By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the Brandon Wheat Kings
The Brandon Wheat Kings have taken care of some early paperwork, signing three of their 2019 WHL Bantam Draft picks this past weekend.
The three players who signed standard Western Hockey League player agreements this weekend were each selected in the first round of this May's draft: Nate Danielson, Rylen Roersma and Tyson Zimmer. In stockpiling three first round picks, the Wheat Kings opted for skill and speed in this year's opening round, selecting all three out of province-playing forwards within the first 16 selections.
“We’re very excited to have Nate, Tyson and Rylen along with their families join our organization,” said Wheat Kings' Director of Scouting Darren Ritchie in a media release. “We believe these three players will play a big role on some very good teams in the future. We look forward to seeing these players grow up in our organization together.”
Danielson, 14, of Red Deer, AB. put together a stellar second year of bantam hockey for the Rebels AAA team, going nearly a goal-per-game with 26 goals and 59 points in 29 regular season contests in 2018-19. The Wheat Kings took the 6-foot, 165-pound forward fifth overall this past May at the annual bantam draft.
Just behind Danielson was the Wheaties' selection of Tyson Zimmer, sixth overall. Zimmer, a 14-year-old out of Russell, spent the past season playing with the Okanagan Hockey Academy within the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, putting up a stellar 22 goals and 52 points in 26 regular season games with the prep team. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound goal scorer was one of four Manitobans selected by the Wheat Kings this season (Zach Turner, Jesiah Bennett and Owen Harris).
Rounding out their first round signings, Brandon has also come to terms with Rylen Roersma of Raymond, AB. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound centreman collected 23 goals and 44 points in 29 games with the Lethbridge AAA bantam Golden Hawks. Roersma, also 14, was taken 16th overall by the Wheat Kings.
Despite being selected this past spring and having intentions on attending Wheat Kings' training camp in August/September, the three 14-year-olds will not have the chance to dress in the WHL until the 2020-21 season at the very earliest.