We watched with pride as Brandon Wheat Kings general manager Kelly McCrimmon stepped up to make the franchise’s first-ever No. 1 pick in the Western Hockey League’s annual bantam draft.
McCrimmon, using a pick he’d acquired in a 2012 trade with the Saskatoon Blades, brought high-scoring Winnipegger Stelio Mattheos on board.
While not a complete surprise — we note that Brandon Sun hockey writer Rob Henderson publicly picked Mattheos as the Wheaties’ likely selection earlier this week — it was nice to see Brandon welcome yet another Manitoban player to the team.
Last year, McCrimmon (who also owns and coaches the team) also picked a Winnipeg player in the first round of the draft. And Mattheos is now the ninth Manitoban chosen by the Wheat Kings in the first round since the WHL introduced the bantam draft in 1990.
It’s great to see that this province continues to produce quality hockey talent (Roblin’s Josh Brook was picked fourth in this year’s draft by the Moose Jaw Warriors) and that the Brandon Wheat Kings continue to choose them at the junior level.
Welcome to Brandon, Stelio. We look forward to seeing you — and the rest of the team — hit the ice.