The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 04/29/2019 9:28 AM
Steinbach Pistons forward Kyle Bettens, who was one of the top rookies in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League this season, is the only MJHL player to be ranked by NHL Central Scouting in the final rankings for the upcoming NHL entry draft.
Bettens, at 6’3" and 193 pounds, is currently ranked 191st among all North American skaters, up from 204th in the mid-season rankings. A total of 217 players were listed in the final rankings.
Portage Terriers forward Reilly Funk was listed 208th in the mid-season rankings but had fallen off the list in the final ranking so Bettens is the only MJHL player to be listed.
Still only 17, and not turning 18 until July, Bettens was one of the youngest players in the MJHL this season. In 40 games for the Pistons this year he had modest numbers, garnering 10 goals and 29 points.
But he stepped it up in the playoffs with 11 points in 12 post-season games.
Bettens, who has already committed to playing NCAA Division 1 hockey down the road with the Bemidji State Beavers, played eight games with the USHL’s Fargo Force early last fall, before joining the Pistons.
In the previous season as a midget with the Winnipeg Wild, despite being only 16-years-old, Bettens won the Manitoba ‘AAA’ Midget Hockey League scoring championship with 95 points in 48 games, including 40 goals. He also played one game for the Pistons last season and picked up three assists in the game, before joining the Pistons for part of their championship run last season.
Pistons’ assistant coach Calvin Bugyik has coached Bettens for the past years, including two years when he was an assistant coach of the Wild and then this year in his first year with the Pistons. And the good news for Pistons fans, not to mention Bugyik and the rest of the staff, Bettens is expected to return to the Pistons next season.
"Over the past couple of years he has been getting a lot of attention," said Bugyik, "and it is deserved, he has all the tools."
"Kyle has improved every year, he is still young, but we expect he can be one of the dominant players in this league next season."
The 2019 NHL entry draft will be held June 21 & 22 at Vancouver.
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