The Prince George Cougars had nine picks in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft and they used their seventh selection to pick one of the top American’s in the draft in defenseman Aidan Hreschuk.
Hreschuk played for the LA Jr. Kings Bantam AAA program this past season and put up impressive numbers. In 49 games he had 19 goals and 60 points, good for fourth in team scoring on one of the top Bantam teams in the US. Hreschuk was named to one of the two all-star teams at the John Reid Memorial Tournament Bantam AAA tournament in St. Albert, Alberta, and his Jr. Kings won the 6th annual Rocky Mountain Classic Bantam AAA tournament in Calgary.
Many scouting publications considered Hreschuk as the top prospect in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, if he was fully committed to play in the WHL, as he does have a verbal college commitment. However, Director of Scouting Bob Simmonds says the risk is worth it, “Aidan might have been the best player in the entire draft, he’s an unbelievably-gifted defenceman.”
“We realize he has a college commitment but he has pro potential and he may be drafted into the NHL. We’re going to form a relationship with that young man and work hard to make sure he’s familiar with the program because if he comes to play for us, he has top-end skill.”
The Cougars have gone down this path before. They drafted former Captain Dennis Cholowski in the 10th round of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, even though he had a college commitment. Cholowski was drafted in the first round by the Detroit Red Wings in 2016, and eventually signed with the Cougars in August of 2017, shortly after signing his entry-level contract with Detroit.
Aidan Hreschuk Audio: