Calder Hamilton (Gazette photo by Wayne Shiels)

The Martensville U15AA Marauders were featured prominently in last week’s Western Hockey League (WHL) Prospects Draft with Calder Hamilton and Dade Witherspoon being selected in the first round and Sam Failler going in the second round.

The WHL Prospects Draft was held on Thursday, May 9, 2024, with this year’s draft highlighting 2009-born eligible players. A total of 45 Saskatchewan players were selected, with seven of the 22 picks in the first round being from Saskatchewan. 

Martensville U15AA Maraduers defenceman Calder Hamilton was selected sixth overall by the Calgary Hitmen, while his teammate, forward Dade Wotherspoon, was taken 21st overall by the Prince George Cougars.

Rounding out the Saskatchewan first-round picks were:

* Centre  Kayden Stroeder ( Lanigan) fifth- Edmonton Oil Kings

* Centre Blake Chorney (Nipawin) 10th overall- Vancouver Giants

* Defenceman Boston Tait ( Estevan) 12th overall- Wenatchee Wild

* Left wing Chase Surkan (Regina) 14th overall- Brandon Wheat Kings

* Carter Moen (Swift Current) 17th overall- Swift Current Broncos

Hamilton had 86 points — including 35 goals — in 28 games, clinching the record of most points by a defenceman in a single season in the SAAHL U15.

The previous record was held by Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Reilly, with 84 points. Described as one of the smoothest skaters in the draft. Hamilton is a complete defenceman who defends extremely well and has great puck instincts with top offensive ability.

Dade Wotherspoon (Gazette photo by Wayne Shiels)

Wotherspoon, who turns 15 on August 4, stands five-foot-11 and weighs 179 pounds. The Cougars liked his size and his offensive abilities combined with a strong two-way game.

Wotherspoon averaged three points per game in leading the Saskatchewan U15AA Hockey League in playoff scoring with 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points in 11 games as the Marauders advanced to the provincial finals. That built on an impressive 53-goal, 103 points in 27 regular season games

Sam Failler (Gazette photo by Terry Pugh)

The Regina Pats drafted Martensville Marauders forward Sam Failler (Dundurn) with the 38th overall pick in the second round.

Despite missing part of the season with an upper body injury, Failler was able to display his skill, scoring 19 goals and adding 29 assists in 19 games for the Marauders in the 2023-24 season.

The Everett Silvertips took defenceman DuPont at No. 1 overall in the draft. The 14-year-old Edge School Under-18 phenom is the first blue-liner to be granted exceptional status by the WHL. Other players will be limited to five games with their junior teams.

Since WHL rules limit the number of games that draftees can play next year we will have an opportunity to see all three play with the Warman U18AAA Wildcats for the 2024-25 season as they continue to develop their skills.

Other AAA Wildcats signees who were drafted were goalie Seth Gutenberg in the 9th round by the Red Deer Rebels and forward Declan Borthwick in the 6th round by the Prince Albert Raiders.