Warriors add two players in Wednesday’s U.S. Priority Draft

The Moose Jaw Warriors made two selections in the Western Hockey League’s 2023 U.S. Priority Draft on Wednesday.

With their first pick, the Warriors drafted defenceman Zachary Schmidt from the Colorado Thunderbirds 14U AAA team.

The six-foot, 168-pound defenceman posted two goals and five points in eight games this past season. He added a goal and three points in four playoff games with the Thunderbirds.

“He’s a defenceman that skates pretty good, he’s got a lot of upside,” Warriors general manager Jason Ripplinger said.

Schmidt currently lives in Highlands Ranch, CO, but was born in Regina.

“They’re familiar with the Western Hockey League and what it’s all about, he grew up watching it, so that could make it easier to recruit,” Ripplinger said.

In the second round, the Warriors went to Texas with the 38th overall selection, taking forward Trevor Hill from the San Antonio Jr. Rampage 14U AA team.

In 21 games this past season, the five-foot-10, 134-pound forward posted 30 goals and 51 points. He added 30 penalty minutes as well.

“He’s a skilled player, skates really well and he could potentially put some pucks in the net for us,” Ripplinger said.

“When you’re drafting these Americans, you want to get skill, guys that can score — we can find the third-line checkers in Canada.”

The Warriors will now turn their attention to the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft, which goes on Thursday at 10 a.m. Moose Jaw holds the 16th overall pick in the first round.

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