WINNIPEG, MB – The Dauphin Kings joined the rest of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Sunday morning to take part in the league’s annual draft.
In total the Kings took six players. A full line basically. Three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender.
The opening round saw the Kings take (D) Reece Richmond from the Bantam Yellowhead Chiefs. In the second round the club selected forward Tyson Kozak. The third round saw the Kings take goaltender Nikulas Jerris who’s with the Rink Hockey Academy of the CSSHL. In the fourth round the Kings went back to the Yellowhead region where they picked up D-man Owen Wareham. Dauphin had another fourth round selection later on in the round where they took Eastman forward Kade Runke. Finally, Dauphin closed out the draft by taking Winnipeg forward Jack Oleksiuk.
“This is a very rewarding day for Mitchell and our scouting staff. We couldn’t be happier with how everything played out. We were prepared, went in with a game plan of players that we identified and we executed. It was a great day for the future of our organization and we look forward to seeing all our selections at our fall camp in early September” says Kings Head Coach and GM Marc Berry.
You can see a recap of the draft below and thoughts on each player with Kings Head Scout & Director of Player Personnel Mitchell Kirkup.
“Reece is an intelligent, all situations player that plays the game right way. He makes a good first pass, shows a lot of maturity and is hard to play against. The defensive zone is a place that Reece excels in, we see him as a big part of our future” says Kings Head Scout & Director of Player Personnel Mitchell Kirkup.
In 36 games last season the Forrest D-man put up 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points on the back end. His brother Ryder, who is also a defenceman, is currently in the Dauphin Kings system as well.
Tyson Kozak took part in 36 games last season for the Bantam AAA Southwest Cougars. He notched 28 goals and 29 points for 57 points. His father Trevor Kozak is a former Dauphin King!
“Tyson is a highly skilled player that puts up very good numbers. He reads the ice well, jumps into offensives holes with ease and is excellent in the face off circle. He’s a player that we identified early and we’re absolutely thrilled we were able to select him” says Mitchell Kirkup.
During the 2016-17 CSSHL hockey season Nikulas Jerris stood tall between the pipes. He went 11-3 in 14 contests with a 2.29 goals against average and .910 save percentage with the Rink Hockey Academy. He also added two shut outs.
“Nikulas, in our opinion, was the top available goalie in the MJHL Draft. With us selecting him it addresses an organizational need. He’s a big body that moves extremely well in the goal crease and will continue to develop in a strong RHA program” says Mitchell Kirkup.
The Kings back end continued to get stronger Sunday when Dauphin selected Owen Wareham. The Yellowhead Chief snagged seven goals and 21 assists in 36 games last season.
“Owen is a versatile player that we believe was the most underrated guy in the draft. He’s played forward and defense on a winning program. We see him being a big part of our defensive group the road. Owen reads the ice exceptionally, can handle big minutes and plays very effectively in all three zones” says Mitchell Kirkup.
Kade Runke put up just over a point per game during the 2016-17 season with the Eastman Selects. In 34 affairs the Grunthal product put 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points.
“Kade is a 200 foot player that continued to improve throughout the hockey season. He’s reliable, composed and is consistent when it comes to putting up points. We believe the best is yet to come with Kade” says Mitchell Kirkup.
Brother of current Dauphin King Kyle Oleksiuk, Winnipeg’s Jack Oleksiuk was just under a point per game pace last season with the Winnipeg Hawks. Oleskiuk fired up 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 30 games.
“Jack is the definition of a Dauphin King. He’s driven, plays hard and takes nothing for granted. He leads by example and his work ethic is contagious. The kid simply flat out competes and cares and that’s something our organization prides itself on” says Kirkup.