Winnipeg's Stelio Mattheos is No. 1 — and he's staying in Manitoba.
On Thursday, the 14-year-old hockey star became the first overall pick in the 2014 Western Hockey League bantam draft when he was taken by the Brandon Wheat Kings.
This is the first time in history that the Wheat Kings have had the first overall pick in the draft. It also marks the second straight season the Wheat Kings have chosen a Winnipeg-born player with their first bantam selection.
In 2013, Brandon chose Nolan Patrick fourth overall.
Another top pick from Manitoba
Josh Brook, a 14-year-old defenceman from Roblin, Manitoba, went fourth overall in the draft, taken by the Moose Jaw Warriors.
He played last season for the Notre Dame Bantam Hounds, located in Wilcox, Sask., just south of Regina.
“This is a tremendously exciting day for our hockey club and fans,” Wheat Kings general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon said in a news release.
“Stelio is big, strong and skilled and a very powerful skater. As well, he has tremendous character.”
Mattheos played last season as captain for the Winnipeg Monarchs of the Winnipeg AAA Bantam Hockey League. In 35 games he accumulated 103 points, including 53 goals. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder added another 12 goals and 19 points in eight playoff games.
NHLers chosen as the top bantam pick in their early WHL careers include Jarret Stoll (Edmonton Ice) of the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues' Jay Bouwmeester (Medicine Hat), Jonathan Toews (Tri-City) of the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia's Braydon Coburn (Portland) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer) of the Edmonton Oilers.
Nugent-Hopkins went on to become the first overall pick in the NHL draft in 2011.
The WHL bantam draft continues all day Thursday in Calgary and fans can keep up to date online through the WHL's website.