Blades general manager Colin Priestner said the club signed first-round pick Brandon Lisowsky, Hayden Smith, who was taken in the second round, and third-round pick Ethan Chadwick.
Chadwick, a goaltender from Saskatoon, is familiar with the Blades organization. His family has billeted four players, including fellow goalie Troy Tremblay, and he grew up watching the team.
“I’ve always wanted to put on the jersey and its been wonderful,” Chadwick said after signing his contract.
“I’ve always wanted to be part of this team and hopefully go on the ice someday with other teammates.”
Priestner said Chadwick’s skills are no secret to anyone who has been watching minor hockey in the city in the last few years.
“Ethan demonstrates dynamic athletic ability in the net, efficiency in his movements, excellent composure and extremely high game awareness,” Priestner said.
“He’s a young man with a very strong focus both on and off the ice and he has all the tools to develop into a very formidable goaltender in our league.”
Chadwick had a .920 save percentage in 22 games with the Saskatoon Stallions, the third highest save percentage in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA League, and top among goalies who played at least 20 games.
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The club said it has high hopes for Lisowsky, a five-foot-eight centre from Port Coquitlam, B.C.
“He’s a highly talented player from a skill perspective with an especially gifted knack for scoring goals,” said Dan Tencer, the Blades’ director of scouting, said of the ninth overall pick in the bantam draft.
“He plays the game at an extremely fast pace and we think he’s going to be a handful for defenders in our league for many years.”
Lisowsky scored 61 goals and had 109 points to go along with a +48 rating in 2018-19 playing for the Burnaby Winter Club’s bantam prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.
Tencer said Smith, a forward from Chetwynd, B.C., is a versatile player who can play both centre and wing.
“His blazing speed is a massive advantage for him and he showed himself to be a highly dangerous offensive player all season long,” Tencer said.
“He’s a very intelligent young man who has an extremely determined attitude about him both on and off the ice.”
Smith, who turns 15 in July, had 24 goals and 47 points in 30 games with the Yale Hockey Academy of the CSSBHL.
He also had five points in five playoff games in helping Yale to the CSSBHL title.
Priestner said he is proud of the fact they didn’t sell the future during a strong 2018-19 season to get better heading into the playoffs.
“We traded some picks, but last year we recouped a ton of picks … we still have Regina’s first next year and picked up a second in this draft,” Priestner said.
“We’re really interested in what we can do this year and I think we’ve got a great team and a lot of excitement but now we’ve got to actually do it.”