The Winnipeg Blues brought eight new players into the system through the 2020 MJHL Draft as the team looks to build towards the future.
They also auto-protected a pair of Winnipeg-based defenseman prior to the draft to help bolster the pipeline for the back end.
Before the draft, the Blues made a deal with the Waywayseecapo Wolverines, sending them the fourth overall pick (Ben Roulette) in exchange for the 18th, 40th, and 58th picks.
Round 2, Pick 18: Kai Elkie
Forward, Winnipeg Monarchs B1AAA; 5’10” 138 lb; shoots left
2019-2020 stats: 36 games, 27 goals, 22 assists, 49 points
The Blues first pick came from their own backyard. The Monarchs forward took a big leap in his second season with the organization, scoring 13 more goals and tallying 28 more points compared to last season. He continued his point-per-game pace into the playoffs, notching five goals and five assists in ten games. The 15-year-old plans to focus on his size and physicality heading into next season.
Round 4, pick 40: Jack Derrett
Forward, Winnipeg Monarchs B1AAA; 6’ 2” 175 lb; shoots right
2019-2020 stats: 28 games, 11 goals, 14 assists, 25 points
The right-shot Jack Derrett can fill a need for a Blues team that only had four right-shot forwards. Of those forwards, Ethan Hersant is heading to Johnson & Wales University, Matt Hill is entering his final year of eligibility. Derrett can step in and provide head coach Gord Burnett with different opportunities for deployment.
Round 4, pick 41: Adriano Cianflone
Forward, Winnipeg Monarchs B1AAA; 5’4” 131 lb; shoots left
2019-2020 stats: 36 games, 13 goals, 11 assists, 24 points
Right after drafting Derrett, the Blues drafted his teammate and third Monarch, Adriano Cianflone. Cianflone ranked sixth on the team in goals this season and could help provide a big boost for a Blues team that had only six ten-plus goal scorers.
Round 5, pick 50: Eric Voth
Left Defense, Winnipeg Monarchs B1AAA; 6’0” 180 lb; shoots left
2019-2020 stats: 36 games, 5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points
After drafting three straight forwards, the Blues snagged a blue liner in the early fifth round. Voth is a large, versatile defenseman who spent time on the powerplay and penalty kill.
Round 5, pick 53: Eric Kreklewetz
Left Defense, Winnipeg Monarchs; 5’6” 116 lb; shoots left
2019-2020 stats: 33 games, 4 goals, 12 assists, 16 points
Another pick, another defenseman from the Monarchs. Kreklewetz plays a disciplined game, only taking seven minor penalties all season. His disciplined style will fit right in on Burnett’s squad which had by far the least amount of penalty minutes in the league (639).
Round 6, pick 58: Dawson Cowan
Goalie, Interlake Lightning; 5’7” 120 lb
The Blues first netminder of the draft came from the Interlake Lightning. While Cowan’s record doesn’t look great, he actually held the fort rather well for a bottom-three team that only got nine wins.
Round 6, pick 59: Vlad Stepic
Right Wing, Winnipeg Warriors B1AAA; 6’0” 154 lb; shoots right
2019-2020 stats: 36 games, 16 goals, 14 assists, 30 points
A potential late-round steal fell right to Winnipeg with Stepic. The sizeable winger scored at almost a point-per-game pace and played a big role on a good Warriors team.
Round 6, pick 66: Jackson McLeod
Goalie; 5’5” 113 lb
2019-2020 stats: 10-10-1
The Blues snagged another netminder with their final draft pick of 2020 to provide more depth in the crease moving forward.
To see the whole draft, click here.
Exempt Players (Auto Protects)
Left Defense, Winnipeg Monarchs B1AAA; 5’3” 105 lb; shoots left
2019-2020 stats: 36 games, 10 goals, 39 assists, 49 points
The first player the Blues exempted was playmaking blueliner Blake Jones. The Blues have a history of identifying quality talent with their exemptions, such as in 2016 when they exempted current Blues captain Brayden Foreman. Jones can provide an offensive punch to a back.
Left Defense, Winnipeg Monarchs B1AAA; 6’2” 203 lb; shoots left
2019-2020 stats: 36 games, 19 goals, 39 assists, 58 points
The Blues didn’t have to look far for their next exempt player before claiming Jones’s teammate Burzynski. The big defenseman does everything you could ask a blue-liner to do: he scores, defends, has size, plays on both special teams and plays big minutes.