Steenbergen chosen 12th overall in bantam draft

Excited and overwhelmed are words 15-year-old Tyler Steenbergen used to describe his reaction to being drafted 12th overall

Excited and overwhelmed are words 15-year-old Tyler Steenbergen used to describe his reaction to being drafted 12th overall by Swift Current Broncos during their first round pick at the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft last Thursday.

He met with team representatives on Saturday, received a hat and t-shirt and information about the main camp August 20, where all listed and drafted players will attend with the veterans.

Steenbergen played with the Bantam AAA Red Deer Rebels White team this season. While the team didn’t have a great year, ending at the bottom of the league, he did well individually scoring 39 goals and 28 assists for 67 points in 32 games which put him in a tie for 15th place in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.

After his bantam season was finished he played with the Midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Chiefs as an affiliate when the senior team was affected by injuries. He was on the Chiefs roster when they won provincials and then won Pacifics at Vancouver. But by then the team’s injured players had healed and he didn’t get a chance to join them for the Telus Cup series which they won in Sault Ste. Marie.

“It was a great experience,” said the 5’10”, 160 pound forward. “It was awesome winning two championships with them. I didn’t get the chance to go to the Telus Cup but overall it was a great experience.”

Next year is the first year he’s eligible to play at the Midget AAA level then a year later he’s eligible to try out for the Swift Current club.

A forward, Steenbergen said he had a hunch he’d be selected by Swift Current in the draft after they indicated they were really interested in him.

He was watching the draft live online when the Broncos called his name 12th overall. “When they first said it I was just overwhelmed,” he told Steven Mah of the Swift Current Southwest Booster. “I didn’t really have any words to describe it.”

He characterized himself as a fast player. “I have good vision on the ice. I work my tail off every shift and I work hard in the D-zone.”

Steenbergen spent his minor hockey career in Sylvan Lake until moving to Bantam AAA play three years ago. His season was as an underage player.

The Grade 9 École H. J. Cody High School student is an avid athlete involved in basketball, badminton, track and field and golf.

Steenbergen’s brother, Jordan, and Chase Thudium, another Sylvan Laker, played with the Optimist Chiefs team and revelled in the Telus Cup championship.

Jordan was selected by Kootenay Ice in the third round, 61st overall, during the bantam draft two years ago.

He played with the team during the exhibition season this year and in a game against the Rebels in Red Deer.