The Swift Current Broncos have announced that Owen Pickering and Josh Filmon (1st-Team) and Mathew Ward (2nd Team) have been named Central-Division All Stars for the 2022-23 season. The All-Star teams are voted on by Western Hockey League general Managers.
Pickering, from St. Adolphe, Man., wrapped up his third season with the Broncos by setting a new career high in points with 45 (9-36-45). Drafted 177th overall in the 2019 WHL Prospects Draft, Pickering has developed into a number one defenceman in the WHL and was named the Broncos team captain at the beginning of the 2022-23 season.
Pickering’s stock rose all throughout the 2021-22 season, culminating with him being drafted 21st overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2022 NHL Draft. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Penguins on July 16, 2022.
Filmon, from Winnipeg, Man., exploded in his third season with the Broncos by racking up 75 points (47-28-75). Filmon’s progression year-over-year has been staggering since jumping to the WHL, going from two goals in the shortened 2020-21 season, to 23 goals and 22 assists in 2021-22 and then 47 goals this past season.
Filmon’s 47 goals were the most by a Broncos skater since the 2017-18 season when Tyler Steenbergen also had 47 and Glenn Gawdin recorded 56. Since the 2000-01 season, only five other players have scored 47 or more goals for the Broncos in one season. Filmon joined Layne Ulmer (63, 2000-01), Jeremy Williams (52, 2003-04), Cody Eakin (47, 2009-10), Tyler Steenbergen (51, 2016-17, 47, 2017-18) and Glenn Gawdin (56, 2017-18) in hitting the mark.
The New Jersey Devils selected Filmon with the 166th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Ward, from Kamloops, B.C., was the Broncos first choice in the 2019 WHL Prospects Draft, selected 14th overall. Since joining the Broncos for the 2020-21 season, Ward has been the club’s leading scorer by racking up 153 points (54-99-153) in 155 games.
Ward set career highs across the board in 2022-23 by scoring 26 goals and 48 assists. He also appeared in all 68 regular season games. Ward was invited to Toronto Maple Leafs development camp in the summer of 2022.