At the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft this morning, the Kootenay Ice’s head of scouting, Garnet Kazuik, announced the selection of forward Connor McClennon as the second overall selection.
McClennon, from Wainwright, Alberta, spent the 2016-17 season with the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, BC, and is one of the most dynamic offensive forces in the 2002-born draft class.
The 5’8” forward led the CSSBHL in scoring this past season, putting up 99 points in 30 regular season games and 200 points on the year including tournaments and playoffs. He was also selected as the league’s MVP.
— Kootenay ICE (@WHLKootenayICE) May 4, 2017
Speaking with Cam Moon at the draft after the selection, Kazuik praised McClennon not only for his offensive upside but his incredible work ethic.
“Connor McClennon is a very exciting player [who] loves to play the game [and] you can see that in his compete,” Kazuik said. “He loves to score, that’s his go-to. When you go watch him play and he scores, he gets excited.
“He reminds me of some former Western Hockey League players [in that] when they scored, it’s exciting times. He’s going to bring a lot of exciting energy to our team and he’s going to bring the compete-level up on our team.”
Kazuik also believes that McClennon has a great mind for the game.
“[His compete-level] is very important, we rate that, we value that, but at the same time, we value his hockey sense,” he told Moon. “It works well for him and it’s going to bode well for the future.”
The Ice opted for McClennon after the Prince Albert Raiders, who won the opportunity to make the first overall selection at the WHL Bantam Draft Lottery, picked defenceman Kaiden Guhle from the OHA Edmonton Bantam Prep Academy.
— Connor Mcclennon (@mcclennon_94) May 4, 2017
— Peyton Krebs (@peytonkrebs12) May 4, 2017
— Greg Fettes (@greg_fettes) May 4, 2017
McClennon is a potential future linemate for 16-year-old Ice forward Peyton Krebs who Kootenay selected first overall at the 2016 Bantam Draft. Krebs had a goal and five assists in six games as a call-up with the Ice in his 15-year-old season, last year.
The pick was the first ever draft selection made by new ownership duo Matt Cockell and Greg Fettes, who officially took over the club on May 1.