Vermilion’s Shea Dougan was selected by the Swift Current Broncos in last week’s WHL draft. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The subject of Shea Dougan’s English essay was how can striving for goals in life affect a person’s outcome.
The Grade 9 student at Vermilion’s J.R. Robson School was in the middle of working through the project when he saw his name appear on the Western Hockey League’s 2018 bantam draft webpage last Thursday. Dougan had been selected in the ninth round, 188th overall, by the Swift Current Broncos.
“I was kind of swapping tabs between our essay and the bantam draft,” said Dougan, 15, who admitted that he was in English class when he came across the feed.
“I was surprised, but I was really excited.”
Dougan enjoyed a strong year playing defence for the Lloydminster bantam AAA Bobcats this past season recording seven goals and 17 points in 36 games. The six-foot and 183-pound right shot then secured a spot on Team Northeast for the April 25-29 Alberta Cup tournament that serves as a premier evaluation event for WHL scouts.
Team Northeast went 1-3 at the competition before losing 3-2 in overtime to Team Northwest in the D final. Joining Dougan on the squad were fellow Bobcats’ Max Mills, Jayven Leslie, Chase Renton and Matthew Swanson.
“It was lots of fun,” said Dougan, noting the Alberta Cup also included the top prep school prospects in the province including the Border City’s Tyson Laventure and Josh Medernach, who were selected in the second and third rounds of the WHL draft, respectively. “It was a great opportunity to have, definitely once in a lifetime thing. It was really good hockey.”
Dougan said no one from the WHL approached him at the Alberta Cup and the majority of the players didn’t get an opportunity to reach out to anyone during the tournament due to their busy schedule. He said the Red Deer Rebels did send him a questionnaire late in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League season, but that was the only communication he received leading up to the draft.
A statement of congratulations by Broncos assistant general manager Jamie Porter followed the selection, added Dougan, with a note that they’ll see him at training camp this August.
He said the plan is to skate with Your Hockey’s Eric Morrissette and regularly hit the Vermilion campus’ Lakeland College gym this summer in the hopes of making a good first impression.
“You have to play at least one year of midget before you can play there,” said Dougan.
“I’ll be trying out for midget (this fall) and we’ll just have to see how tryouts go and then go from there.”