Congratulations to Spruce Grove Saints defenceman Brandon Hickey and Olds Grizzlys defenceman Nikolas Koberstein, both drafted in today's NHL Entry Draft.
Hickey was selected in the 3rd Round (64th overall) by the Calgary Flames. The Montreal Canadiens selected Koberstein in the 5th Round (125th overall).
Heading into the 2014 NHL Draft, Brandon Hickey was the top-ranked Alberta Junior Hockey League skater. Saturday, he became the first from the AJHL to be drafted when the Calgary Flames tagged Hickey – and the product of Leduc, AB couldn’t be happier.
“For sure it’s an honour,” Hickey said from his home. “There’s a lot of great players that we played against this year in the AJHL and to think that I’m the first one to get drafted it’s a pretty unique feeling and it’s a pretty special feeling as well.”
In Round 5, the Canadiens added more depth to the back end of the depth chart, calling on 6-foot-2 Western Canadian rearguard Nikolas Koberstein. Another frequent penalty box guest, the Barrhead, AB native racked up 153 PIMs in 55 games with the Grizzlys in 2013-14. Ranked 205th by Central Scouting at the end of the season, the big blue-liner was an off-the-board pick for Trevor Timmins and his staff at No. 125 overall.
“Koberstein was a guy we went under the radar with. We spent some time with him after the season and I think this guy has good upside and long-range projection,” shared Timmins, adding that Koberstein will head back to Olds to serve as the team’s captain next year before attending the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in 2015-16. “He’s a good kid with tons of character, but he’s a good hockey player, too.”
A total of 83 players have been selected drafted directly out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in it's 51 year history.