Vancouver Giants have signed draft picks Mazden Leslie and Ty Halaburda to WHL Standard Player Agreements.
Leslie, from Lloydminster, AB, was selected tenth overall by the Vancouver Giants in the 2020 Bantam Draft.
The 2005-born, 6’0”, 160-pound right-shot defenceman spent the 2019-20 season with the Lloydminster Bobcats Midget AAA program as an under-ager and posted five goals, seven assists and 70 penalty minutes in 32 games.
During his first year of Bantam in 2018-19, Leslie scored 23 goals along with 27 assists for 50 points in 33 games with the Bantam Bobcats. He led the AMBHL in scoring for defencemen, was named AMBHL rookie of the year and was named the league’s Top Defenceman.
“Mazden has shown the talent and ability that will provide a strong foundation to build with moving forward,” said Giants general manager Barclay Parneta. “He has a creative flair to his game that will be exciting to watch for years to come.”
Leslie said he was “excited and honoured to officially join the Vancouver Giants organization. This is an exciting day for myself and my family, and I’m looking forward to getting started. I can’t wait to hit the ice with my future coaches and teammates at Training Camp.”
As an under-ager, Leslie is eligible to play in five games with the Giants during the 2020-21 season.
The 2005-born Halaburda from Victoria was drafted by the G-Men with the 32nd overall pick in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. During the 2019-20 season he served as captain for the CSSBHL’s Pacific Coast Bantam Prep program. The 5’10”, 146-pound forward registered 27 goals along with 26 assists for 53 points in 28 games while adding a goal and two assists in two playoff games. He was the first forward and the first BC-born player selected by Vancouver in the 2020 Draft.
“Ty’s coaches and our scouts can’t say enough about his work ethic and his exceptional character and leadership,” said Parneta. “He’s a strong skater with a high hockey IQ. He displayed a skillset to make exciting plays with attention to defensive responsibility. We see a ton of upside. We’re thrilled that he and his family have committed to the Vancouver Giants.
“Signing with the Vancouver Giants is a dream come true,” Halaburda said. “I’m looking forward to what the future has in store for me and I’m going to continue working hard to join the Giants as fast as possible.”
Leslie’s signing was announced on Thursday, April 30th and Halaburda’s signing was announced on Friday, May 1.