Photo Credit – Jeff Burke Photography / Pro Sports Photography:
Brooks Bandits defenceman Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB) and Grande Prairie Storm forward Zachary Okabe (Okotoks, AB) have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The two AJHL skaters were rated as 'C' prospects, indicating a likely 4th / 5th / 6th round selection.
Bast, 17, was named to the AJHL’s All-Rookie Team for the South division last season after scoring 31 points (8 goals, 23 assists) in 57 regular season games in his first full Junior A campaign, adding a team-leading 13 playoff points (1 goal, 12 assists) in 15 post-season appearances.
Bast has recorded 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 7 games, ranking as the 3rd-highest scoring defenceman in the AJHL through the opening weeks of the 2018-2019 season.
After winning AJHL Rookie of the Year honours last season, Okabe continues his strong junior campaign currently tied for first in the league in goals. Okabe is committed to St Cloud State University of the NCHC.
In his rookie season, the 17 year-old forward recorded 13 multi-point games in the regular season and tallied 57 points (22 goals, 35 assists), averaging 1.0 points per game. Okabe was a unanimous selection to the 2017-2018 AJHL North Division All-Rookie Team.
The 2019 NHL Draft will be held on June 21–22, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.