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Sports Notes: Whittle, Draper commit for next season

After three seasons in the Pacific Northwest, the next step in Dexter Whittle’s hockey career will be in his home province.

The Virden product has committed to play and study at the University of Manitoba. Dexter Whittle, son of Alana George Whittle and Clifford Whittle played the past three campaigns with the Everett (Wash.) Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. In a Bisons press release, the defenceman was described as a “‘meat and potatoes’ hockey player who does all the little things right.”

An injury unfortunately limited Whittle to two regular season games and three playoff tilts last season. However, he was still active with the team. Whittle received the Silvertips’ Community Relations Award.

Aboriginal Championships

Elkhorn’s Kirby Gray and Natalie Rampton of Kenton are competing for Team Manitoba at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Grande Prairie, Alta. May 5-11 where Manitoba won 3 of 4 games. On Monday, Team Manitoba beat Atlantic, 9-0, in its opening game of the event. Rampton earned the shutout.

Draper Signs with Oil Caps

The Virden Oil Capitals have signed Oak Lake Beach’s Tyson Draper for the next Manitoba Junior Hockey League season. The son of Erin and David Draper was auto-protected by the Oil Caps in 2023. He saw action in three MJHL contests last season and recorded two goals and an assist. For the U18 AAA Southwest Cougars last winter, the forward had 16 goals and 38 points in 44 games.

Slobodian’s WHL Debut

Oil Capitals defenceman Cole Slobodian will certainly not forget his first WHL game for many reasons. The Brandon product’s major junior debut came in a May 6 playoff contest. His Portland (Ore.) Winterhawks beat the Prince George Cougars, 2-1, in double overtime to win the Western Conference championship, 4-3. The Winterhawks advance to the WHL finals for the first time since 2014. As of May 11, the team was tied with the Moose Jaw Warriors at one win each, with three more games scheduled (if needed) to wind up on May 17  

The 2006-born Slobodian had four goals and 20 points in 53 games last season for Virden. He was named to the MJHL All-Rookie Team.




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