(Marc Smith/DiscoverMooseJaw) The Moose Jaw Warriors entered Thursday’s WHL Bantam Draft without a first-round pick, but that quickly changed when they traded Jett Woo to Calgary for a package that included the 11th overall pick.
The Warriors used that selection on Dominion City, Manitoba defenceman Denton Mateychuk, who was one of the top prospects in the draft.
“I was very excited and very honoured to be selected by Moose Jaw, it’s definitely nice to be selected that high,” Mateychuk told DiscoverMooseJaw.com on Thursday. “It was a really special day for my family and me.”
Just as one outstanding Manitoba defenceman heads out with the Woo trade, the Warriors are hoping that they’ve added another one to the line with Mateychuk.
“He’s a player that can run your power play, he makes a great first pass and joins the rush, so he’s going to add a lot of dynamic to the organization,” said Warriors assistant GM Jason Ripplinger.
Moose Jaw has had a lot of success with Manitoba defencemen recently with former first-round picks out of the province, Woo, Josh Brook and Daemon Hunt, suiting up on last year’s team.
Mateychuk said he’s looking forward to making his mark in that line of defencemen, “My brother played against Daemon Hunt and I always loved watching him,” he said. “That will be really awesome.”
Mateychuk finished fifth overall in scoring in the Winnipeg Bantam AAA League last season, posting 23 goals and 61 points in just 36 games. With those numbers, it’s pretty evident that the five-foot-seven, 170-pound defenceman is offensively gifted.
Hockey continues to value skating and skill more and more each year and Mateychuk fits the bill.
“I’m a very offensive defenceman, I have a really good D zone too but I’m more offensive, I like to join the rush and sometimes lead the rush,” said Mateychuk.
“I really try to work on my gap control, whenever I’m on the ice, I always want to be up in the play and then I’d also like to work on getting in position to get the puck and then move the puck fast. Those are two things that I want to work on.”
The Warriors selected ten players in total during the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday. Click here for full details.
Moose Jaw will be about to get its first look at Mateychuk and the 2019 draft class when the Warriors host their annual prospects camp coming up May 30-June 2.