Raiders’ Gunville assesses Bantam picks

The Prince Albert Raiders picked Tyson Laventure 31st overall in the second round of Thursday’s WHL Bantam draft. He played his Bantam hockey at the OHA Edmonton Bantam Prep hockey school this past season. -- Photo courtesy of Prince Albert Raiders/Two Point Photography and Design/Twitter

As part of the Daily Herald’s coverage of the Prince Albert Raiders’ 2018 Bantam draft picks, we’re following up our look at Nolan Allan, the team’s third overall pick, with closer looks at the team’s other nine selections made yesterday.

In total, the Western Hockey League club selected 10 Bantam players (Allan included).

Four are from Saskatchewan, four are from Alberta, one is from Manitoba and one is from Las Vegas, though he played the majority of his Bantam hockey in Arizona.

We spoke with Raiders director of player personnel Ron Gunville to hear how he and his team of scouts assessed each of the Raiders’ draft picks, after Nolan Allan.

Tyson Laventure, right wing, picked 31st overall in the second round; from Lloydminster, Alta., played with OHA Edmonton Bantam Prep

“He’s a good skater and has good size. He has the ability to score goals and comes from a high-end hockey program.”

Dean Spak, centreman, picked 53rd overall in the third round; from Calgary, played with the Calgary CNHA Northstar Sabres Bantam AAA program

“Dean’s a skilled, two-way centreman. He put up good numbers for the Calgary Northstars. He has the ability to put up points.”

Adam McNutt, defenceman, picked 68th overall in the fourth round; from Saskatoon, played with the Saskatoon Generals

“Adam’s WHL-sized already. We like his character, we like his ability to play physical. And he also jumps in on the offence; he had 22 goals last year.

“He’s a good all-around defenceman, but he’s going to be one of those guys that’s really tough to play against in the Art Hauser Centre.”

Brett Moravec, centreman, picked 97th overall in the fifth round; from Airdrie, Alta., played with the Airdrie Xtreme

“Brett’s a competitive, two-way centreman who has character. We got a good background on him as one of our scouts coached him in spring hockey.

“He’s a kid who lives and breathes hockey; he’s a winner. We like that he played for a provincial champion in the Airdrie bantams, and we like his overall game.”

Logan Linklater, centreman, picked 115th overall in the sixth round; from Kindersley, Sask., played with the West Central Wheat Kings

“He’s a guy that came on the radar later for us; the first half of the year we didn’t have much on him to be honest. Then he led his team in scoring.

“He’s got good skill, he’s got ability to make great little passes, is more of a playmaker, but still gets around the net, scores goals, and was also a provincial champion on the West Central team.”

Tayem Gislasoon, defenceman, picked 119th overall in the sixth round; from Winnipeg, played with the Rink H.A. Nationals Bantam Prep

“Tayem is a big, shut-down stay-at-home defenceman.

“He’s got a good stick; he’s got good size already. He comes from the Rink Academy (in Winnipeg) – we took two guys from there last year, and we really like the development that they get at that hockey program. 

“We were happy to get Tayem at that spot in the draft.”

Matthew Gross, forward, picked 141st overall in the seventh round; from Las Vegas, played with the Arizona Bobcats 14U

“He was a kid that we got tipped off on a little bit. We didn’t know a lot about him. 

“A couple of my contacts down in the Arizona country were texting me at the draft table, saying, ‘you’ve gotta take this guy. He’s a no-brainer. He’s a WHL guy.’

“And our Minnesota scout who saw him at the Anaheim WHL combine thought he was an excellent player as well.

“So we took a chance on him. We hope to get him at camp and we’ll see what he is from there.” 

Eric Robbie, picked 163rd overall in the eighth round; from Rosetown, Sask., played with the West Central Wheat Kings

“Eric’s a big guy.

“He played with the provincial champions (the West Central Wheat Kings). He’s a big, right-handed defenceman. He’s got a hell of a shot from the point.

“He scores lots of goals. He’s gonna play in North Battleford (with the Midget AAA Stars), he should get lots of ice time there.

“He’s a guy we like. He’s got some work to do on the skating probably, but he’s got a good head for the game, good offensive instincts, and he’s a guy we couldn’t pass up there in the eighth round.”

Myles Hilman, picked 185th overall in the ninth round; from Blackfalds, Alta., played with the Red Deer Rebels Bantam AAA team

“Our local scout from Red Deer said he saw him at the P.A. Bantam tournament, he saw him at the Alberta Cup. He’s just a guy who you notice is always around the puck.

“He’s a competitive, smaller kid right now.

“He plays hard, plays competitive and he puts up numbers. He was the highest on the board (in the ninth round), and we kept saying ‘well how come he’s not going?’

“So we took a shot on him at that point in the draft and we thought it was a good value pick. We’re happy to get him where we did.”

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