA last season and posted 29 points in 33 games.
Weight: 141 lbs.
Notable Winterhawks drafted in the ninth round of the Bantam Draft:
2010 – Chase De Leo, Forward (Drafted 4th round NHL. Active: 4 NHL games.)
10th Round, 220th Overall: Nicholas Johnson (Forward)
The Portland Winterhawks selected Nicholas Johnson from Calgary, AB who spent last season with Edge School Bantam Prep. Johnson has 9 goals and 19 points in 30 games last season.
Weight: 144 lbs.
11th Round, 242th Overall: Carsen Musser (Goaltender)
The Portland Winterhawks drafted Carsen Musser from Sherburn, Minnesota in the 11th round of the Bantam Draft.
Weight: 141 lbs.
12th Round, 265th Overall: Matthew Vander Vort (Forward)
With the Hawks final pick of the draft, they selected their third US player, Matthew Vander Vort from Edina, Minnesota.
Weight: 155 lbs.
Notable Winterhawks drafted in the tenth round of the Bantam Draft and later:
2012 – Alex Overhardt, Forward
2012 – Blake Heinrich, Defense
2012 – Evan Weinger, Forward