KENNEWICK, WA – The Tri-City Americans today made defenseman Parker Wotherspoon their first pick (21st overall) in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, held at the Deerfoot Inn in Calgary, Alberta. Overall, the Americans selected 11 players in this year’s draft.
Wotherspoon, listed at 5’10 and 167 pounds, became the first defenseman taken by Tri-City in the first round since Zachary Yuen in 2008 and just the fifth blueliner taken in the opening round in the past 12 years. A member of the Cloverdale Colts Bantam club, Wotherspoon appeared in 45 games and totaled 15 goals and 49 points. The Surrey, British Columbia-native is the younger brother of current Portland Winterhawks defenseman, Tyler Wotherspoon.
Then, after sitting out the 2nd Round, Tri-City followed with four picks in the Round 3.
Braden Purtill (3rd, 46th overall) marked the clubs first of four selections. A 5’10 176 pound center, Purtill was a member of the Winnipeg Sharks of the Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association where he amassed 33 goals, 53 points and 56 penalty minutes in 47 total games. Purtill, who led the Sharks in both goals (20) and points (30) during the regular season, comes from the same program that developed recently departed Tri-City overages, Adam Hughesman, Brendan Shinnimin and Mason Wilgosh.
Then, with the 55th overall pick, Tri-City went back to the Cloverdale Colts to select defenseman Tyler Fraser. A linemate of Wotherspoon, Fraser notched 11 goals and 34 points in 45 games with the Colts, along with a plus-53 rating. The Colts were widely considered one of the strongest bantam teams this season, eventually losing to Burnaby Winter Club in the finals of the provincial tournament.
Six picks later, the Americans selected Ty Comrie from the LA Selects Major Bantam club. The 5’10 140-pound younger brother of current Tri-City goaltender, Eric Comrie, Ty racked up 40 goals and 80 points in 51 total games. Finally, with the 65th pick in Round 3, Tri-City claimed Comrie’s teammate, goaltender Evan Sarthou from Kent, Washington.
Of the 11 players selected today, the Americans grabbed six forwards, four defensemen and one goaltender. Tri-City also selected three players from the United States, which marks the fourth straight season that the club has drafted at least one U.S.-born player, four from British Columbia, two from Alberta and one each from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The WHL Bantam Draft is the WHL’s talent identification process and serves as the first opportunity for WHL teams to add players to their respective 50 player lists. Eligible players for the Bantam Draft will be 1997-born players who reside in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Tri-City Americans 2012 Bantam Draft Results:
(GP, G, A, PTS, PIM)
1st Round (21st overall)
Parker Wotherspoon (D)
5’10 142 lbs, Surrey, BC
Cloverdale Colts Bantam A1-T1 (45/15/34/49/N/A)
3rd round (46th overall)
Braden Purtill (C)
5’10 176 lbs, Winnipeg, MB
Winnipeg Sharks Bantam AAA (30/20/10/30/30)
3rd round (55th overall)
Tyler Fraser (D)
6’1 160 lbs, Surrey, BC
Cloverdale Colts Bantam A1-T1 (45/11/24/34/N/A)
3rd round (61st overall)
Ty Comrie (C)
5’10 140 lbs, Newport Beach, CA
Los Angeles Selects Major Bantam (51/40/40/80/28)
3rd round (65th overall)
Evan Sarthou (G)
5’11 145 lbs, Kent, WA
Los Angeles Selects Major Bantam (N/A)
6th round (131st overall)
Maxwell James (LW)
6’1 180 lbs, Kamloops, BC
Kamloops Jardine Blazers Bantam (52/18/17/35/135)
7th round (153rd overall)
Robby Jackson (C)
5’8 160 lbs, Alameda, CA
Los Angeles Selects Major Bantam (71/80/105/185/34)
8th round (163rd overall)
Kurtis Rutledge (D)
6’1 161 lbs, Calgary, AB
Calgary Bronks Bantam AAA (30/6/13/19/20)
8th round (175th overall)
Jordan Topping (LW)
5’11 170 lbs, Nanaimo, BC
Nanaimo Bantam AAA Clippers (38/44/37/81/98)
9th round (197th overall)
Cole Gammer (RW)
6’0 155 lbs, Edmonton, AB
Edmonton CAC Bantam AAA (33/21/19/40/28)
10th round (219th overall)
Bryce Fiske (D)
5’9 157 lbs, Air Ronge, SK
North East Wolfpack Bantam AA (22/5/16/21/96)