ICE prospect joins local as WHL Cup selections
Cranbrook’s Wyatt Marlow has been selected to play for Team BC in the upcoming WHL Cup, formerly the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.
Marlow was a 10th round draft pick of the Swift Current Broncos in this year’s Western Hockey League (WHL) bantam draft.
Selected second overall in the first round was Kootenay ICE prospect Connor McClennon and he will be looked on as a key player for Team Alberta in the WHL Cup, beginning Oct. 18 at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.
The WHL Cup features the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The tournament concludes Sunday, October 22.
McClennon will headline Team Alberta along with Kaiden Guhle, who was the first overall (Prince Albert Raiders) selection in this year’s draft.
Of the 80 players scheduled to compete at the event, 72 were selected in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.
Team Alberta is a five-time champion of the WHL Cup, hoisting the trophy in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016, while Team British Columbia won the event in 2012, led by Mathew Barzal who has turned heads at the New York Islanders’ training camp, and Jansen Harkins, an up-and-comer on a youth-stacked Winnipeg Jets squad, likely to spend the season with the AHL’S Manitoba Moose.
Albertans once again boasts a star-studded lineup that includes 11 first round selections from the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft. Along with the top two selections from the May draft, with Sherwood Park product Kaiden Guhle and Wainwright native Connor McClennon, Grande Prairie native Garin Bjorklund (21st overall, Medicine Hat Tigers) was the top goaltender selected in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft and will guard the crease for Alberta.
Having last won the event in 2012, Team BC enters another strong roster, which features along with Cranbrook’s Wyatt Marlow, Surrey product Justin Sourdif (third overall, Vancouver Giants) among six first round selections from the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft. Defenceman Aiden De La Gorgendiere (fifth overall, Saskatoon Blades), a native of Langley, holds down the blueline, while Jack Finley (Kelowna / Spokane Chiefs), Ben King (Vernon / Swift Current Broncos), Tyson Phare (Maple Ridge / Prince George Cougars) and Payton Mount (Victoria / Seattle Thunderbirds) join Sourdif up front.
Coming off a bronze-medal effort last year, Team Manitoba remains in search of its first tournament title. First-rounders Seth Jarvis (Winnipeg/Portland Winterhawks) and Daemon Hunt (Brandon/Moose Jaw Warriors) will lead the way, with Prince Albert Raiders prospects Jakob Brook (Roblin) and Evan Herman (The Pas) providing additional depth at forward.
After falling in the bronze medal game last year, Team Saskatchewan will look to rebound in 2017 as it also seeks out its first title. Tri-City Americans prospect Kaden Kohle (Cudworth), Kamloops Blazers prospect Josh Pillar (Warman) and Calgary Hitmen prospect Ryder Korczak (Yorkton) lead a highly-talented group of Saskatchewan forwards.
The tournament will be a four-team round-robin format and is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players.
ICE forward Peyton Krebs led Team Alberta to a tourney title in the 2016 WHL Cup All-Star Team, earning a nod on the tourney all-star team.
Krebs is currently leading the 2-2-1 ICE with two goals and five assists in the first five games of the 2017/18 season.