Kaden Kohle’s parents allowed him to stay home from school Thursday until he got the call that he had been selected in the Western Hockey League bantam draft.
A call from the media allowed him to miss a bit more school, but he didn’t mind.
Kohle was taken in the first round, 12th overall, by the Tri-City Americans.
“I’m so happy to go in the first round,” Kohle said. “Really, I’m still a little shocked.”
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Americans general manager Bob Tory was pleased to get the 6-foot-3, 190-pound center.
“He is highly skilled and very physical,” said Tory, who selected six fowards, four defensemen and one goalie on the day. “He is a dynamic power forward with tremendous leadership qualities. We are excited to be able to draft him. He was captain of his team (the Humboldt Broncos). We look forward to having him at training camp and having him join us a year from now.”
Defenseman Kaiden Guhle was the first overall pick in the draft, going to the Prince Albert Raiders.
The Americans took defenseman Tom Cadieux (5-11, 155) in the second round and goalie Talyn Boyko (6-4, 150) in the third.
“Our first three picks, we are very excited about,” Tory said. “Tom is a good skater and has a good shot from the point. Talyn is a good young goalie and some NHL goalie coaches speak highly of him.”
Tri-City selected another defenseman, Jarod Newell, in the fourth round, then picked forward Riley Stuart in the fifth.
With three picks in the sixth round, including one from Seattle and another from Edmonton, the Americans selected center Sequoia Swan, defenseman True Crowe and center/winger Landon Roberts.
The Americans finished the day by taking defenseman Kyle Crewe (7th round) and forwards Tristan Rand (8th) and Braeden McAmmond (9th). Tri-City passed on its picks from rounds 10-14.
“You never know how it is going to shake out,” Tory said. “We are confident with the size, skill and compete level we selected.”
Kohle is from Cudworth, Saskatchewan, a small town of about 800 an hour northwest of Humboldt. He is a freshman at Cudworth School, where he is one of seven boys in a class that has no girls.
He played 29 games for the Broncos last season, scoring 38 goals with 28 assists. He also had 106 penalty minutes. His team advanced to the playoffs, where they lost in the second round.
“I like putting the puck in the net,” he said. “We had a good team.”
Kohle also was MVP of the Graham Tuer Bantam AA Challenge in October.
The oldest of Lenny and Dione Kohle’s two children (younger sister Kamara is a dancer), Kohle is the first in his family to play hockey.
“My dad couldn’t afford it as a kid,” Kohle said.
Cadieux, who plays for the Notre Dame Hounds bantam team, is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He had eight goals and 13 assists in 29 games this season, including three power-play goals.
Boyko, a native of Drumheller, Alberta, played 18 games for the the Kelowna-based Pursuit of the Excellence Bantam Prep team this year. He had a 13-2 record with a 2.90 goals against average and an .886 save percentage. He also had two shutouts.