Broncos draft Russian Minulin

Artyom Minulin (photo from the Russian Ice Hockey Federation via scbroncos.com)

Artyom Minulin (photo from the Russian Ice Hockey Federation via scbroncos.com)

The Swift Current Broncos made a deep group of young defencemen even deeper at the CHL Import Draft today.

They selected 16-year-old Russian Artyom Minulin with the 29th pick of the first round.

Click here for the whole story from Swift Current Online

Interview with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb on Minulin:

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Glenn Gawdin Timeline (drafted by St. Louis)

2015 Draft Sweater Gawdin

Congrats to Broncos forward Glenn Gawdin who followed Jake DeBrusk’s big moment Friday by getting his name called by the St. Louis Blues on Saturday in the 4th round. In a draft as deep as this one it really doesn’t matter where you’re picked it matters what you do after you get the opportunity. Gawdin doesn’t have to look any further than recent Broncos Cody Eakin and Adam Lowry to see what players taken in this range of the draft can do if they keep improving.

Gawdin to me was a no-brainer pick in that spot of the draft. Ever since I first saw him in camp you could see he was a guy who carried himself like a hockey player and had all the tools to be successful. He has a well-rounded game because he has the physical ability to compete in all aspects of the sport and as he continues to major physically/mentally the ceiling is very high for him. What makes him a good pick on top of that is that the floor is high also. This is a player that at the very least should be a well rounded pro while very much could one day be a contributing top six forward.

Since we did the same for Jake DeBrusk after he was drafted now we take a look back at Glenn Gawdin’s development to draft day…

It’s been an exciting few years for the Broncos at the NHL draft. In the last two years alone two first round picks, two third round picks and a fourth round pick. On top of that Colby Cave signed with Boston and now Carter Rigby has been invited to Minnesota’s development camp next month. I heard them talk on Sportsnet about Swift Current being “hard to get to” for NHL scouts. That hasn’t been the case in recent years and if they keep pumping out prospects like this we will continue to see a full scout room at the Credit Union iPlex.

Later this week I’ll have some interviews with the drafted guys, some European draft talk tomorrow and a couple of other player interviews before the week is over. It’s been a busy couple weeks of Broncos news and will only continue tomorrow as we see what’s happening with the imports.

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Jake DeBrusk Timeline

Jake DeBrusk in 2012

Jake DeBrusk in 2012

For the second straight year a Swift Current Broncos star has taken the big stage at the NHL Draft as a first round pick. Jake DeBrusk followed in Julius Honka’s footsteps this season as both ended up picked 14th overall in their respective drafts. It’s a very exciting day for the DeBrusk family and for the Broncos family. This is the first time in Broncos history they’ve had first round picks in back-to-back seasons. Both players made significant leaps in reputation and stature in their time with the Broncos and are a tremendous reflection on the organization as well as their own talent and dedication.

I remember back in 2011 when the Broncos plucked a young and undersized DeBrusk in the 7th round of the WHL bantam draft. The son of a well respected NHL tough guy was only listed at 5’5 and 125lbs. Was this just a flyer on a kid who had a name? I remember at the time DeBrusk and people who knew him told me despite his size he never backed away from the tough areas and could hold his own. I also remember people with the Broncos telling me they had reason to believe he hadn’t hit his growth spurt yet… and boy was it a good bet. Nature played a part and hard work played a bigger one as DeBrusk became the surprise of the 2011 draft and emerged as one of the best goal scorers in junior hockey.

Now Boston is making a bet on him ahead of where he was projected. Don’t bet against him. He thrives when you do.

Here is a timeline of some big moments in DeBrusk’s evolution to today…

It’s been quite the journey for DeBrusk already and it’s only just starting now. Next up we look forward to seeing what team will get a can’t miss pick outside of the first round with Glenn Gawdin tomorrow.

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DeBrusk drafted 14th overall by Boston

DeBrusk draft

It’s a historic day for the Swift Current Broncos.

For the first time in franchise history the Broncos have had players picked in the first round of the NHL draft in back-to-back seasons.

The Boston Bruins made Broncos forward Jake DeBrusk their selection at 14th overall in the 2015 draft.

DeBrusk was part of back-to-back-to-back picks for the Bruins after they dealt Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic earlier in the day.

The Edmonton product scored 42 goals in his sophomore WHL season to lead the Broncos. In addition to the skill it takes to score at that level, DeBrusk is known for his knack for the net and a willingness to go to the hard areas.

He joins his former captain Colby Cave in the Bruins organization as Cave was signed by Boston early in the off-season.

