Seattle Thunderbirds sign two high-round draft picks | Western Hockey League

The Seattle Thunderbirds on Monday signed right wing Keegan Kolesar and defenseman Ethan Bear to standard Western Hockey League Player Education contracts.

The T-Birds selected Kolesar in the first round and Bear in the second round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

"We are extremely excited to have both these players committed to our team at this time," said Seattle General Manager Russ Farwell. "Keegan has the skills and physical package to be a very effective power forward in our league and Ethan Bear is a very smart puck moving defenseman who also has a definite physical edge to his game.

"This was a very strong draft for our team this year with the first overall pick and three of the top 25 picks. These two players are great additions to the future of our team."

The Kent-based T-Birds selected Kolesar 20th overall. He is from from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and played with the Winnipeg Hawks Bantam AAA team last season. He appeared in 27 games and had 22 goals and 11 assists for 33 points with 84 penalty minutes. He is 6 feet and 208 pounds.

"It feels amazing signing at an early age. This is a very big milestone for me," Kolesar said. "Being able to visit the ShoWare Center and the high school I will be attending gave me a good idea of the area. I can't wait till main camp to show Seattle what I am all about."

The T-Birds selected Bear 25th overall. Bear, from Ochapowace, Saskatchewan, is a right-handed defenseman who is 5 feet 11 and 189 pounds. He played 40 games for the POE Bantam Tier 1 team and had 12 goals and 32 assists for 44 points with 45 penalty minutes.

"It means a lot to sign with the Thunderbirds," Bear said. "Since I have been a little kid I have wanted to play in the WHL. I am feeling really good. It was good to check out the facilities at ShoWare Center, meet the staff and some current players and get a feel for the city of Kent."


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