AMARILLO, TX – It was a busy day for the Amarillo Bulls at the 2014 North American Hockey League Draft on Tuesday afternoon.
The Bulls had 13 total picks during the draft and selected eight forwards, and five defensemen. Brady Crabtree, a forward from the St. Louis Blues U18 Team, was the Bulls first selection, 23rd overall in the first round.
Other players joining him are: Jack Suter (Forward, Colorado Rampage, Tier I Elite League); Mike Damien (Defenseman, Proctor High School, New Hampshire); Wayland Williams (Defenseman, Merritt Capitals, BCHL); Kyle Hartman (Defenseman, TPH Thunder, Tier I Elite League); Kenny Shemanske (Forward, Chicago Young Americans, HPHL); Justin Misiak (Forward, Detroit Little Caesars, HPHL); Johnny Panvika (Forward Jefferson High School, Minnesota); Mike Sieckhaus (Defenseman, St. Louis Blues U18, Tier I Elite League); Will Harrison (Forward, Cleveland Barons 18U, Tier I Elite League); Corey Siwula (Defenseman, West Michigan, NAPHL); Matthew Goeree (Forward, Michigan Nationals, Ind); Riley Christensen (Forward, Northern Cyclones, EHL).
New Bulls Head Coach Jon Rogger says he is thrilled with the first pick of Brady Crabtree.
“I’m from St. Louis and I have known Brady for several years,” he said. “He’s a strong player who will be good in the South Division and you know what you are getting out of him every night.”
Rogger said the team had to reload both offensively and defensively because there are very few players coming back.
“To win hockey games, you have to put pucks in the net and that’s why we went with forwards for our first few picks,” he said. “We also needed some veteran puck moving defenseman. We took a chance with some players that are currently USHL property, but that’s where you hope to hit a homerun. I think it will be a waiting game as some of these players have been drafted by USHL teams. They will go to their camps so we will see how they’ll do.”
Among the defenseman the Bulls drafted were Mike Damien from Proctor High School and Wayland Williams who spent time in the USHL.
“We found some great defensemen like Damien who plays solid and we heavily recruited,” Rogger said. “We watched Williams play a bit and I think he can be a power play guy for us. We have guys that have some experience who can step right in and play.”
The Bulls also added a defenseman whose last name is very familiar to fans. Mike Sieckhaus, the younger brother of Matt Sieckhaus (who will play at Bentley University this fall), was chosen in the fifth round.
“I did some homework on the young man, and have known his family for a while,” Rogger said. “I have gotten a lot of good feedback on him. There may have been little extra help that his brother did play here, but it didn’t factor in the final decision.”
The Amarillo Bulls will hold an Open Camp in Colorado Springs in June and then have their Main Camp in Michigan at the end of July.
The 5th anniversary season of the Amarillo Bulls faces off this September and fans can take advantage of both full and partial season ticket packages as well as 10 game Flex Packs. All three packages will save fans over walk-up prices and also have some terrific benefits. For further information please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or visit 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.
AMARILLO BULLS DRAFT SELECTIONS:
BRADY CRABTREE (1st round-23rd overall):
Previous Team: St. Louis Jr. Blues 18U; Position: Forward, Birthdate: June 1, 1995, Height: 5-11, Weight: 190. In 16 games with the Jr. Blues, Crabtree notched three goals and six assist for nine points.
JACK SUTER (2nd round – 27th overall):
Previous Team: Colorado Rampage, Position: Forward, Birthdate: April 19, 1995, Height: 5-11, Weight: 165. In 36 games with the Rampage, Suter netted 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points. He fired five power play goals and added five game winners.
Mike Damien (2nd round – 28 overall):
Previous Team: Proctor High School, New Hampshire; Position: Defense; Birthdate: April 30, 1995, Height: 5-11, Weight: 181. In 32 games for the team, Damien had nine goals and 21 assists for 32 points.
Wayland Williams (2nd round – 47th overall):
Previous Team: Merritt Centennials (BCHL), Position: Defence, Birthdate: May 31, 1994; Height: 5-11, Weight: 185. In 56 games for the Centennials, Williams notched three goals and 10 assists for 13 points.
Kyle Hartman (3rd round – 52nd overall):
Previous Team: TPH Thunder (Tier I Elite League), Position: Defence, Birthdate: July 24, 1996; Height: 5-11, Weight: 150. In 31 games for the TPH Thunder, Hartman notched four goals and two assists for six points.
Kenny Shemanske (3rd round – 58th overall):
Previous Team: Chicago Young Americans, Position: Forward, Birthdate: July 28, 1996, Height: 6-3, Weight: 181. Shemanske played in the High Performance Hockey League where he posted 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points in 29 games.
Justin Misiak (3rd Round – 71st overall):
Previous Team: Detroit Little Caesars, Position: Forward, Birthdate: Apr. 7, 1996; Height: 5-7; Weight: 141. In 28 games, Misiak had 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points.
Johnny Panvica (4th Round – 93rd overall):
Previous Team: Jefferson High School (Mn), Position: Forward, Birthdate: August 2, 1995: Height: 5-8; Weight: 161 pounds.
Mike Sieckhaus (5th Round – 115th overall):
Previous Team: St. Louis Jr. Blues U18; Position: Defense, Birthdate: May 24, 1996; Height: 5-10, Weight: 176. In 35 games, Sieckhaus, the younger brother of Matt Sieckhaus, had five goals and nine assists for 14 points.
Will Harrison (6th Round – 135th overall):
Previous Team: Cleveland Jr. Barons, Position: Forward, Birthdate: January 7, 1996, Height: 6-0, Weight: 185. In 37 games with the Jr. Barons, Harrison had 10 goals and 32 assists for 42 points.
Corey Siwula (7th Round – 153rd overall):
Previous Team: West Michigan Hounds, Position: Defence, Birthdate: February 13, 1995, Height: 6-2, Weight: 165. In 24 games in the North American Prospects Hockey League, Siwula had five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 24 games.
Matthew Goeree (8th Round – 166th overall):
Previous Team: Michigan Nationals, Position: Forward, Birthdate: June 18, 1997, Height: 6-1, Weight: 165.
Riley Christensen (9th Round – 178th overall):
Previous Team: Northern Cyclones, Position: Forward: Birthdate: 1994, Height: 5-8, Weight: 170. In 42 games with the Northern Cyclones of the EHL, Christensen had 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points.