By Carter Brooks
Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin
The 2019 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone, thus providing much excitement to the families and friends of the 217 18-year-olds selected at this year's running. Included in the mix was a handful of NHL hopefuls with Manitoba ties.
After finding himself unanimously ranked within the top-31 draft eligible players, Winnipeg ICE forward and team captain Peyton Krebs heard his name called 17th overall by none other than Brandon Wheat Kings' owner and current General Manager of the Vegas Golden Knights, Kelly McCrimmon.
After tearing his achilles tendon during some offseason training, Krebs was passed over by 16 different NHL teams, before falling to Vegas at 17th overall, prompting a rather easy decision for honorary Manitoban McCrimmon. Krebs had 19 goals and 68 points in 64 games for a very weak Kootenay ICE team in 2018-19.
"The atmosphere in Vegas starts with their fans," Krebs said in a Golden Knights' media release. "I've heard it's unbelievable, so I'm looking forward to feeling that, experiencing that, and I wanted to go to a place that I could get the shivers every time I walked into the building. I think Vegas will do that. I'm pretty pumped."
Trent Miner, a Brandon product was selected on day two of the draft, going 202nd overall to the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round. Miner, who spent the past two seasons dressing for the Vancouver Giants, put up a 1.98 goals against average, a .924 save percentage and a 24-5-1 record with three shutouts during the regular season for the Giants. He then saw his Vancouver teammates fall 3-2 in overtime of Game Seven of the WHL championship to Prince Albert.
Brandon Wheat Kings' forward Luka Burzan was also selected later in the draft, joining Miner and well as former Wheat Kings' forward Ty Lewis in Colorado after being selected in the sixth round by the Avalanche. On Monday, the Philadelphia Flyers also announced that Brandon's Ben McCartney has been invited to the team's Development Camp, beginning Tuesday in Pennsylvania.
Burzan now joins former Wheaties' teammates Stelio Mattheos (73rd overall, Carolina, 2017), Jiri Patera (161st overall, Vegas, 2017) and Braydyn Chizen (207th overall, Minnesota, 2016) as members of the 2018-19 Wheat Kings squad to hear their names called out at the NHL Entry Draft. Brett Davis (163rd overall, Dallas, 2017) was the lone member of last season's ICE team to earn an NHL selection.