ESTEVAN - The SJHL-champion Estevan Bruins bolstered the future of the organization by selecting several players during Friday’s Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League draft, and automatically protecting two local products.
The two auto-protects were forward Carter Onrait and defenceman Ryder Miller.
Onrait spent the past season with the Estevan Steelhaus U18 AAA Bears. He had nine goals and eight assists in 44 games, and finished the season with 52 penalty minutes.
"Carter Onrait is a physical forward who plays an honest north-south game … creates offence by driving the net and has an excellent shot,” said Bruins head coach and general manager Jason Tatnaric.
Onrait was selected in the seventh round, 144th overall, by the Prince George Cougars in the 2021 Western Hockey League Draft.
Miller, a defenceman from Estevan, spent last season with the Estevan TS&M U15 AA Bruins, scoring once and adding 12 assists in 31 games. He also had 52 penalty minutes.
"Ryder Miller is a hard-nosed, shutdown defender that is difficult to play against in his own end and [is] an excellent penalty killer,” said Tatarnic.
With their first selection of the draft for 2006-born talent who spent last season at the U18 level, the Bruins nabbed forward Ryan Zaremba, who played last season with the Regina Pat Canadians U18 AAA program. Zaremba had 12 goals and 20 assists in 44 games in his first campaign at the U18 level.
"Ryan Zaremba is a highly skilled forward and a consistent scoring threat with vision and shifty skating ability,” said Tatarnic.
Zaremba was selected in the second round, 17th overall.
Two picks later, the Bruins added Zaremba’s teammate from the Pat Canadians, Jagden Taylor. The 6’1” defenceman had five assists and 12 penalty minutes in 36 games.
Forward Kale Margolis was selected by the Bruins 40th overall. He finished last season with four goals and 14 points in 32 games for the Tisdale Trojans U18 AAA program.
The Bruins’ next pick, at 60th overall, was forward Kade Stringer of the Prairie Hockey Academy prep team. He finished last season with nine goals and 17 assists in 35 games played.
Then the Bruins turned to forward Carsyn Dyck of the Warman Wildcats at 62nd overall. He had 16 goals and 19 assists in 44 games played for the Wildcats last season.
The Bruins also made two picks in a draft of 2007-born talent. One was Steven Steranka, who spent last season with the Regina U15 AA Monarchs and finished with 20 goals and 14 assists in 18 games.
The other was defenceman Caleb Potter, who had nine goals and 32 assists in 29 games for the Regina U15 AA Pat Blues.
Also, all eligible players who are part of the Estevan Bears organization were selected. In addition to Onrait joining the Bruins, forwards Cutter Knight (Yorkton Terriers), Kole Keen (Melville Millionaires), Marc Belanger (Nipawin Hawks), Evhan Allan (Melfort Mustangs) and Carter Tuplin (Kindersley Klippers) were picked, as were defencemen Riley Craigen (Melville Millionaires), Ethan Dartige (Melville Millionaires) and Teigan Semchyshen (Humboldt Broncos), and goaltenders Riley Deck (Humboldt Broncos) and Kaden Perron (Notre Dame Hounds).
Knight was the highest player picked, going in the first round.
Defenceman Turner Knockaert of Manor, who played for the Estevan Apex U18 AA Bruins last season, was selected in the sixth round, 72nd overall, by the Yorkton Terriers in the draft for 2006-born talent.