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'I don't care what people think': Undersized Blades prospect looks forward to proving people wrong

The Blades drafted Benjamin Bowtell in the sixth round of the 2023 Bantam Draft back in April.

“We were just sitting in math class watching the draft up on the screen. Then all of a sudden, my name popped up and I got really excited,” Bowtell said. “Really surreal experience.”

He is listed at five foot four inches and 110 pounds, tying him for the smallest prospect taken in the draft. In a picture the Blades posted, many people on social media were quick to point out Bowtell’s physical immaturity, questioning the pick.

“That picture is actually from two years ago, and I changed a lot from them. I'm just going to try and work hard and get better. I don't care what people think I'm just going to go out there, have fun work and work my butt off,” Bowtell said.

On social media, he drew comparisons to the TV character Young Sheldon – a nine-year-old boy. Bowtell is 14 years old, and has a much later birthday than many in his draft class being born in December.

“He's competitive, he's intelligent, he's skilled. He puts a ton of work into the game,” said Saskatoon Blades Director of Scouting Dan Tencer. “He’s a wonderful hockey player,”

Tencer says part of the process for the WHL Bantam Draft is projecting what players are going to look like at 17, 18 and 19-years-old. It’s at that time – Tencer says Bowtell could really contribute to the Blades.

“We think that once that physical maturity catches up, he's got the skill and the determination and the hockey sense to surpass many of the peers that were drafted ahead of him."

The Yorkton product played this past season for Rink Academy’s U15 team in Kelowna where he put up 27 points in 28 games. Tencer says he is a player who doesn’t get out-competed.

“It's the classic dog in the fight or fight in the dog and we're looking for, guys that have fight in them regardless of their size,” said Tencer.

Bowtell looks forward to when his opportunity with the Blades will come to show off his “fight.”

“Really looking forward to playing with the Blades, looking forward to playing in front of the fan base. Looking forward, hopefully, to win a lot of games, score a lot of goals and have a lot of fun in Saskatoon."

Bowtell will be one of 30 prospects to hit this ice this weekend for the Blades spring camp. Top Stories

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