Winterhawks Select Two Top Americans in U.S. Priority Draft

Portland, Ore. – The Portland Winterhawks, proud member club of the Western Hockey League, selected defensemen Garin Ludwig and Adam Kleber in the 2021 U.S. Priority Draft.

“We’re thrilled to select two top prospects from the Western U.S. this morning,” Assistant to the General Manager and Director of Scouting Mike Coflin said.  “We believe they’re quality players in the ‘o6 class who have expressed a high-level of interest in our program and we look forward to seeing them in Portland.”

With the 11th overall selection, the Hawks picked a top prospect from Team Alaska in Garin Ludwig.  The Eagle River, Alaska native is producing at a point-per-game pace this season with the U15 program, scoring four goals and 23 assists for 27 points in 23 games.

Last season, Ludwig led his team in defensive scoring with 27 points.  The left-handed defenseman was invited to play for USA Hockey’s Under 15 Development Camp this past summer.  Garin’s older brother Gabe is currently playing for the Seattle Thunderbirds.

“Garin’s a smart defenseman who plays an attacking style, which fits the way we like to play in Portland.  His poise and mobility are two of his strengths and he has a high hockey IQ that we believe will transition well to the WHL,” Coflin said of the team’s first-round selection.

The Winterhawks then selected Chaska, Minn. defenseman Adam Kleber with the 34th overall pick.  Kleber is playing for Chaska High this season and through four games, he’s produced two goals and an assist.

The right-shot defenseman played the previous two seasons with Chaska/Chanhassen Bantam AA and the Minnesota Blades. Like Ludwig, Kleber was also invited by USA Hockey to their Under 15 Development camp in the summer.

“Kleber’s a teammate of our 2020 WHL Draft pick Tanner Bruender so when I watched him play live, his developmental upside as a player was unmistakable.  He brings a balance of size, strength, and poise with a tremendous level of maturity for a kid his age.  We look forward to hosting him in the New Year,” Coflin said.

The Winterhawks will continue to add to their prospect group during the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, which takes place tomorrow (Thursday) beginning at 9 a.m. PT.

The Winterhawks continue their season-long homestand this weekend with a pair of games against the Spokane Chiefs and the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss Game on Saturday, December 11 at 6:00 p.m.  Single game tickets for the Teddy Bear Toss game are limited, so lock up your seats now to one of the best games of the year!

The all-new Flex Packs provide even more flexibility, giving you ten ticket vouchers to use any way you want at any regular season game.  Ten tickets to one game?  Two tickets to five games?  Five tickets to two games?  Doesn’t matter, any way you want.

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