Travis Sanheim
Image: WHL

Travis Sanheim


Elkhorn Manitoba

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Eligible for draft:









1st round (17th overall), 2014


190 lbs.

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2010-11: Travis Sanheim played for the Elkhorn bantam AA team in Manitoba. He was selected by Calgary in the ninth round (177th overall) of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

2011-12: Sanheim skated with his twin brother Taylor, a forward, on the Yellowhead Chiefs midget major team in Manitoba. He scored 15 goals with 24 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games and had 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in two playoff games.

2012-13: Sanheim made his junior hockey debut — joining the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers following his second season with the Yellowhead Chiefs — and played for Canada Western in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He had 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in six games for Winkler. Sanheim once again led Yellowhead’s defensemen in scoring; scoring 12 goals with 23 assists and 44 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games.He scored 2 goals with 3 assists and 2 penalty minutes in four playoff games. Sanheim had 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in five games for Canada Western.

2013-14: Sanheim played in 67 of 72 regular season games as part of a talented defense corps for the Calgary Hitmen in his first season WHL season and played for Canada in the 2014 U18 World Juniors. He scored 5 goals with 24 assists and was plus-25 with 14 penalty minutes in the regular season.  The Hitmen finished first in the Central Division but lost to Kootenay in a six-game first-round playoff series. Sanheim scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was plus-5 with 6 penalty minutes in six playoff games. In seven games at the U18 WJC he had 6 assists and was plus-5 with no penalties. Canada won a bronze medal, defeating Sweden 3-1. Sanheim was ranked 167th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings and moved up to 53rd in the final rankings before being selected by Philadelphia in the first round (17th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

2014-15: Sanheim signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Flyers before returning to Calgary for his second WHL season. He was an assistant captain for the Hitmen and was the team’s third-leading scorer behind forwards Adam Tambellini (NYR) and Connor Rankin. Sanheim scored 15 goals with 50 assists and was +27 with 52 penalty minutes in 67 regular season games. The Hitmen finished first in the Central Division and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals against Brandon. Sanheim scored 5 goals with 13 assists and had an even plus/minus with 10 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games. 

2015-16: Sanheim made his pro hockey debut with Flyers’ AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley in April 2016, joining the Phantoms following his third WHL season with Calgary. He also skated for Canada in the 2016 World Junior Championship. In four games with Lehigh Valley he had an even plus/minus with 1 assist and no penalties. An assistant captain with the Hitmen, he scored 15 goals with 53 assists and was +15 with 66 penalty minutes in 52 regular season games — missing time in November with an upper-body injury.  The Hitmen finished third in the Central Division, falling to Memorial Cup host Red Deer in a first-round playoff series. Sanheim scored 1 goal with 5 assists and was -2 with 8 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He had an even plus/minus with 1 assist in five games for Canada at the WJC. Canada finished sixth, losing 6-5 to eventual champion Finland in the quarterfinals.

Talent Analysis

Sanheim’s stock has been rising for the past year. After getting drafted, his offensive output doubled in the WHL. He saw increased ice time during the second half of his first major junior season and his stock increased among scouts after skating for Canada in the 2014 U18 World Junior Championships. Sanheim has a tall frame with room to add weight, and is a dynamic, talented player.


Sanheim skated for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen in 2015-16 and played for the Canada U20 team at the 2016 World Juniors. Likely to begin his pro career in 2016-17, the 20-year-old will challenge for a spot with the Flyers in training camp but barring any surprises or injuries will begin the year with the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Not the pure offensive threat of Flyers' defense prospect Ivan Provorov or as physically imposing as former first-round pick Samuel Morin, Sanheim brings a combination of size and skating ability and is a strong two-way defender.

2014 U18 Video: Travis Sanheim, Canada

by Chapin Landvogt

Travis Sanheim - Calgary Hitmen

Photo: Calgary Hitmen defenseman and 2014 prospect Travis Sanheim (R) is one of three Hitmen players to be ranked among the top 90 prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft by Central Scouting (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Despite the disappointing semi-final loss to the Czech Republic at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, Canada has turned in a solid effort at this year's tournament. They still have a shot at taking home the bronze medal, but that is small comfort for a country that is used to at least competing for the gold medal at these tournaments.

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