Wednesday, 07 May 2014 15:03

Broncos draft pick has had a brush with all-world greatness

Written by  Brad Brown
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Two-time Olympians aren’t usually available in the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

Yet that’s what the Swift Current Broncos got in the seventh round of last week’s annual pick-em when they chose Solomon Seibel with the 153rd overall selection.
Seibel, who goes by Sol, is the son of Steve Seibel, an internationally-acclaimed basketball official.
Sol was there in 2008 when his dad refereed at the Beijing Olympics and again in 2012 for the London Games.
“It was really cool seeing my dad on the court with Kobe Bryant and all those people,” said Sol. “I didn’t really think all that much of it at the time, but my dad was a ref at the Olympics. To think of it now it’s pretty cool.”
Sol’s brush with greatness doesn’t necessarily mean he will follow in his dad’s footsteps or even in those of ex-Broncos such as Michal Roszival who played for the Czech Republic in the 2014 Olympics for the first time at the age of 35.
But it doesn’t mean he won’t either.
Listed at 5-foot-10 and 154 pounds, the Kamloops defenceman is among the smallest of the Broncos’ picks this year, but could be the latest in a long line of recent late-round picks to make an impact with the Broncos.
In the last decade that list includes Matt Tassone, Dillon Wagner, Taylor Vause and 2013-14’s breakout player Jake DeBrusk.
Or, in basketball terminology, maybe he’ll be the next Muggsy Bogues.
(Bogues stood 5-foot-3 and retired among the NBA’s all-time leaders in both assists and steals.)
“I did play some basketball when I was younger in school, but I didn’t really have the height or anything,” said Sol.
Instead he focused on baseball and track and hockey.
On the ice, Seibel had five goals and 25 assists in 50 games for the Kamloops Bantam Blazers in 2013-14.
Shortly after the draft he also heard from an ex-Bronco — his friend Max Patterson’s dad, Ed.
“My time in Swift was great and I told Sol he’s going to love it,” said Ed Patterson, who played 22 games for the Broncos over parts of two seasons from 1989-90 through 1990-91 before being traded to Kamloops.
“I told him the boys are going to be very close, the fans are going to be passionate and the people are super friendly. I remember when my dad came to watch me in training camp and he had people, strangers, inviting him over for supper. That’s the kind of place it is.”
With their first pick in the draft Swift Current selected defenceman Dominic Schmiemann, a one-time teammate of 2013 first-round pick Tyler Steenbergen and current member of the Notre Dame Hounds.
After that the Broncos didn’t select until the fifth round, having traded away their second, third and fourth-round picks for a shot at this year’s WHL championship.
Keeping with tradition, they proceeded to load up on Alberta players, making four of their first five selections from Saskatchewan’s westerly neighbour.
Seibel was just the second non-Saskatchewanian taken by Swift Current, but Patterson doesn’t think he’ll have any trouble fitting in.
“He’s a physical, shutdown guy who competes, and the more he plays the more his offensive side is going to come together for him,” said Patterson. “He’s always the hardest worker, always the last guy on the ice, always the first guy in the gym, and he’s got a great sense of humour.
“He might have been drafted in the seventh round ... but I played against Mark Lamb in the minors and he will love Solomon because he is a competitor.”

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