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2018 Bantam Draft Recap: Chiefs Pick Graham Sward 17th Overall

The Spokane Chiefs built for the future on Thursday morning in Red Deer, Alta., selecting 12 players in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, including defenseman Graham Sward with the 17th overall pick.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Chiefs’ Assistant General Manager, Hockey Operations Chris Moulton. “He is a guy we coveted (but) didn’t think we’d get. Graham is polished. He’s a competitor.”

Sward is a 6-foot-1, 163-pound blueliner from Abbotsford, B.C. He played last season with the Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep (CSSHL), scoring two goals and 16 assists in 26 games. He added one assist in two games up with Yale’s Midget Prep squad.

“He does a bit of everything really well,” added Moulton. “He makes smart decisions, always has his head on a swivel, plays with poise and has an edge to his game.”

In total, the Chiefs selected 12 players, including two goaltenders, four defensemen and six forwards. By home province/state, Alberta led the way with four Spokane picks, followed by Saskatchewan (3), B.C. (2), Manitoba (2) and Texas (1).

Spokane Chiefs’ 2018 WHL Bantam Draft Class

1st Round (17th Overall) – Graham Sward 

Graham Sward
Graham Sward (YHA)
  • Position: Defense
  • Hometown: Abbotsford, BC
  • Measurables: 6’1″, 163 lbs, shoots left
  • 2017-18: Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep (CSSHL)
  • Stats: 2 goals, 16 assists, 18 points, 48 PIM in 26 GP
  • Scouting Report: (see above)

2nd Round (39th Overall) – Owen MacNeil

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Calgary, AB
  • Measurables: 5’11″, 155 lbs, shoots left
  • 2017-18: Calgary Royals (AMBHL)
  • Stats: 15 goals, 32 assists, 47 points in 35 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Owen is a good two-way player. He is a good skater and competes. Showed leadership ability as a captain.”

3rd Round (61st Overall) – Blake Swetlikoff

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Regina, SK
  • Measurables: 5’10″, 166 lbs, shoots right
  • 2017-18: Regina Monarchs (SBAAHL)
  • Stats: 32 goals, 40 assists, 72 points in 31 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Blake is a great skater. He is a skilled offensive player and shows good character.”

4th Round (75th Overall) – Devin Aubin

  • Position: Defense
  • Hometown: Falher, AB
  • Measurables: 5’7″, 153 lbs, shoots left
  • 2017-18: Grande Prairie Storm (AMBHL)
  • Stats: 9 goals, 2 assists, 11 points in 19 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Devin plays tough and doesn’t shy away from bigger players. He positions himself well, is very mobile and moves the puck with ease.”

4th Round (82nd Overall) – Mason Beaupit

  • Position: Goalie
  • Hometown: Surrey, BC
  • Measurables: 6’3″, 165 lbs
  • 2017-18: Okanogan Hockey Academy Bantam Prep (CSSHL)
  • Stats: 3.83 GAA, .895 SV% in 18GP; 2.33 GAA, .943 SV% in 3 playoff games
  • Scouting Report: “Mason is a big goalie with lots of upside. He comes from a good program.”

4th Round (83rd Overall) – Logan Cox

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Prince Albert, SK
  • Measurables: 6’1″, 155 lbs, shoots right
  • 2017-18: Prince Albert Raiders (SBAAHL)
  • Stats: 19 goals, 38 assists, 57 points in 29 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Logan is a combination of skill, smarts and grit. He is a tough competitor, crashes the net and is difficult to play against.”

5th Round (105th Overall) – Chase Friedt-Mohr

  • Position: Defense
  • Hometown: Prince Albert, SK
  • Measurables: 5’10″, 158 lbs, shoots right
  • 2017-18: Prince Albert Raiders (SBAAHL)
  • Stats: 6 goals, 17 assists, 23 points in 31 GP, 2G & 4A in 6 playoff games
  • Scouting Report: “Chase is a strong passer and good with the puck. He shows poise in all areas and plays smart.”

8th Round (156th Overall) – Grady Lane

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Virden, MB
  • Measurables: 6’0″, 176 lbs, shoots left
  • 2017-18: Southwest Cougars (WBD1)
  • Stats: 22 goals, 20 assists, 42 points & 99 PIM in 35 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Grady plays a full 200-foot game. He’s good on faceoffs and is hard on the puck.”

9th Round (193rd Overall) – Zachery Burns

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Eckville, AB
  • Measurables: 6’1″, 169 lbs, shoots right
  • 2017-18: Red Deer Rebels Bantam AAA (AMBHL)
  • Stats: 7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points in 33 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Zachery is a big kid who plays with a strong physical presence. He creates space for his teammates.”

9th Round (194th Overall) – Copeland Fricker

  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Odessa, TX
  • Measurables: 5’6″, 130 lbs
  • 2017-18: Dallas Stars Elite 14U (T1EBHL)
  • Stats: 8 goals, 3 assists, 11 points in 12 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Fast, skilled and smart. He plays with pace. Has excellent vision and creativity on offense.”

10th Round (208th Overall) – Brandt Young

  • Position: Defense
  • Hometown: Neepawa, MB
  • Measurables: 5’10”, 145 lbs
  • 2017-18: Yellowhead Chiefs Bantam AAA (WBD1)
  • Stats: 4 goals, 40 assists, 44 points in 36 GP
  • Scouting Report: “Brandt makes a good first pass and finishes hits. He shows poise in his own end.”

10th Round (215th Overall) – Tyler Palmer

  • Position: Goalie
  • Hometown: Lethbridge, AB
  • Measurables: 5’9″, 158 lbs
  • 2017-18: Lethbridge Golden Hawks Bantam AAA (AMBHL)
  • Stats: 2.40 GAA & .916 SV% in 18 GP, 2.01 GAA & .931 SV% in 3 Alberta Cup games
  • Scouting Report: “Tyler is athletic, tracks the puck well and makes big saves. He steers the puck out of scoring areas well.”

Spokane Chiefs’ 2018 WHL Bantam Draft Selections

  • 1st Round (17th Overall) – Graham Sward, D (Abbotsford, BC)
  • 2nd (39th) – Owen MacNeil, F (Calgary, AB)
  • 3rd (61st) – Blake Swetlikoff, F (Regina, SK)
  • 4th (75th; from PA) – Devin Aubin, D (Falher, AB)
  • 4th (82nd; from REG) – Mason Beaupit, G (Surrey, BC)
  • 4th (83rd) – Logan Cox, F (Prince Albert, SK)
  • 5th (105th) – Chase Friedt-Mohr, D (Prince Albert, SK)
  • 8th (156th; from PG) – Grady Lane, F (Virden, MB)
  • 9th (193rd) – Zachery Burns, F (Eckville, AB)
  • 9th (194th; from KEL) – Copeland Fricker, F (Midland, TX)
  • 10th (208th) – Brandt Young, D (Neepawa, MB)
  • 10th (215th) – Tyler Palmer, G (Lethbridge, AB)

Players eligible for the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft included 2003-born players who reside in the following provinces or states: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Players not selected in the Bantam Draft are then eligible to be listed by WHL clubs, with many being added to WHL Club Protected Player Lists as spots become available.

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