Saskatoon, Sask. – The Saskatoon Blades are pleased to announce the signing of Brandon Lisowsky, Hayden Smith, and Ethan Chadwick to Western Hockey League Standard Player Agreements.
All three players were selected by the Blades in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft on May 2, 2019 in Red Deer, Alta. Lisowsky was picked ninth overall, Smith 24th overall, and Chadwick 47th overall.
Brandon Lisowsky, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound centre from Port Coquitlam, B.C., spent this past season as the captain with the Burnaby Winter Club’s Bantam Prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). In 53 regular season and tournament games, Lisowksy scored 109 points (61G-48A) while maintaining an impressive +48 rating. He follows in the footsteps of recent Saskatoon Blades’ first-round draft picks such as Colton and Kirby Dach, Kyle Crnkovic, Aidan De La Gorgendiere, and captain Chase Wouters.
“First and foremost, Brandon has an elite work ethic and level of competitiveness,” said Blades’ director of scouting, Dan Tencer. “He plays the game relentlessly every shift and really showed up for his team consistently in big moments. He’s a highly talented player from a skill perspective with an especially gifted knack for scoring goals.
“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.”
Hayden Smith, a forward from Kamloops, B.C. already stands at 5-foot-11, 170-pounds, despite having a later birthday and not turning 15 until July. The left-handed winger compiled 47 points (24G-23A) in 30 contests during the 2018-19 season with the Yale Hockey Academy of the CSSBHL.
“When you talk about players who just consistently find a way, Hayden is one of those players,” Tencer said of the Blades’ second pick in the draft. “His blazing speed is a massive advantage for him and he showed himself to be a highly dangerous offensive player all season long. He’s a very intelligent young man who has an extremely determined attitude about him both on and off the ice.
“He attacks the game with speed and authority, can play both center and wing, and we think he’ll be a really imposing player in our league.”
Smith also notched five points in five playoff appearances helping his club to the CSSBHL title.
The Blades’ third selection in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft was Saskatoon’s own Ethan Chadwick. The 5-foot-9, 151-pound hometown product posted an impressive .920 save percentage in 22 games this year with the Saskatoon Stallions. It was the third-highest save percentage in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA League, and highest among goalies who played 20 or more games.
“This young man is no secret to anyone who has been watching minor hockey in Saskatoon for the last few years. Ethan demonstrates dynamic athletic ability in the net, efficiency in his movements, excellent composure and extremely high game awareness,” explained Blades’ general manager Colin Priestner. “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.”
Dan Tencer also commented on the development of the Blades’ prospect group as a whole following the announcement Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m really happy with how our future depth charts are projecting,” Tencer said. “In the last few drafts we’ve really continued to elevate our commitment to selecting players that possess intelligence, high pace and skill level. We were so proud of the 2003-born draft class in terms of the number of players who achieved individual success and outperformed expectations through the year.
“With the talent and character in our 2004-born group, we expect the same from them. We’ve got highly talented young men who, to a man, also happen to be fantastic human beings with strong desires to succeed. We think we’ve got a really healthy mix of players at all positions who complement each other nicely and will allow us to sustain and build on the success that our organization had this past season.”
2019-20 season memberships are on sale now at discounted early bird pricing until May 31st. Call the Blades office at 306-975-8844 or visit www.saskatoonblades.com/season-tickets for more information.