Red Wings draft local stars in GMHL draft

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Tanner Stokes of the High Prairie Red Wings, right, looks to pass the pass to a teammate in Greater Metro Juniors A Hockey League action Feb. 16.

The High Prairie Red Wings added more local flavour as the team prepares for the 2020-21 Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League season.

Dayton Shantz, of High Prairie, was selected by his hometown team No. 10 in the first round in the 2020 GMHL Draft on May 23.

“It’s always good to have local players on the team,” head coach and general manager Ryder Prue says.

“He’s a good goal scorer and he can also hit.”

Shantz, 17, played forward last season with the Peace River Royals of the Northern Alberta Midget Hockey League.

Prue expects the 5-foot-11-inch 180-pound Shantz will become stronger over the next three years.

The Red Wings selected forward Blake Anderson, of Peace River, in the second round.

Anderson and Shantz were linemates last season.

“Dayton and Blake were both in the top-10 in scoring in the league, so they would bring a lot to the team,” Prue says.

“We hope they can carry that into next season with the Red Wings.”

High Prairie had the No. 10 pick in each round as 24 teams participated. [See chart for picks]

“They’re all pretty skilled players,” Prue says.

Shannon will be an asset to the Red Wings.

“He’ll be a good goalie,” Prue says.

The Red Wings continue to prepare for the season despite current restrictions in COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ll get a lot of players returning from last season,” Prue says.

Six players have moved on after they played their final eligible year by age.

He says the league is a building block for players who want to rise in their careers.

“We’re a stepping-stone league,” says Prue.

“We focus on moving players to their next level of hockey.

“We want them to play the best hockey they can.”

Next step for many players includes the Alberta Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League.

Red Wings’ draft picks

Round Player Hometown

1 Dayton Shantz High Prairie
2 Blake Anderson High Prairie
3 Ryan Shannon Oakville, ONT
4 Ryan Blackburn Allendale, ONT
5 Lee Curtis Yukon Territory
6 Brady Harroun St. Albert, AB
7 Ethan MacDuff Lloydminster, AB

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