Thursday, April 30, 2009

Broncos Take F Shea Howorko in 2nd Round

The Broncos took Regina forward Shea Howorko in the 2nd round (37th overall) of today's WHL bantam draft. Howorko and his family are former Swift Current residents.

He's 5'11 and 165 pounds. He scored 22 goals and added 21 assists in 23 games with the bantam "AAA" Notre Dame Hounds.

The Leaderpost's Greg Harder recently did a story on him heading into the bantam draft back in March. Here's that story:

By Greg Harder,

Shea Howorko was hoping to be a scene-stealer in his audition for the 2009 WHL bantam draft.

The grand finale came on the weekend when Howorko took part in the annual Sask First tournament, which featured the top 160 players from around the province who are eligible for the April 30 bantam draft.

"Playing with the best (players) in your zone, you're showing your stuff and what you can do," said the 15-year-old forward, who's the top-rated player from Zone 1 (Regina). "Some guys (on opposing teams) are going to be good. You can see if you're better than them or find out what you have to work on to be better than them."

Howorko was pegged to be among the players to watch at the Sask First tournament, meaning his performance was closely scrutinized by the legion of WHL scouts and general managers in attendance at the Sherwood Ice Sports Centre.

It's heady stuff for the youngster, but he knows it comes with the territory. Scouts have been attending his games and calling his house all season long.

"I personally don't mind (the attention)," said Howorko, who had 22 goals and 43 points in 23 games with the Notre Dame Hounds this season. "You can't really get it all on your mind thinking you're good or anything. You still have to play hard. Just because they're talking to you doesn't mean you're going to totally make the team or anything."

Howorko said his goal is to "go high" in the upcoming bantam draft. According to multiple scouts who were informally polled by the Leader-Post, he's expected to land somewhere in the bottom half of the first round or in the second round.

"He's a good player -- good skater, good size," said Regina Pats director of scouting Todd Ripplinger. "He has a chance to be a player. He's still young but he has potential."

If Howorko does land in the first round, he would be the first player from Regina to do so since Cody Hanson (16th overall) in 2005. Hanson is one of just three Reginans to be selected in the opening round since 1992, joining Aaron Boogaard (14th, 2001) and Garth Murray (13th, 1997).

"Whatever happens, happens," said Howorko. "I still have a long ways to go, so we'll see."

Although he has "always wanted to play in the 'Dub," Howorko admits he hasn't decided if he'll accept an offer to play in the league or if he'll go the junior A route before heading south to the NCAA. That indecision may hurt his draft stock as well.

"Playing in the 'Dub would be fun," he said, before adding, "I don't know. With college, you get your schooling done right quick but WHL is a good opportunity. It's kinda 50-50, I guess. I haven't decided quite yet. I've still got some decisions."

No comments: