By Mike Stackhouse
The Flin Flon Bombers have been knocking on the door of a Canalta Cup for the last two years and it’s hoped that through a strong bantam draft, the Bombers can continue to keep their contending window open for the long term.
While their presence may not be felt in Flin Flon for the next couple of seasons, the Bombers drafted a pair of blueliners that could figure prominently down the road.
2002 born Hendrik De Klerk (Swift Current SK) posted a very strong offensive season in 2016-17, scoring 7-goals and 30-assists in 30-games for his hometown Swift Current Broncos Bantam AA team. Flin Flon got him in the second round, 23rd overall. Bombers scout Jon Klassen says, “Every time I saw De Klerk play he proved how smart of a player he is on a night-in, night-out basis. His passing percentage was extremely high and he loves to have the puck on his stick. He plays the game with his head up and has the ability to run a powerplay no matter what level he ends up at. With his hockey IQ and work ethic, I see him developing into an offensive defenseman who can play this game for a very long time.”
2002 born Noah Kuntz (Regina SK) got a taste of Midget AA last season, but was an otherwise well-rounded player with the Regina Monarchs Bantam AA squad. He picked up 6-goals and 17-assists in 29-games. “We were very surprised NOah was available to us for our second pick. He’s a good sized defenseman with offensive instincts and plays with confidence. Overall, he’s a defenseman who can play in all situations and made games difficult with always being in the right spot at the right time and then taking away time and space against other players,” said Klassen.
Kuntz, who was chosen 33rd overall as a third round selection, has drawn comparisons to Cory Thomas, a Bomber fan favorite from recent years.