The Vancouver Giants signed a pair of players this week, locking up first round pick Dawson Holt and goaltender Cody Porter to standard WHL agreements.
Holt spent last season playing in the Saskatoon Generals Bantam program while Porter split the 2013-2014 season between the Vancouver North West Giants of the BC Major Midget League and the West Kelowna Warriors of the BCHL.
Here's the Giants' release on Holt:
The Vancouver Giants are proud to announce the signing of Dawson Holt to a Western Hockey League Player Agreement.
Holt was drafted by the Giants in the first round (8th overall) of the 2014 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.
The Saskatoon native, played 26 games with the Saskatoon Generals Bantam AA of the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League. The 5'10", 165lbs forward had 73 points (35 goals, 38 assists) with the Generals.
"I am extremely happy to have signed with the Giants," said the 15-year old. "The organization is top notch and I have heard great things about the city and the fans. I'd really like to thank the Giants for this opportunity and look forward to the next step in my hockey career."
Here's the Giants' release on Porter:
The Vancouver Giants are proud to announce the signing of goaltender Cody Porter to a Standard Western Hockey League Agreement.
Porter, a North Vancouver native, played five games with the Vancouver North West Giants of the BC Major Midget Hockey League and posted a Goals Against Average of 1.75 and a .942 Save Percentage.
The 6'1", 181lbs goalie also played 16 games with the West Kelowna Warriors of the British Columbia Hockey League last season. In the 16 games with the Warriors, Porter posted a Goals Against Average of 3.55 and a .875 Save Percentage.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
On a personal note, I'd like to thank Don for this past season. It was a pleasure to work with such a legendary coach, and I wish him all the best in Kamloops.
Here's the full press release from the Giants:
The Vancouver Giants announced today that Don Hay will return to his hometown to coach the Kamloops Blazers.
"Blazers' Owner Tom Gaglardi contacted me last week and asked for permission to speak with Don," said Giants Majority Owner Ron Toigo. "I'm sure Don is looking forward to moving home and spending more time with his family and enjoying the time with his grandkids. He came here when we were a young franchise and helped develop an identity for the Giants, and showed us how to win. He leaves with a Memorial Cup, WHL Championship, and 5 BC Division Titles. I can't say how much we appreciate what Don has done and what he has meant to the Vancouver Giants Franchise."
The Kamloops native joined the Giants in the 2004-05 season and was with the Giants for 10 seasons. Hay became the third coach to reach a milestone 600-career regular season WHL wins this past season.
"I'd like to thank Ron Toigo and the ownership group of the Vancouver Giants for giving me the opportunity to be the Head Coach in Vancouver for 10 great years," said Hay. "I've really enjoyed my time in Vancouver and it's hard to leave the team. I'd also like to thank everyone in the organization that helped us have success along the way - assistant coaches, trainers, and most importantly the players. And last but not least, I'd like to thank all the Vancouver fans for their support through the years."
In his 10 seasons with the team, Hay coached the Giants to a 401-252-26-37 record. He guided the Giants to win five straight B.C. Division titles (2006 to 2010), and to appearances at the Western Conference Finals in four of five seasons, and two straight WHL league Finals (2006 and 2007). Under his leadership, the Giants won the WHL Championship in 2006 and the Memorial Cup in 2007.
Further information will be provided by the Kamloops Blazers.
Also of note, the Giants drafted defenceman Max Gildon in the third round. Gildon was widely considered as one of the best, if not the best, blue liners in the draft, but whether he decides to play in the WHL or go the college route remains uncertain.
Here's a full breakdown:
Dawson Holt – Saskatoon, SK – Centre – 5'11", 165lbs
2013-2014: Holt posted 35 goals and 38 assists in 26 games with the Saskatoon Generals Bantam AA.
"It's an unreal experience [to get drafted by Vancouver] and I’m super excited to be a part of the Vancouver Giants organization,” said Holt. "I’ve heard so many great things about the team and I’m so proud and excited to get a chance to play for Vancouver."
Brendan Semchuk – Kamloops, BC – Centre – 5'10", 160lbs
2013-2014: Semchuk scored 45 goals and 32 assists in 51 games with the Kamloops Blazers Bantam A1-T1.
"It's an honour getting drafted by the Giants," said Semchuk. "I didn't know where I was going to get drafted to, but it’s been a dream of mine to play for Vancouver. It’s nice and close to home, and I’m looking forward to joining the team."
Dylan Plouffe – Sherwood Park, AB – Defence – 5'10", 196lbs
2013-2014: Plouffe had 22 goals and 36 assists in 33 games with the Sherwood Park Bantam AAA United Cycle Flyers and was named the AMBHL Most Outstanding Defenceman.
Owen Hardy – Kelowna, BC – Centre – 5'11", 180lbs
2013-2014: Hardy netted 40 goals and 35 assists in 53 games played with the Pursuit of Excellence Bantam program in the Okanagan.
James Malm – Langley, BC – Centre – 5'8", 160lbs
2013-2014: Malm played with the Burnaby Winter Club Bantam A1-T1 team.
2012-2013: Played for the Langley Eagles Bantam A1.
Max Gildon – Plano, TX – Defence – 6'1", 160lbs
Gildon had 19 points in 31 games with the Dallas Stars U16 program.
He was highly touted heading into the draft with Chris Dilks of SB Nation speculating that he could even go as high as the top three. Read the full piece here.
Kelly Friesen of Yahoo! Sports said the Giants "may have walked out of the draft with the biggest mid-round steal" if they can recruit him. Read the full piece here.
"Max is the best defenceman in the draft and it is now our responsibility to convince him to join our program," said Giants GM Scott Bonner.
66th overall (did not pick – traded to Saskatoon in exchange for Clayton Kirichenko)
Clayton Kirichenko – Sherwood Park, AB – Defence – 6'0", 187lbs
2013-2014: Kirichenko suited up in 70 games for the Blades, tallying three goals and nine assists.
2012-2013: Kirichenko had 22 points in 30 games with the Sherwood Park Kings Midget AAA.
114th overall (did not pick – traded to Kamloops in exchange for Matt Bellerive)
Matt Bellerive – North Vancouver, BC – Right Wing – 5'11", 188lbs
2013-2014: Bellerive picked up 18 goals and 23 assists in 60 games split between Red Deer and Kamloops.
Bellerive returns to Vancouver where he began his WHL career. The Giants selected Bellerive with the 43rd overall selection in the 2009 draft, and he played 98 games for the G-Men before being traded to Red Deer.
"We are happy to get Matty back in the program," said Giants' General Manager and Executive Vice President Scott Bonner. "We know he can help offensively and he's familiar with our program."
David Tendeck – North Vancouver, BC – Goaltender – 6'0", 155lbs
2013-2014: Played for the North Shore Winter Club Bantam A1-T1.
Bailey Dhaliwal – Mission, BC – Defence – 6'2", 185lbs
2013-2014: Dhaliwal played for Mission Bantam A1.
John St. Ivany – Manhattan Beach, CA – Defence – 5"9", 155lbs
2013-2014: St. Ivany played for the LA Junior Kings.
Jaren Turnquist – Calgary, AB – Right Wing – 5'11", 160lbs
2013-2014: Turnquist had six goals and six assists in 30 games with the Calgary Bisons Bantam AAA.
Myles Mattila – Prince George, BC – Right Wing – 5"9", 165lbs
2013-2014: Was team captain of the Prince George Cougars Bantam T1.