Thursday, 2 May 2013

Royals Bantam Draft Recap

The Victoria Royals made 11 selections today at the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.  The Royals drafted 4 defenseman, and 7 Forwards. 

“We addressed a couple situations with regards to our group, really focussed on increasing the skill level of our team…it came out pretty well for us.”- Grant Armstrong, Royals Director of Player Personnel

With their only first round pick, 11th overall, they selected forward Dante Hannoun, from North Shore Winter Club.  Hannoun is 5’5 and 140 lbs, and scored 164 points in 68 games this past season with North Shore, and helped them to the Provincial Championship.

"He's a big producer offensively, a dynamic hockey player.  A guy with tremendous vision.  We'll see what he can do at the next level, but we're excited about him."  - Cam Hope, Royals GM

Back on September 13, 2012 the Royals traded for the rights to Dante’s older brother, forward Demico Hannoun (1995) and a conditional draft pick from the Regina Pats in exchange, for defenceman Kade Pilton.

Demico is a current Michigan Tech commit, however the potential exists for another brother pairing on the club according to Armstrong,

“Our goal is to try and recruit Demico at some point, but in saying that, we were so happy to get Dante, a very high end player with incredible hockey sense…It’s always a concern, it’s competition [college route].  At the end of the day, the program we’re putting in place in Victoria is going to give players the best options.  That’ll be the message we play-off of, when we have those conversations with his family as we move forward.”

Victoria drafted 3 from BC (none from the Island), 4 from Alberta and one each from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Two American born players were taken, forward Ethan Frank (84th) from Omaha, and defenseman Matt Hellickson (99th) from Rogers, Minnesota.

“They’re going to be fan favourites.  It’ll be our job to recruit them, but at the end of the day these are possible high end first round type of players and have incredible skill and talent.”  Armstrong beamed.

Victoria’s first 6 forwards selected are listed at 5’9 or less, beginning with Hannoun who’s 5’5.  Armstrong on if it was an overall trend,

“It’s so hard to forecast when you’re picking 14 year old boys, some of them are still going to grow.  By the time it comes to camp in August we might not recognize some of them because of the growth spurts.  The big thing for us is to get smart hockey players and players that have tremendous amount of skill – and I think we’ve accomplished that.”

No netminders were selected by the club.

- Marlon Martens


Victoria takes seven forwards, four defencemen at annual draft.

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 2, 2013

Calgary, AB – The Victoria Royals are proud to announce that they have selected 11 players in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

Of the 11 players drafted by the Royals, three hail from British Columbia. Alberta contributed four players, while the United States supplied two (Nebraska and Minnesota) and both Saskatchewan and Manitoba provided one player each. By position the Royals picked up seven forwards and four defenceman.

“We’re very happy, it was a fantastic day,” Director of Player Personnel Grant Armstrong said. “Coming in we tried to address the skill component, and we did that. At the same time we looked for intelligence and the players that we have coming to draft camp are all very highly qualified, smart, skilled players.”

Round 1

The Royals used their first pick, 11th overall, to select Dante Hannoun from the North Shore Winter Club Hawks of the Pacific Coast Bantam Hockey League (PCBHL). Hannoun, a 5-6, 145 lb centre skated in 63 games and amassed 151 points (63g-88a) and 46 penalty minutes to go along with a +114 rating. The Delta, BC native also helped lead his team to the 2013 BC Provincial Bantam Tier 1 Championship and a second place finish at the 2013 Western Canada Bantam Championship.

“We are very happy to have chosen Dante with the 11th overall pick,” General Manager Cameron Hope said. “Dante is a dynamic talent who plays with intensity and he sees the ice as well as anyone in the game. He’s an intelligent player who can finish and makes his teammates better.”

Round 2

With the 33rd pick of the draft, the Royals selected Calgary, AB resident Matthew Phillips. During the 2012-13 season, Phillips with the Calgary Bisons of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL). The 5-6, 130 lb winger appeared in 37 games for the Bisons and scored 77 points (40g-37a) to go along with eight minutes in penalties.

“Matthew is a player with great upside,” General Manager Cameron Hope said. “He has a high motor, he’s tenacious and he’s offensively talented. At the same time Matthew also plays a 200-foot game.”

Victoria used their second pick of round two to take defenceman Ralph Jarratt 37th overall. The 6-1, 165 lb rearguard from Grand Prairie, AB played with the Pursuit of Excellence Bantam AAA team where he tallied 29 points (3g-26a) and 66 minutes in penalties in 28 games.

