Imagine my delight this week when I remembered the WHL Bantam Draft was on Thursday. As always, the number of wacky Western Canada names that were selected truly boggles the mind, and continues to give sociologists crucial insight into where teenagers’ names are headed.
The era of Taylors and Tylers is over. The sun may be setting on all forms of “-aiden”-based names as well. This year, we had a first name without a single vowel.
Dead last. Anthony Williams, D, Red Deer (185th)
As always, there’s some joker in the group who has a perfectly normal name. Weirdly, there were actually a lot of normal names that any person born since 1970 is likely to have. Robert Kincaid? Ben King?
This is impossible to tolerate and I’m very mad just thinking about it. The WHL Bantam Draft is for out-there names only. Only!
59 – Stanley Cooley, C, Prince George (62nd)
I would hate to be a hockey player named Stanley. Can you imagine the comments? Every time you even touch a Cup to drink out of, let alone win a damn trophy for anything, some smartass is gonna go in on you. I wish nothing but the best for Stanley Cooley, whose name is very good.
58 – Campbell Arnold, G, Spokane (28th)
Okay, now we’re into kinda run-of-the-mill Dub Names. They’re Dub Names for sure, but are they really standouts? I cannot, in good conscience, say that they are.
57 – Jackson Dylla, G, Regina (132nd)
56 – Raphael Pelletier, C, Edmonton (48th)
55 – Hunter Strand, C, Prince Albert (120th)
54 – Bryce Margetson, RD, Swift Current (123rd)
53 – Dylan Scriven, RW, Prince Albert (150th)
52 – Gage Alexander, G, Kootenay (133rd)
This is a classic case of a first name and last name getting swapped.
51 – Nick Porchetta, C, Everett (218th)
50 – Chase Barlow, RD, Saskatoon (159th)
49 – Ethan Ironside, LW, Kamloops (168th)
These last two are the protagonists in a pair of very bad Tom Clancy ripoff novels.
48 – Nickolas De Beurs, LW, Red Deer (167th)
47 – Brody Gagno, RD, Prince George (113th)
46 – Jace Isley, LD, Red Deer (107th)
Something something wretched hive. Something scum. Something villainy.
45 – Boston Maxwell, LW, Prince George (84th)
James Bohn, D, Kelowna (149th)
Do you expect me to talk?
No, Mr. Bohn. I expect you to be hard to play against!
43 – Ridly Greig, C, Brandon (8th)
42 – Hendrik De Klerk, LD, Spokane (138th)
41 – Hale Schoneck, LD, Calgary (227th)
40 – Ryder Korczak, C, Calgary (29th)
39 – Koen MacInnes, G, Saskatoon (35th)
38 – Cross Hanas, F, Portland (77th)
I have to say “Cross” is a new one for me.
37 – Rylan Donald, D, Kelowna (83rd)
36 – Garin Bjorklund, G, Medicine Hat (21st)
35 – Payton Mount, RW, Seattle (19th)
34 – Ryley Morgan, F, Everett (152nd)
Doesn’t this guy already play for the Maple Leaf Torontos?
33 – Dallon Melin, LW, Victoria (32nd)
32 – Kannon Flageolle, G, Prince George (238th)
31 – Cohner Saleski, C, Prince Albert (17th)
I think this is supposed to be Connor?
30 – Luke Prokop, RD, Calgary (7th)
Where my mid-2000s MMA likers at? I see Prokop, I think Cro Cop. Remember when he annihilated demolished Eddie Sanchez? Oh yeah.
29 – Coleton Panowyk, RD, Regina (68th)
A good feature of a proper Dub Name is whether it comes with the question of, “How exactly do you pronounce that?” So is this one “Colton” or do you really lean into that E?
28 – Daron Cyr, LD, Swift Current (154th)
27 – Kyler Kovich, LW, Red Deer (78th)
A modern play on an old Dub Names classic: We’ll see your “Tyler” and add a “K” instead. Your move.
26 – Nathanael Hinds, C, Everett (49th)
At first blush this looks like a normal “Nathaniel” but then you realize: That Name’s Been Dubbed!
Points for the subterfuge.
25 – True Crowe, LD, Tri-City (122nd)
Accept no substitutes.
24 – Scout Truman, LW, Medicine Hat (43rd)
He’s out there with a contract in his pocket. He comes to see the Chiefs!
23 – Daylan Kuefler, F, Kamploops (211th)
Is it “Daylan” like “Kaylen” or is it Dylan? A true mystery!
22 – Kalen Szeto, C, Saskatoon (102nd)
This kinda counts in the Kaiden/Aiden/Braiden/Slaiden/Jaiden group, I have to say. It’s not quite there, but this is my list and I decide.
21 – Kaiden Guhle, LD, Prince Albert (1st)
This kid went first overall to really show that the age of Kaiden/Aiden/Braiden/Slaiden/Jaiden will not go quietly. Anyway, here’s a run of those names for you. Give the people what they want.
20 – Brayden Morrison, C, Everett (108th)
19 – Aidan Thompson, F, Portland (143rd)
18 – Braden Plaschewsky, C/LW, Saskatoon (31st)
17 – Braydon Clark, RD, Prince Albert (47th)
16 – Kaden Reinders, LD, Victoria (52nd)
15 – Braeden McAmmond, LW, Tri-City (188th)
14 – Kaden Kohle, C, Tri-City (12th)
The “K” in the last name really helps as well.
13 – Braydan Peters, G, Calgary (95th)
12 – Kaeden Watkins, D, Kelowna (106th)
11 – Kadyn Chabot, C, Medicine Hat (131st)
10 – Aidan Bangs, F, Regina (177th)
Thus ends the list.
9 – Mac Gross, LD, Spokane (50th)
This is for-sure a bad guy’s name from an on-the-nose low-budget ’80s action movie.
8 – Dameon Hunt, LD, Moose Jaw (15th)
And this was his sidekick.
7 – Massen Ziola, LW, Swift Current (145th)
6 – Talyn Boyko, G, Tri-City (53rd)
5 – Braedy Euerby, G, Vancouver (103rd)
4 – Jaxsen Wiebe, C, Red Deer (141st)
Oh hell yeah these are the true distillation of Dub Names. Massen! Talyn!!! Braedy!!!!!!!! JAXSEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3 – Aiden De La Gorgendiere, LD, Saskatoon (5th)
I felt like this one had to stand out from all the other Kaiden/Aiden/Braiden/Slaiden/Jaidens.
This is just one character short of tying Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond for “really long surname to put on a jersey.” I feel bad for Saskatoon’s equipment manager.
2 – Sequoia Swan, C, Tri-City (114th)
In any other year, just about, this would be the runaway Dub Name of the draft. This is, however, no ordinary year. Because there’s also this:
1 – Krz Plummer, F, Vancouver (46th)
That’s not a typo. Krz. K-R-Z.
We are moving in a bold new direction here. Now that we have formally eschewed vowels as “something you need to have in a name,” the Bantam Draft is officially no-holds-barred.
Is it pronounced “Chris?” Is it pronounced “Cruise?” Hell, is it pronounced “Kerz?” Fascinating. Endlessly fascinating.
Personally, I cannot wait for the Kootenay Ice to draft Qrplk Stevens or the Prince Albert Raiders to take Kjjywklmnstppppp Anderson next year.
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