Through July and August, the Western Hockey League is saying ‘thank you’ to its 2019 graduating class. From August 12th to 16th, we extended our gratitude to 10 players who concluded their WHL careers in the 2018-19 season.
After he was selected 22nd overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Kaden Elder would go on to play for the Swift Current Broncos and Calgary Hitmen. During his time with the Broncos, Elder played a major role in capturing the 2018 WHL Championship with his team. Over his six years in the WHL, Elder played in 374 regular season and playoff games earning 143 points (70G-73A).
Finishing his WHL career as the alternate captain of the Portland Winterhawks, Brendan De Jong, totaled 93 points (27G-66A) in 350 regular season and playoff games. To begin his WHL career with the Winterhawks, De Jong was selected in the seventh round, 154th overall, in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
Brady Pouteau split his time between the Regina Pats and Lethbridge Hurricanes during his WHL career. During that time, Pouteau registered a total of 57 points (9G-48A) in 231 regular season and playoff games. To continue his hockey and academic career, Pouteau has committed to the University of Manitoba to play for the Bisons.
Spending the entirety of his WHL career with the Prince George Cougars, Joel Lakusta played in 239 regular season and playoff games, collecting 87 points (17G-70A). Originally, the Cougar’s alternate captain was selected in the seventh round, 149th overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft by the Saskatoon Blades.
Red Deer Rebels alternate captain, Brandon Hagel, collected a total of 309 points (120G-189A) in 292 regular season and playoff games. Originally, Hagel was selected in the 2016 NHL Draft in the sixth round, 159th overall by the Buffalo Sabres, but recently signed a three-year, entry-contact with the Chicago Blackhawks. In the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season, Hagel also earned a place on the WHL East Second All-Star team.
After he joined the Pats’ squad in the 2015-16 season, Sean Richards would also go on to play for the Everett Silvertips and Thunderbirds. In his 292 regular season and playoff games, Richards collected 146 points (54G-92A).
Dawson Davidson began his WHL career with the Kamloops Blazers after he was selected in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft in the third round, 58th overall. Throughout his career, Davidson also played for the Pats and Blades. Finishing as Saskatoon’s alternate captain, Davidson registered 205 points (65G-166A) in 329 regular season and playoff games. In the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season, he also earned a spot on the WHL East First All-Star team.
Jeff Faith played for both the Spokane Chiefs and Blazers during his WHL career after he was selected by the Chiefs in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, 16th overall. In his 243 regular season and playoff games, the defenceman earned 29 points (8G-21A).
After he was selected 19th overall by the Blazers in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Quinn Benjafield spent four seasons with the team before joining the Edmonton Oil Kings. In 344 regular season and playoff games, Benjafield registered 201 points (73G-128A).
During his WHL career, Luc Smith played for the Pats, Blazers and Chiefs. Originally, Smith was selected in the third round, 80th overall by the Pats in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. In total, the forward collected 142 points (72G-70A) in 342 regular season and playoff games.
Thank you to our graduating players for all your contributions on and off the ice. Visit @TheWHL on Twitter from Monday through Friday for new player cards. Weekly recaps of player cards and highlights will appear at WHL.ca each Friday.