The Portland Winterhawks have signed Brendan Leipsic and Adam Smith, players the team selected in the 2009 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.
Leipsic was the team’s sixth round pick, 112th overall in last year’s Bantam Draft. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the left winger recorded 23 goals and 40 assists for 63 points in 41 games last season with the Winnipeg Wild of the Manitoba AAA Midget League. He also took part in the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup and registered two goals and four assists for six points in three games, which garnered him a spot on the tournament all-star team.
Smith was Portland’s ninth round pick, 178th overall, in the 2009 Bantam Draft. The center from Nanaimo, British Columbia spent last season with the North Island Silvertips of the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League, where he registered seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in 38 games.
“After signing Taylor Leier last year and now adding Brendan and Adam, I feel we have a solid core of 1994-born forwards,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “Adam is a strong, physical two-way center who will add a lot of grit, and Brendan has already proven he is one of the more talented players in his age group in Western Canada.”
Both players attended training camp last year, and will be at this year’s camp beginning next month. As 16-year-olds, they are eligible to join the team full-time this season.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)