The Southwest Booster
Broncos select local forward in WHL Prospects Draft
The Swift Current Broncos selected nine players, including one from Shaunavon, in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft on May 11.
The Broncos finished the draft with three defensemen and six forwards. They selected three players from Manitoba and two each from British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
The Broncos used their first pick in the draft to select forward Sawyer Dingman 30th overall. The 6’2’’ Edmonton product had 11 goals, 23 assists, and 60 penalty minutes in 30 games with the NAX U15 Prep team in 2022-23.
They used the 52nd overall pick to grab 6’1’’ defenseman Daxon Yerek from Oak Bluff, MB. Yerek registered four goals and 23 assists in 30 games with Rink Hockey Academy Winnipeg’s U15 Prep team.
The Broncos added another defenseman in the fourth round when they selected Nathan Gray 74th overall. The Richmond, BC product registered six goals and 15 assists in 28 games with the Delta Green U15 Prep team in 2022-23.
The Broncos used the 109th overall pick to snag Southwest product Mason Fauser. He had 66 points in 28 games with the Swift Current U15 AAA Broncos last season.
“I was really excited about the home town team. I think it will be fun if it works out,” said Fauser, who stayed home and watched the draft until he was selected. “I was just hoping my name would show up. I wasn’t sure which team or who it was going to be.”
Fauser grew up a Broncos fan while playing minor hockey in Shaunavon and then Swift Current.
“100 percent. I grew up in Shaunavon, but always loved the Broncos and came to games a bunch. They were always my favourite team,” said Fauser, who added that Glenn Gawdin and Tyler Steenbergen were among his favourite players, especially during the WHL championship run in 2018.
The Broncos had drafted three of his former teammates in 2022 in Parker Rondeau, Berney Weston, and Wesley Olson. He is looking forward to his first WHL camp with some familiar faces.
“100 percent. I think it’s awesome that I know kids that have been drafted by the same team and all that should be fun.”
Fauser is a 6’1’’ left wing who played a power forward role with the U15 AA Broncos. He was eighth in the province with 34 goals in 28 games. “I work hard, try to be a good leader, and break away with my body and shot,” he said of his evolving game.
“Yeah I have to improve everything. It is a
big league, a fast league, especially my skating and my explosiveness to keep up with the top guys in the league,” said Fauser.
The Broncos waited until the 162nd pick to select Regina’s Keaton Lesperance. The 5’11’’ forward had 30 goals and 30 assists in 29 games with the Regina Aces this season.
They used the 184th selection to secure Calgary’s Aidan Sexsmith. The 5’8’’ forward had 13 goals and 11 assists in 32 games with the Calgary Bisons.
The Broncos drafted forward Ryden Duchon 206th overall, in the 10th round. The 6’ forward compiled 40 goals and 19 assists in 34 games with Winnipeg Thrashers Gold in 2022-23.
The Broncos used an 11th round pick, 228th overall, to select Langley, BC’S Jayden Oleskiw. The 6’ right wing had 10 goals and 10 assists in 28 games with the Yale U15 Prep team.
The Broncos closed their draft in the 12th round when they took Winnipeg defenseman Joshua Shaganya with the 250th overall pick. He posted five goals and 12 assists in 30 games with the Rink Hockey Academy Winnipeg U15 Prep team.
The Prince Albert Raiders selected defenseman Daxon Rudolph (Lacombe, AB) with the first overall pick. They quickly added forward Riley Boychuk (Cochrane, AB) second overall.