Jeffrey Faith, a 6'2" defenseman from Wilcox, Saskatchewan, was the first of 10 players selected by the Spokane Chiefs at today's Annual WHL Bantam Draft. Overall, Spokane selected four defensemen, three with their first three picks, five forwards and one goaltender. Faith was chosen 16th overall.

"Jeffrey is a big defenseman with shutdown type of characteristics. He's athletic, a real hard worker and we're excited to have him be a part of our organization, Chiefs Director of Player Personnel Chris Moulton said.

Faith appeared in 33 games this past season with the Notre Dame Hounds Bantam team and recorded 82 penalty minutes and added 11 assists. He is the fourth defenseman in the last five years selected by Spokane in the first round.

"Overall, things went really well for us, Moulton said. I think we addressed some issues that we wanted to improve in the future. We got bigger and selected a real nice combination of grit and skill up front."

Spokane used one of two fifth round picks on Spokane native Kailer Yamamoto, a center who was a product of the Spokane American Youth Hockey Association.

"Kailer is one of the most skilled forwards we saw all year. He is dynamic, smart and makes something happen with the puck every shift. We look forward to seeing him grow into a player with us."

Dalton Hamaliuk from Leduc, Alberta was Spokane's second round pick, 38th overall. Hamaliuk was the Leduc Oil Kings (Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League) top scoring defenseman with eight goals and 33 points in 27 games.

"Dalton is a good skater, not afraid to handle the puck and has confidence in his play. He has a nice shot with a good release and will close out his man out well and will finish his checks."

Jake Toporowski, a 6'0" defenseman, was Spokane's third round selection, 60th overall. Toporowski played this past season for the Chicago Mission Major Bantam team and had 13 points, including 11 assists, in 23 games.

"Jake has a great understanding of the game. He has good skill, great compete and is a leader. Jake makes good decisions with and without the puck and is a very committed player."

This year's draft marks the first time Spokane has taken three defensemen with their first three picks.

"That was a first for me," Moulton said. "We picked Jeffrey in the first round and then when Dalton was available in the second we couldn't pass him up. In the third, we wanted Jake to be a part of our organization and knew that if we didn't pick him then someone else would. We are really happy with the forwards we took after that."

Toporowski is the son of Kerry Toporowski, a former Chief who played two seasons in Spokane (1989-91) and helped win the organization's first Memorial Cup in 1991. A Bettendorf, Iowa native, Toporowski had petitioned the WHL earlier in the spring and received approval to be eligible for the bantam draft based on family history and current relationships within the league.

Taylor Ross, Faith's teammate with the Notre Dame Hounds, started a string of three straight forwards taken by Spokane when he was selected in the fourth round, 82nd overall. Ross had 23 goals and 45 points in 33 games this past season, ninth in the South Saskatchewan Minor Hockey League.

"Taylor is a foward with lots of skill. He has great hands and can pick up any pass. He will make plays and sees the ice very well. Taylor possesses a good, hard shot and a nose for the net."

With their first of two fifth round picks Spokane selected Nicholas Labossiere, a 5'6" left wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, 101st overall. Labossiere scored 32 goals and 60 points in 30 games this season.

"Nicholas is willing to go into the corners, in front of the net and is an offensive threat. He will attack with speed, lead by example and is the type of player who makes those around him better."

Yamamoto was Spokane's next pick, 105th overall. This past season he played for the L.A. Jr. Kings, a traveling bantam team based out of Los Angeles.

Michael Doneff from Medicine Hat, Alberta was taken with Spokane's sixth pick, 126th overall. Doneff recorded 37 goals and 67 points in 33 games this season with Medicine Hat of the AMBHL.

"Michael has a good skill set and handles the puck well in traffic. He has a good release, shoots the puck well and is willing to go into tough spots to get the puck and score."

The Chiefs picked 6'3" goaltender Matthew Berlin with their seven round selection, 148th overall. Berlin posted a 2.53 goals against average and two shutouts in 12 games this past year with the South Side Athletic Club in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta.

"Matthew is a big goaltender who does a good job of taking up a lot of the net. He has good anticipation and will challenge shooters."

Regina, Saskatchewan's Chaseton Sare was picked in the eighth round, 170th overall. The center scored 18 goals and 43 points in 33 games as a member of the Regina Pat Blues of the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League.

"Chaseton plays hard and with passion. He is a good skater who likes to shoot the puck. He is a hard guy to play against and is another player who will compete hard to get the puck."

Walker Cote, a defenseman from Penticton, B.C., was selected in the ninth round, 192nd overall. The 5'11" blueliner appeared in 56 games this past season with the Okanagan Bantam team and scored four goals and 20 points.

"Walker is a good skater who has confidence in his mobility. He makes a good first pass out of the zone, doesn't panic under pressure and is a very effective player."

http://www.spokanechiefs.com/article/chiefs-have-faith

The Spokane Chiefs acquired a third round selection in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft from the Moose Jaw Warriors in exchange for forward Todd Fiddler.