Bombers take five in SJHL bantam draft, go for defence early

Five new players are now in the Flin Flon Bomber fold following the June 5 SJHL bantam draft.

The draft, held remotely this year, stocks each team with a handful of Saskatchewan’s best bantam-aged talent. This year, teams took their pick of the province’s top available 2005-born players.

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The Bombers’ first pick was used on defender Rylan Pearce, taken with the 11th overall selection.

Pearce played with a Martensville Marauders bantam program that the Bombers have gone to often in recent years - the team picked defenceman Kalem Parker and goalie Max Hildebrand from the Marauders in last year’s draft. Pearce played with both players in the 2018-19 season as a first-year bantam, but stood out as a second year blueliner this season, putting up 40 points in 31 games. 

Pearce was selected in the WHL draft this year, going in the fourth round to the Kamloops Blazers.

The second choice made by the team was another defenseman - Adam Beamin, a hulking righty from the Saskatoon Stallions program.

Standing 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds only days after turning 15, Beamin will be dropped right in the middle of one of the Bombers’ biggest rivalries. Adam is the younger brother of Nipawin Hawks defender Cole Beamin. In 31 games, Beamin racked up three goals and 22 points. The lanky, long defenceman was picked by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 10th round of this year’s WHL draft.

After having the team’s third round pick dealt to the Melville Millionaires, the Bombers picked their first forward of the day in the fourth round, selecting Braxton Kabrud 47th overall.

Almost half the roster of Kabrud’s bantam club, the Saskatoon Maniacs, were picked in the league’s draft. Kabrud finished the season with 32 points in 31 games.

The fifth round brought another forward pick, this time on the scrappier side of things - Rosetown, Sask. native Mitchell Robbie.

Robbie played for the West Central Wheat Kings bantam club this season. While the team finished last in their division, Robbie finished second in team scoring with 29 points in 29 games. Robbie also led his team in penalty minutes with 92 -  on average, more than three PIMs per game. Only two players were drafted from the Wheat Kings program - Robbie and teammate Karson Blanchette, who went in the third round to Melfort.

The Bombers then selected at the start of the final round, picking up Regina Aces forward Jack Bechard with their final selection on the day. Flin Flon was eligible to pick again with the second-last pick of the draft, but passed on the pick.

While Bechard was the team’s last selection of the day, the forward may show the most offensive upside of any Bomber selection on the day. Out of all the Bombers’ picks this year, Bechard had the gaudiest offensive stats this season, putting in 23 goals and 52 points in 31 games. Bechard led his team in goals and assists this past season, at one point putting up a four-goal game, but was not selected in the WHL draft earlier this year.

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