DeBrusk follows defenceman Julius Honka as a first round pick for Swift Current. Dallas picked Honka 14th overall in the 2014 draft.

Fellow Broncos forward Glenn Gawdin is also expected to hear his name called during this draft. Rounds 2-7 are scheduled for Saturday.

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Lamb interview on adding Scott Feser & Zac Mackay’s departure

Scott Feser (photo from scbroncos.com)

Scott Feser (photo from scbroncos.com)

The Swift Current Broncos added veteran forward Scott Feser yesterday in a deal with the Red Deer Rebels. The two-way forward will be an overage player next year and fits in with Landon Bow and Griffin Foulk among the players who could fill the three 20-year-old slots here for next season. Feser does a little bit of everything and that versatility will be very helpful on a young team with players trying to find their way this fall.

I had a chance to chat with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb about adding Feser and the departure of Zac Mackay…

On another note I want to wish Jake DeBrusk and Glenn Gawdin the best of luck tonight and tomorrow. They are both very talented and hard working young players. Any team that picks them will be lucky to get them.

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Broncos News: Lamb Interview, Mackay/LeSann/Nikkel/Penner deapart, DeBrusk to U20 camp & more

Zac Mackay (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

Zac Mackay (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

Interview with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb (before the Mackay news):

It was a busy two days of Broncos news with a lot of goodbyes in the mix. The Broncos cloudy overage situation has certainly cleared up lately. With the departures now of Jay Merkley, Zac Mackay, Tanner LeSann, Ayrton Nikkel and Linden Penner there are only a couple of players left standing.

Mackay chose to wrap up his WHL career rather than return this fall. The Broncos also gave LeSann, Nikkel and Penner their releases so they could have sufficient time to pursue other hockey opportunities. They all certainly made their contributions to the team. Mackay and LeSann stand out as they were both full time players for three seasons. They are both players who will be remembered for their heart as shut down forwards who were never afraid to take on bigger players in the corners or dropping the gloves. They will certainly be missed.

There is a lot of turnover in junior hockey sometimes and this off season is certainly an example of that. In addition to the five players I mentioned the Broncos also graduated Carter Rigby, Coda Gordon and Colby Cave. Brett Lernout and Dillon Heatherington are also likely gone since they’re signed professionals heading into their 20-year-old season meaning they can play in the AHL at least.

That means the Broncos are looking at ten departures if not more. It opens the door for some young blood and maybe the occasional veteran who is looking for a new opportunity. We’ve seen that before with players like Ryon Moser, Levi Bews, Chance Lund, Connor Sanvido and others.

It’ll be fun to have a bit of a youth movement here too. There are a lot of exciting young players on the current roster and in the system. There should be a fresh feeling to the lineup in September.

On that note… the schedule is out. You can see both the pre-season and regular season schedule at WHL.ca. The main issue of note in the regular season is that the western trip is in mid-November this year instead of early October.

HOCKEY CANADA INVITES

There were a couple of Hockey Canada invites for Broncos players this week. Jake DeBrusk has been invited to the World Junior summer camp for Team Cnaada, while Dominic Schmiemann was invited to the U17 summer camp.

For DeBrusk it’s another significant step in what has been a season to remember. He led the Broncos with 42 goals, flew up the NHL draft rankings, played the CHL top prospects game and is days away from being drafted… possibly in the first round. Now he has an opportunity to be part of Team Caanada a year after teammate Dillon Heatherington won gold with the red and white.

As much as there is turnover in Swift Current there is also much to be excited about. A lot of that excitement is connectd to DeBrusk and Glenn Gawdin heading into this weekend at the draft. They are just the latest Broncos to be in the picture this time of the year after three guys were drafted in the top three rounds last year.

It’s gorgeous outside, Frontier Days start tomorrow and yet it’s starting to feel like hockey season. Mid-August and training camp is around the corner. I can’t wait.

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Merkley & Rigby join CIS teams

Jay Merkley (Photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

Jay Merkley (Photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

Swift Current Broncos forward Jay Merkley is heading to school.

Merkley will fore-go his overage season in the WHL to attend the University of Lethbridge and play for their CIS hockey team.

The Calgary product put up 114 points in 164 games as a Bronco.

Swift Current picked him up in a deal with the Lethbridge Hurricanes for gritty forward Josh Derko and a second round bantam draft pick.

His departure still leaves the Broncos with eight potential overage players and only three spots to fill.

Merkley joins graduating Broncos forward Carter Rigby in committing to a CIS school this summer. Rigby will play for the University of Prince Edward Island.

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