Sep 8, 2023

The Minnesota Wild currently have one of the highest-ranked prospect pools in the NHL. Over the next few seasons, fans in Des Moines will have the opportunity to see these touted players develop as members of the Iowa Wild. As the 2023-24 season approaches, will feature several profiles of players in the system who are breaking into professional hockey. 


Born: Jan. 26, 2003 

Hometown: White Rock, BC 

Position: Center 

Shoots: Left 

Height: 6’0” 

Weight: 192 lbs 

Draft Position: Round 3 (#86 overall), 2021 NHL Entry Draft 



Bankier characterizes himself as having a 200-foot game with creativity in the offensive zone. 

“I try to be as positionally sound as I can in the defensive zone,” Bankier said. “At the same time, I don’t want to spend too much time there. I think I’m most effective creating opportunities and scoring chances through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone.” 


Bankier spent each of the last four seasons with the Kamloops Blazers in the Western Hockey League. He averaged over well over a point per game in 2022-23, with 85 points (37-48=85) in 57 games and won a gold medal at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships with Team Canada. 




Bankier says that he is looking forward to playing with new teammates and older players who are more experienced in his first season of professional hockey. 

“When you experience the professional life, you can see how your teammates treat every practice and every game,” Bankier said. “I want to see what they do to be successful at the professional level.” 


“I'm looking forward to the challenge of going up against professional players,” Bankier said. “In the final year of juniors, the players are a little bit younger and you can do things you weren’t able to when you were their age.” 

Playing with older teammates also means playing against older opponents, and Bankier anticipates that he will experience a big step up in competition.  

“When you’re playing in junior hockey, you’re playing against teenagers,” Bankier said. “Now you’re playing grown men and playing for a living, which will be a big adjustment.” 



Bankier will likely play against several former Team Canada teammates in his first season of professional hockey. He may also face off against a pair of former Kamloops Blazers teammates, who are expected to debut with the Texas Stars organization this fall. 

“We had some pretty good teams in Kamloops over the years,” Bankier said. “I played with a lot of great players, but the two I skated with most frequently were Matthew Seminoff and Logan Stankoven. 


Kyle Masters, another member of the 2021 NHL Draft class, played with Masters in Kamloops in 2022-23 and is slated to join Bankier in the Minnesota Wild organization this fall. 


Stay tuned for next week’s player profile, which will feature David Spacek! 

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