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Chiefs select forward Hafele, goaltender Denes in WHL U.S. Priority Draft

Spokane, Wash. — The Spokane Chiefs selected forward Landon Hafele (1st round – 8th overall) and goaltender Ryan Denes (2nd round – 37th overall) in the 2022 WHL U.S. Priority Draft on Wednesday morning.

Hafele (HAFF-lee), a 5-foot-10, 163-pound forward from Fairbanks, Alaska spent the 2021-22 season with Team Alaska 14U AAA, where he piled up 20 points (10G-10A) over 15 games played. Before that, he put up nine points (6G-3A) over six games with the Team Alaska 13U AAA team.

He most recently played five games with the Green Bay Jr. Gamblers 14U in the 2022 Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships, where he posted seven points on three goals and four assists, including one power play goal.

“Landon is a forward with dynamic skill and a high work ethic on and off the ice,” said Spokane Chiefs Director of U.S. Scouting George Ross. “We are excited to add him to our young group.”

Denes (DEENS), a 6-foot, 165-pound netminder from Saugus, California, spent the 2021-22 season with Mount St. Charles Academy (USHS-Prep). Over 35 games, he boasted a 2.40 GAA and .910 SV% and posted a 23-10-2 record. Before that, he played 20 games with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks 13U AAA, where he had a 1.35 GAA and .922 SV%.

This spring, Denes also spent three games in net for the Rhode Island Saints in the 2022 Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships, where he had a 3.33 GAA and .839 SV%.

“Ryan has been one of the best goalies in his age group for some time,” Ross said. “He thinks about the game at a high level and has elite athleticism.”

Players not selected in the 2022 WHL U.S. Priority Draft will remain eligible to be selected in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft on Thursday, May 19, or listed by a WHL Club at any time thereafter. The Chiefs have eight picks within the top 100 selections, including eighth-overall, as well as one choice in the second round (27th), two in the third (49th and 59th), two in the fourth (67th and 71st) and two in the fifth (93rd and 96th).

Full U.S. Priority Draft results are available at whl.ca/draft.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

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