Former MHLer Batherson called up to NHL

Former Valley Wildcats forward Drake Batherson (left) was selected in the 4th round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators (Tina Comeau/Tri-County Vanguard)

The Ottawa Senators have announced that former Valley Wildcats forward Drake Batherson has been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old, drafted by the NHL club in the 4th round (121st overall) in 2017 in Chicago, posted seven goals and thirteen assists in 14 games with the AHL’s Belleville Senators this season, including two powerplay goals and +2 plus/minus.

This comes on the same day Batherson was named AHL Player of the Week after recording seven points in two games for Belleville last week. That includes the first six-point performance by an AHL skater in nearly three years. He leaves Belleville just one point off the league’s overall scoring lead and is the leader for all AHL rookies in goals (tied), assists, and points.

Batherson was a member of the Wildcats organization for five seasons. He spent two seasons each with the Bantam and Major Midget squads and played four games with the MHL club to finish off the 2014-15 season before making the 2015-16 team. In 32 games in the MHL, Batherson scored six goals and 15 assists.

After that, he played just over two seasons in the QMJHL, first with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and then with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. In 122 games he scored 51 goals and added 86 assists, as well as 20 goals and 25 assists in 33 playoff games, which all ultimately led to Batherson being drafted by Ottawa. In October 2017, the Sens announced he had signed a three-year entry-level contract.

Batherson also helped Team Canada clinch the gold medal with a 3-1 win over Sweden in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship played in Buffalo, N.Y. in January with seven goals in seven games.

Career Highlights:

  • Gold medal with Team Canada at 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship
  • Ottawa’s fourth-round selection, 121st overall, in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
  • Led Cape Breton in rookie scoring in 2016-17 (4th in QMJHL rookie scoring)
  • Cape Breton’s sixth-round selection, 97th overall, in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft
  • Led Valley in MHL rookie scoring in 2015-16
  • Valley’s 12th-round selection in the 2014 MHL Entry Draft
  • Named to the NSMMHL First All-Star Team in 2014-15
  • Named to the NSMBHL Second All-Star Team in 2012-13
  • Named to the NSMBHL All-Rookie Team in 2011-12