Regina Pats star Sam Steel unwrapped himself an early Christmas gift Tuesday afternoon, signing a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.
Steel, an 18-year-old product of Sherwood Park, Alta., was drafted by the Ducks in the first round (30th) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Heading into the holiday break, the 6-foot, 180-pound pivot is leading the Western Hockey League in overall scoring with 54 points (23G-31) through 25 games, helping the Pats to the top record in the East Division at 22-3-6-0.
Steel was named the WHL’s Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, tallying seven points (4G-3A) in two games over that stretch. He was then named WHL Player of the Month for September/October after collecting 22 points (10G-12A) through 11 games.
— Sam Steel (@ssteel23) June 25, 2016
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) December 20, 2016
In early November, he represented Team WHL at the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series, notching two points (1G-1A) over the two-game series. He then went on to compete at Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp in mid-December.
In 163 career WHL regular season outings, Steel has 178 points (63G-115A) to his credit, adding another 16 points (6G-10A) in 14 WHL post-season tilts.
Over the course of his still-blossoming career, Steel has won a gold medal with Canada at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup and laced up for the 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
The crafty centreman was originally the second overall selection in the first round of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft by the Pats.
Steel and the Pats return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 27 (7 p.m. Saskatchewan), when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings at the Brandt Centre in Regina.