DuPont takes first overall, Calgary Hitmen select Hamilton in WHL draft

Silvertips land rare status player in annual pick-em peppered with local talent

Article content

The 2024 WHL Prospect Draft was filled with plenty of local flavor, from top to bottom.

Calgary’s Landon DuPont was chosen as the top player on Thursday, while the Calgary Hitmen selected defenseman Calder Hamilton as their first choice with the sixth overall pick.

Article content

To no one’s surprise, the Everett Silvertips selected defenseman DuPont with the number one pick in the draft.

The 14-year-old Edge School under-18 phenom is the first blueliner to be granted exceptional status by the WHL.

Advertisement 2

Article content

“WE HAVE IT!” the Silvertips published in X.

“I am very excited and honored to have been chosen,” DuPont said in a statement. “I can’t wait to get it all going… It’s an amazing organization that has worked very well.”

Recommended by Editorial

Hailing from Martensville, Sask., Hitmen new talent Hamilton played with the Martensville AA Under-15 Marauders last season.

The 15-year-old star finished the year with 86 points, including 35 goals, in 28 games, setting the record for most points by a defenseman in a single season in the SAAHL U15. The previous record was held by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Reilly with 84 points.

“Calder is a really exciting player that we are thrilled to add to our group,” said Hitmen scouting director Gary Michalick. “He is mobile and one of the most fluid skaters in the draft. He has an impact in all areas of the game. He is a competitive player who defends very well and has great instincts with the puck. We think he is a complete defender.”

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

Edge School U15 defenseman Aden Bouchard of Airdrie placed third overall behind the Tri-City Americans.

Another area blueliner in Owen Hayden, a 6-foot-6 star with the Calgary NW U-15 AAA Flames, was selected ninth overall by the Kelowna Rockets.

The WHL Prospect Draft is for players born in 2009 from the four western provinces and select US states.


Among other local products made:

At No. 11, Airdrie’s Brock England, a center on Edge School’s U15 prep team, was selected by the Seattle Thunderbirds.

At No. 20, Edge U15 center Jordin St. Louis, also from Airdrie, was selected by the Portland Winterhawks.

To start the second round at No. 23, Cochrane’s Matthew Hilderman, an Edge U15 winger, was one of the Thunderbirds’ draft picks.

At No. 26, Calgary’s Joaguin Geras, an Edge U15 defenseman, was selected by the Kamloops Blazers.

At No. 27, Cochrane’s Jensen Marsh, a winger for the Airdrie U15 AAA Xtreme, was selected by the Edmonton Oil Kings.

At No. 33, Airdrie’s Nathan Cole, an Edge U15 winger, was chosen by the Rockets.


The Hitmen had back-to-back picks in the second round, selecting Winnipeg’s Antonio Correia, who checked in at center with the Winnipeg U15 Black Bruins, at No. 28 and Cochrane’s Kale McCann, who manned the blue line for the U15 Xtreme. , at #29.

Advertisement 4

Article content

They then named winger Shaun Hildebrandt, a winger from Langley, BC, to the Yale Hockey Academy U15 prep team, the 43rd overall pick.

The Hitmen had another set of back-to-back picks in the fourth round, where they took centers Adam Halat and Jack Poole at Nos. 72 and 73 respectively. Chestermere’s Halat played with the Edge U15 team, while Vancouver’s Poole lined up for the St. George’s School U15 prep team.

The Calgary club’s two options in Round 5 were defenseman Connor Feeney (ranked 91st) and winger Dominik Silbernagel (ranked 91st). No. 95. Feeney, of Prince George, BC, is a star with the Cariboo U15 AAA Cougars, while Silbernagel, of Coldstream, BC, plays for the Rink Kelowna U15 prep team.

In the sixth round, the Hitmen took center Nathan Gardiner, a native of Gainsborough, Sask. — from the Estevan U15 AA Bruins.

In the seventh, they selected goaltender Kaleb Page, a Sask East U15 AA Oilers talent from Whitewood, Sask.

And North West U15 AA Stars center Dawson Gamble was captured by the Hitmen in the eighth round. He is a native of North Battleford, Sask.

— with archives from Postmedia news services

[email protected]

X: @ToddSaelhofPM

Article content

Leave a Comment