Broncos select Birnie to open Bantam Draft

The Swift Current Broncos opened the 2020 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft by selecting Regina’s Brady Birnie with the 21st overall pick.

The Swift Current Broncos selected Regina Monarchs forward Brady Birnie with the 21st overall pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft.

The 5’6’’ forward was second in Saskatchewan Bantam AAA Hockey League scoring with 128 points in 31 regular season games. He added six goals and four assists in three playoff games.

The story of the day was the Broncos preference for Saskatchewan and Manitoba players as they selected five from each province amongst their 11 picks.

The Broncos selected a total of seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender.

The Broncos used the 42nd overall pick to select forward Rylan Gould. The Headingley, MB product registered 32 goals and 54 assists in 36 games with the Winnipeg Monarchs B1AAA team this season. He stands 5’7’’ and weighs 152 pounds. Gould added seven goals and 13 assists in 10 games to lead his team in playoff scoring.

Two picks later they used the 44th selection to draft to scoop up defenseman Grayson Burzynski. The 6’1’’, 203-pound blueliner also played for his hometown Winnipeg Monarchs. He finished the season with 19 goals, 39 assists, and 22 penalty minutes in 36 games. Burzynski added six goals and eight assists in 10 playoff games.

The Broncos also announced a trade as they sent the 87th pick back to the Everett Silvertips for 2003-born forward Carter Halamandaris. The Portage la Prairie native was drafted 86th overall in 2018. He posted 31 goals and 24 assists in the Manitoba Midget Hockey League with the Winnipeg AAA Wild this past season where he was a teammate of Broncos 2019 third-round pick Sam Court.

The Broncos added defenseman Liam Saxberg in the third round with the 60th overall selection. The 5’10 blueliner registered 19 goals, 28 assists, and 56 penalty minutes in 36 games with his hometown Winnipeg Warriors.

The Broncos used their first pick in the fourth round to select Shaunavon’s Nolan Stevenson 67th overall. The 6’0’’ defenseman had 21 points in 30 games with the Notre Dame Hounds in the CSSHL this season.

They used the 68th pick to added Saskatoon forward Tyson Yaremko. The 5’8’’ winger had 39 goals and 37 assists in 31 games with the Saskatoon Stallions.

The Broncos concluded the fourth round by adding Stevenson’s teammate Van Eger, a 5’11’ forward from Willow Bunch 88th overall. Eger posted 18 goals and 18 assists in 30 games for the Hounds.

They quickly opened the fifth round by selecting centre Connor Gabriel 89th overall. The 5’9’’ forward finished the season with 25 goals and 36 assists in 30 games with the Saskatoon Bandits.

The Broncos selected a goaltender later in the fifth round when they chose Nanaimo’s Joey Rocha 109th overall. The 6’1’’ Rocha had an 8-7 record with a 3.35 goals against average with the North Island Silvertips Bantam AAA team.

The Broncos opened the seventh round by drafting forward Joey Lies. The Flin Flon product finished the season with 22 goals and 17 assists in 33 games with the Norman Wolves.

The Broncos used the 199th pick to grab Winnipeg’s Brandon Funk. The 5’6’’ forward had 18 goals and 20 assists in 36 games with the Winnipeg Sharks.