Brandon Wheat Kings netminder Liam Liston will suit up for Team Bobby Orr at the Canadian Hockey League’s Top Prospects Game.
The St. Albert product was one of 40 players chosen for the Jan. 18 and 19 event at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The 16th annual showcase of NHL draft eligible talent from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will be broadcast nationally by Rogers Sportsnet.
Liston, 17, is currently ranked as the top draft eligible goalie in the WHL by NHL Central Scouting. He entered the Christmas break having played in 25 of Brandon’s 37 regular season games. He is 11-12-0-1, with a 3.42 GAA, .892 save percentage and one shutout. During the final week of the team’s pre-Christmas schedule, he won back-to-back games against Prince Albert and Moose Jaw, giving up just three goals in the process.
The six-foot-two Liston was a third round (57th overall) bantam draft pick of the Wheaties in 2008. Last season with the St. Albert Raiders, he was awarded the Bill Ranford Trophy as the top goalie in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League. He posted a league-best 16-3-3 record and tied teammate Brad Miller for the lowest GAA at 2.23.
At the international level, Liston was the only midget player on Team Pacific at the U17 worlds last year. The former bantam AAA Sabre and midget 15 Flyer attended Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence goaltending camp in June and was invited to the U18 selection camp to determine the national team for the 2010 Ivan Hlinka tournament.
After reporting to Brandon on Boxing Day, Liston and the Wheaties (13-19-1-4) hit the road for a three-game swing through Alberta. At 6 p.m. Friday the Wheaties play the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rexall Place. The last time Brandon was in Edmonton was Dec. 3, when Liston gave up seven goals on 27 shots before he was pulled after the second period in the 8-4 loss.
The Raiders Hockey Club was well represented at the first annual Edmonton Rural Bantam AA Hockey League all-star game in Sherwood Park recently.
Blues defencemen Maverick Fewchuk and Mark Matsuba, Bears forward Keaton Lockwood and Steel defenceman Dylan Overdyk played for Team Metro. Fewchuk and Overdyk were voted first team all-stars, while Matsuba and Lockwood scored goals in metro’s 9-2 win.
The 32-team league combines entries from rural and Edmonton circuits as a way to improve travel costs and the longevity of bantam AA hockey in northern Alberta. Teams compete in four divisions, two for metro Edmonton and two that extend throughout central and northern Alberta and includes teams from Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Slave Lake and Lloydminster.