“Ralph is a shutdown defenceman with great potential,” Director of Player Personnel Grant Armstrong said. “Ralph has a good stick and is a strong skater that can play in all situations.”

Round 3

The Royals used the 55th overall selection to pick 5-9, 150 lb winger Noah Gregor. The native of Beaumont, AB played with the Leduc Oil Kings of the AMBHL and collected 68 points (43g-25a) to go along with 64 penalty minutes last season.

“Noah is a strong player that skates very well,” Director of Player Personnel Grant Armstrong said. “Noah can be physical and also has good puck skills. He has the tools to be a successful player in the WHL.”

Round 4

With the 75th selection of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Victoria selected defenceman Blake Jameson. The product of Brandon, MB suited up for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Winnipeg Bantam AAA League. With the Wheat Kings, the 6-1, 166 lb defender scored nine points (1g-8a) to go along with 12 penalty minutes in 25 games.

“Blake is an all-around defenceman,” General Manager Cameron Hope said. “Blake distributes the puck and reads the ice well. There is good growth potential in Blake’s game.”

The Royals used the 77th pick to take Brayden Dunn from Calgary, AB. Dunn, a 5-9, 151 lb centre, played the 2012-13 hockey season with the Calgary Northstar Sabres of the AMBHL. With the Sabres, Dunn potted 69 points (30g-39a) through 45 games played and 10 minutes in penalties.

“Brayden is a skilled player that makes things happen in the offensive zone,” General Manager Cameron Hope said. “Brayden skates well and is tenacious on the puck.”

With their third selection of the fourth round, Victoria drafted Jared Dmytriw, 83rd overall. Dmytriw, who hails from Craven, SK, skated with the Prairie Storm of the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League (SBAA). The 5-9, 150 lb forward amassed 64 points (37g-27a) and 54 penalty minutes in 37 games with the Storm.

“Jared is a highly competitive player,” Director of Player Personnel Grant Armstrong said. “Jared is a quick skater with vision and a good shot that has shown the ability to finish the chances he receives.”

Ethen Frank from Omaha, NE became the first American-born player selected by the Royals with the 84th overall pick. A 5-11, 164 lb forward, Frank played with the Omaha AAA 16U team of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) where he notched 23 points (8g-15a) and six penalty minutes in 22 games.

“Ethen has top-end talent,” Director of Player Personnel Grant Armstrong said. “Ethen shows poise with the puck and good hockey sense. He has also shown the ability to compete and standout against older players.”

Round 5

With the Royals ninth selection of the draft, 99th overall, the team took defenceman Matt Hellickson. The native of Rogers, MN laced up for the Rogers Royals of the Minnesota High School Hockey League. With the Royals, the 5-10, 155 lb rearguard collected 11 points (4g-7a) and 23 penalty minutes in 25 games.

“Matt is a mobile defenceman with good skills,” Director of Player Personnel Grant Armstrong said. “Matt skates well and has a quick, hard shot. We think Matt has good upside in his game.”

Round 8

Victoria grabbed forward Ty Westgard with the 165th selection in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. The 5-11,163 lb forward from Surrey, BC played with the Semiahmoo Bantam A1 team of the PCBHL team where he potted 117 points (51g-66a) in 47 games.

“Ty is a hard working leader,” said General Manager Cameron Hope. “Ty was the captain of his team. He handles the puck well and has the potential to be a good offensive player in the WHL.”

Round 9

With the 187th selection of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, the Royals drafted defenceman Carter Stephenson from West Vancouver, BC. The 5-11, 155 lb defender played with Hollyburn Bantam A1team of the PCBHL.

“Carter has good instincts on the ice,“ Director of Player Personnel Grant Armstrong said. “Carter makes good first passes and is a good skater that possesses balance and edge control.”

The WHL Bantam Draft is an annual outing, in which the clubs of the Western Hockey League select players who have graduated from bantam. The draft's order of selection depends on where the team finishes in the League standings. The clubs that miss the playoffs are placed into a lottery for the first round only. After the first round, the clubs select in order from fewest to most regular season points.

During the bantam draft, players from the four Western Provinces and the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are eligible to be selected. For the 2013 bantam draft, players born in 1998 may be selected.

Here Comes the Blue! Season ticket packages for the 2013-14 season are on sale now! Call 250-220-7889, visit, or head down to the Victoria Royals ticketing office at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre for more information.


For further information contact:

Corey St. Laurent
Manager of Communications and Hockey Operations Coordinator
Victoria Royals Hockey Club