KENT, May 5, 2016 — The Seattle Thunderbirds selected defenseman Jake Lee in the first round, 18th overall, in the 2016 Bantam Draft Thursday morning in Calgary, Alberta.
Lee, who is 6’1 and 175-pounds, played this season for the Sherwood Park Flyers Bantam AAA team. He had 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points in 32 games. Lee played 10 playoff games with the Flyers and had two goals and eight assists.
“Lee is a very good two-way player who is responsible,” said T-Birds Director of Player Personnel Cal Filson from the Draft. “Lee is one of the top defensemen in Alberta who is a smooth skater. He will be an impact player.”
In the second round, with the 40th overall selection, the T-Birds took forward Eric Fawkes from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Fawkes, 6’1 and 181-pounds, played for the Winnipeg Monarchs this season and had 31 goals and 37 assists for 68 points in 34 games.
“Eric is a big, strong, power forward with excellent vision who can score,” said T-Birds Manitoba Scout Mark Romas. “He led the Monarchs in scoring this season.”
In the third round the T-Birds had the 62nd and 66th overall selections.
The T-Birds selected center Alex Swetlifkoff from Kelowna, British Columbia, with the 62nd pick. Swetlikoff is 6’1 and 157-pounds and played for the Yale Bantam Prep team this season. He had 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points in 25 games.
“Alex is a big center who is a good two-way player. He plays tough in the corners, wins battles and will be hard to play against,” said Filson.
With the 66th overall selection the T-Birds picked defenseman Layton Ahac from North Vancouver, British Columbia. Ahac is 6’1 and 160-pounds.
“Layton is a good puck moving defenseman who provides offense from the blue line,” said Filson.
The T-Birds traded a 2017 sixth round Bantam pick to the Tri-City Americans for their sixth round pick this year to select center Nakodan Greyeyes from Winnipeg.
“Nakodan plays with speed and agility,” said Romas. “Although he was hampered by injuries this season he finished second on his team in scoring. He is a teammate of Fawkes on the Monarchs.”
Greyeyes, who is 5’11 and 154-pounds, played in 26 games and had 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points.
In the eighth round, with the 172nd overall the T-Birds selected center Graeme Bryks from Edmonton. Bryks played with the Edmonton Knights of Columbus this season and had 33 goals and 30 assists for 63 points in 36 games. Bryks is 6’2 and 186 pounds.
“Graeme is a big, strong power forward who had an impressive 63 points in 36 games,” said Filson.
The T-Bird selected forward Matthew Lehmann in the ninth round with the 194th overall selection.
Lehmann is 6’2 and 172-pounds and had nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points for Pembina Valley Hawks Bantam AAA team this season.
“Matthew is a difficult player to play against,” said Filson. “He plays with an edge and brings a physical presence.”
In the 10th round T-Birds selected goalie Cole Schwebius from Kelowna. Schwebius played for OHA Bantam Prep team this season and is 5’9 and 154-pounds. He appeared in 14 games and had a 7-7 record with a 3.58 goals against average and a .898 save percentage.
“Cole was the goalie of the year in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL). His team made it to the Championship game and he was outstanding,” said Filson. “We think he is an exciting goalie and he is very athletic.”
Game 1 of the WHL Championship is Friday, May 6, at 6pm in Brandon.
The T-Birds will host Games 3, 4 and 5 of the WHL Championship. Game 3 is Tuesday, May 10, at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center. Game 3 will be a Directors Mortgage 2-for-Tuesday game that will feature two-for-one tickets in all price levels and $2 concession specials on beer, hot dogs, popcorn and soda.
Game 4 of the WHL Championship will be a White Out Wednesday game on May 11. The first 5,000 fans at Game 4 will receive a special, limited edition FREE T-Birds white t-shirt. The puck drops at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center for Game 4.
Single game playoff tickets for the WHL Championship against Brandon are currently on sale on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center box office is open Monday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm.