Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Red Wings Draft Recap

With seven picks in the 2022 SJHL Draft, it was a busy draft day for the Weyburn Red Wings. Because of the complications that the pandemic brought in, the draft was changed this year to allow 6 rounds of draft picks born in 2006, and two more rounds afterwards for players born in 2007.

With the first overall pick in the 2006 portion of the draft, the Red Wings selected Rhett Vedress from Annaheim, Saskatchewan. Listed at 6’0, the young defenceman stands now closer 6’2 and put up 5G-14A-19P in 32 games with the Humboldt Broncos U18 AA team last year.

“I’d like to thank everyone for getting me this far. I think it’s a great opportunity and I’m glad it’s happening. My parents, they’ve pushed me to get this far and always gave me the best opportunities and I guess it’s paying off. My coach this year, Eric Sundholm, he got me a long ways. I wasn’t really noticed that much before this year and now here I am.”

Next, Vedress will be playing his first year of 18U AAA Hockey with the Yorkton Maulers.

With their ninth overall pick, the Red Wings selected forward Logan Pickford from the Saskatoon Contacts 18U AAA team. In 44 games last season as a 16 year old, he managed 3G-11A-14P.

The Saskatoon native is another elite skater in the league. His work ethic, specifically on the forecheck, make him a great addition to the team.

Pickford will be playing his second year with the Contacts next season.

Moving to the second round, the Red Wings selected forward Luke Dahlen with the 22nd overall pick in the draft from the Saskatoon Blazers 18U AAA. In that season, he put up 5G-12A-17P in 36 games last season.

When asked about why he made the pick, Head Coach and GM Cody Mapes said, “Dahlen’s IQ is extremely high and will be a great NCAA prospect.”

Dahlen has some experience from some major tournaments from a young age. In 2015-16 as a 10 year old he played with the Saskatchewan Jr. Pats in the Brick Invitational Tournament against other teams from around the country, and this past year he represented Saskatchewan in the WHL Cup.

Dahlen will play his second season of 18U AAA hockey this coming season with the Saskatoon Blazers.

The Red Wings did not have a pick in the third round, so skipping to their fourth round pick at 39th overall is Morgan Tastad. Another member of the Saskatoon Contacts U18 AAA team, the young defenceman from Loreburn already stands at 6’2 and put up 2G-8A-10P in 43 games last year.

“This guy played house hockey two years ago and is just coming into his own. He’s going to be a great junior defenceman.”

Tastad will play his second season of U18 AAA alongside Pickford with the Saskatoon Contacts.

Initially the Red Wings didn’t have a pick in the fifth round, but after trading their 61st overall pick to jump up to 50th overall, the Wings selected goaltender Eric Kahl from the Saskatoon Blazers. In his first year at the AAA level last season, he managed a .891 SV% and a 2.60GAA average as a 15 year old, culminating in an impressive 17-4-0 record.

The Saskatoon native stands at 6’2 already with room to grow, and combined with his natural athleticism, his size is going to be a major asset for the Red Wings in the future.

Along with Dahlen, Kahl was a member of Team Saskatchewan in the Brick Invitational Tournament in the 2015-16 season as a 10-year-old.After appearing in 22 games last season, Kahl will be the starting goaltender for the Saskatoon Blazers U18 AAA program this coming season.

Moving to the 2007 draft, the Red Wings had selections at 8th and 10th overalls. With their first pick at the 8 spot, the Red Wings selected goaltender Berney Weston from Gull Lake, Saskatchewan.

Last year with the Swift Current Broncos at the U15 AA level, Weston posted a .855 SV% and 5.19 GAA as a 14-year-old, but made very impressive improvement when he became a starter next season with .922 SV% and 2.66 GAA in 17 games. He has the ability to be a game stealer any night he is between the pipes.

For international experience, Weston played for Team California in the Brick Invitational Tournament in 16-17 at a 10-year-old, and also played as part of the Draftday Hockey Selects U12 team in the World Selects Invitational.

Weston has committed this next season to playing with the Swift Current Legionnaires U18 AAA program.

With their final pick of the draft, the Red Wings took forward Connor Bear from the Rink Hockey Academy U15 program in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The young forward from Ochapowace, SK put up huge numbers with 21G-26A-47P in 29 games in his last year of U15, and is already committed to playing U16 hockey with the same program next year.