Pats 2023 Prospect Update Pt. 2

Keith Hershmiller Photography & Regina Pats

Regina, Sask. — Leading up to next week’s WHL Prospects Draft, the Regina Pats will be providing an update on the current state of its prospect pool, including both signed and unsigned prospects in a four-part series.

Yesterday, we highlighted signed prospects from before the 2022 draft. Today, we continue by highlighting the five signed prospects from the 2022 Draft. Tomorrow, we look at drafted players prior to the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft.

*Note: The order of these prospects are done by position and alphabetically.

Click for Pt. 1  | Click for Pt. 3 | Click for Pt. 4

Pt. 2: SIGNED PROSPECTS (2022 Draft)

Cruz Chase: 2007-born Goalie – Airdrie CFR Bisons U18 AAA

Chase, 15, was drafted by the Pats in the seventh round of the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft and was signed by Regina on February 17, 2023. The Airdrie, Alta. product was called up by the Pats and backed up for two contests in early March, suiting up behind Drew Sim for road games in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. The 5-foot-11, 161 lb. goaltender went 3-13-2 in 18 appearances this past season, posting a 4.21 goals-against average and a .883 save percentage with the Airdrie CFR Bisons U18 AAA team in 2022-23. The left-handed catching goaltender played for the Airdrie Xtreme U15 AAA club in 2021-22, going 14-2-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage with one shutout before being selected by the Pats. 

“He’s an athletic kid who works hard at his game. Anyone who works with him speaks very highly of him. He’s got a chance to be really good if he keeps doing his part which I think he will. We’re hoping he stretches to a similar size to his parents. I think he had a pretty good year on his Under-18 team.” – Regina Pats Director of Scouting Dale McMullin.

Cruz Chase 2022 Spring Camp

Brayden Smith: 2007-born Defenceman – Saskatoon Blazers U18 AAA

Smith, 16, picked up 14 points (2G-14A) in 36 games this past season with the Saskatoon Blazers U18 AAA club as well as six points (1G-5A) in 11 playoff games, helping the Blazers to the Saskatchewan U18 AAA Hockey League Championship and a bronze medal at the U18 Club Nationals. The Saskatoon, Sask. product scored 19 goals and added 36 assists for a total of 55 points in 31 games with the Saskatoon Generals U15 AA team in 2021-22, leading all defencemen in the Saskatchewan AA Hockey League in points before being selected by the Pats in the third round of the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft. The 6-foot, 165 lb. left-shot defenceman signed with the Pats on July 12, 2022.

“He’s got some offensive upside to his game and continued to get better throughout the winter playing in a tough Under-18 league where he logged a lot of minutes on the backend. He’s starting to figure things out overall, and from talking to Cole Shepherd, our scout in Saskatoon, he just has to keep getting stronger like they all do. He’s showed a lot of upside.” – Regina Pats Director of Scouting Dale McMullin.

Brayden Smith

Corban Almen: 2007-born Forward – Saskatoon Blazers U18 AAA

Almen, 15, tallied 39 points (18G-21A) in 39 games in the 2022-23 season with the Blazers while also adding five points (1G-4A) in 11 playoff games, helping them to a league championship. The Saskatoon, Sask. product recorded one assist in four games with the Pats this past season. The 5-foot-11, 170 lb. right-shot forward was second in the Saskatchewan AA Hockey League in goals (55) and third in points (92), while playing in just 31 games in 2021-22 with the Saskatoon Outlaws. He was drafted in the second round by the Pats in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft and signed on June 15, 2022.

“He’s a strong kid for his age. He has a strong stride, skates really well. He shoots the puck very hard and has a very hard quick release for his size. He ended up with an injury heading into the U18 Club Nationals so unfortunately he didn’t get to play in that. That would have been great for his development and unfortunately it didn’t happen. When I talked to him, he’s still upbeat and looking forward to next year. It will be determined at camp, but I think it will be real close based on his ability to push for a spot.” – Regina Pats Director of Scouting Dale McMullin.

Corban Almen

Wyatt Stinton: 2007-born Forward – RINK Hockey Academy Winnipeg U16

Stinton, 16, finished fifth on his club in goals and sixth in points, producing 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points in 23 games in 2022-23. The Flin Flon, Man. product then added six points (5G-1A) in five playoff games, securing the CSSHL U16 Championship. The 5-foot-8, 132 lb. left-shot forward tallied 47 points (23G-24A) in 30 games for the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg U15 program in 2021-22, finishing second on his team in goals and third in points. He was drafted by the Pats in the fifth round of the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft and signed on September 9, 2022.

“He dealt with a couple of injuries throughout the winter that set him back a little bit so it was an up and down year for him. Regardless, he put up good numbers and he’s developing just the way we thought. He’s got skill, skates well and has a chance to be a top-9 forward and move up in our lineup.” – Regina Pats Director of Scouting Dale McMullin.

Stinton 2022 Training Camp

Cole Temple: 2007-born Forward – Brandon Wheat Kings U18 AAA

Temple, 16, was drafted fifth overall in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft and had a strong 2022-23 season with the Brandon Wheat Kings U18 AAA club as he was named the Manitoba U18 Rookie of the Year in 2022-23 as well as second team all-star, scoring 58 points (25G-33A). The Brandon, Man. product led the U15 Winnipeg AAA Hockey League in points (108), while finishing second in goals (58) and third in assists (50) with the Brandon Wheat Kings U15 AAA team in 2021-22. The 5-foot-9, 151 lb. forward also produced 30 points (15G-15A) in just 11 post-season games in 2021-22, leading his team to the league championship.

“I think he’s progressed really well. We have to be careful with our expectations on a young guy to come in at 16-years-old and be a difference maker. From training camp onwards, he started to figure some things out. He’s a kid who has legit top-6 ability. Can he be something similar to Sam Steel, we’re hoping which would be outstanding. He has the vison to make plays, he sees the ice very well. He runs off of instincts. He has good hands and his skating has become more explosive. He has a legit chance to be in our top-6 by 17-years-old. He’s going to add skill to our lineup and he makes others around him better. He just has to continue to do his part, which I think he will.” – Regina Pats Director of Scouting Dale McMullin.

Temple & Bedard

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