Fancy’s Draft Hopes Come To Fruition
Everyone likes to feel wanted and Byron Fancy is no exception.
Despite having little knowledge of the organization, the Claresholm product was extra pleased when he learned he’d been selected by the Red Deer Rebels in the second round of Thursday’s WHL bantam draft.
“I was hoping it would be Red Deer because they showed quite a bit of interest in me,” said the 15-year-old netminder.
“We talked to them quite a bit during the season. My dad talked to a few of their guys quite a bit and just everything about them seemed really good.”
Rebels assistant GM/director of player personnel Shaun Sutter twice traded down in the first round to acquire additional picks. The Rebels finally came to bat with the second selection of the second round and took Fancy 24th overall.
“Shaun called me after the pick and said they were excited about having me,” said Fancy, who enjoyed a solid season with the Alberta Major Bantam League champion Lethbridge Golden Hawks.
Fancy posted a league second-best 1.49 goals-against average as well as a .908 save percentage during the regular season. He also recorded two shutouts and had a 15-2-1 record.
His playoff numbers — 1.74 GAA and .921 save percentage — were also excellent, convincing Sutter that Fancy could one day slot in as the Rebels’ No. 1 goaltender.
“I felt I had a really good year, especially in the second half,” said Fancy. “Everything just fell into place and felt good.”
Fancy and Carl Tetachuk shared the Golden Hawks netminding duties on a fairly even basis through roughly the first three-quarters of the season. Fancy took over from there and appeared in the majority of the club’s playoff games, winning seven and losing two.
If the Rebels were looking for an aggressive stopper, they likely found one in Fancy.
“I like to play right at the top of my crease. I’m a really active and confident goalie,” he said. “I feel I have a lot of natural ability and I’m really focused out there.”
Fancy will attend the Rebels spring prospects camp at the Penhold Regional Multiplex during the first week of June.
- The WHL championship series opens tonight in Brandon and it’s being billed as a battle between the host Wheat Kings’ potent offence and the Seattle Thunderbirds’ strong defensive play. The Wheat Kings have plenty of firepower both up front and on the back end with the likes of John Quenneville, Nolan Patrick, Tim McGauley, Reid Duke, Jayce Hawryluk and rearguards Ivan Provorov, Macoy Erkamps and Kale Clague. The T-Birds are led offensively by forwards Matthew Barzel, Ryan Gropp and Scott Eansor, while Ethan Bear produces from the blueline. If the series is settled between the pipes, then Seattle gets the edge as Landon Bow is superior to Jordan Papirny. Prediction: Brandon in seven.