The Prince George Cougars selected five forwards, three of them in the first round, four defencemen and a goalie in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft.

Of the ten players, five are from Alberta, three from B.C. and two from Saskatchewan.

With the second overall pick, the Cougars chose Riley Heidt.

He recorded 37 points in 44 games with the Saskatoon Contacts of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League last season.

Cougars Head Coach and GM Mark Lamb spoke with about the pick.

“He’s a very elite player and a lot of people are calling him a franchise player. When you win that lottery that’s what you get, a player like Riley Heidt and it’s a great day for our organization.”

With their second pick, the Cougars selected Caden Brown of the Delta Hockey Academy 17th overall.

The Fort St. John product, tallied 65 points last season (35 goals, 30 assists) in 30 games.

Prince George’s final pick in round one was forward Ryker Singer (22nd overall) from the Lloydminster Bobcats Bantam AAA program.

He tallied 30 goals, 21 assists in 32 games last season along with 128 penalty minutes.

Singer also added 11 points in seven playoff games.

Lamb was pleased that both forwards were still available when it was their turn to pick.

“We were so excited that those kids were still there with both of those picks, they are highly-skilled players and they are going to fit right in with Riley Heidt and some of our other top prospects, a lot of skill will be going into our lineup in the future.”

Scoring has been an issue for the Cougars the past few seasons – Lamb believes they have solved that problem with the players they’ve selected.

“That’s what the plan was when you have three first-round picks, that was the priority, this was a deeply-skilled draft and that’s what we were trying to do is get skill and scoring.”

“I think our organization is trending in the right direction, exciting is the perfect word because we have a lot of good players coming it’s going to be a core with a lot of skill.”

In round two, with the 26th overall pick, Prince George took defenceman Bauer Dumanski from the Humboldt Broncos Bantam AA program.

With their two picks in the third round, PG took defenceman Rylan Brown from Edmonton (46th overall) and forward Zachary Shantz (66th overall) from Grande Prarie.

In Round 4, the Cougars selected forward Chase Walker from the Red Deer Rebels Bantam AAA program.

The Cougars shored up the blue line in the fifth round picking Red Deer’s Ephram McNutt (92nd overall) and Dylan Compton from the Shawnigan Lake  Bantam Prep Academy (102nd overall)

PG took Victoria-born goaltender  Liam Hallett during the sixth round (114th overall) from the West Van Warriors Bantam Prep Team.

The Cougars passed on the rest of their selections.

In addition, Fort Saint James native Tyrell Goldsmith was taken 15th overall by the Prince Albert Raiders.

He was playing with the Delta Hockey Academy where he amassed 19 points and 77 penalty minutes last season.

McBride’s Tanner Molendyk also heard his name called in the first round, going 5th overall to the Saskatoon Blades.

He recorded 55 points in 27 games with the Yale Hockey Academy.

There were no players from Prince George that were picked.