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WHL U.S. Prospects Draft Preview

By Tony Scott, 03/25/20, 11:15AM CDT


Edmonton-born Gracyn Sawchyn expected to be chosen first Wednesday by Red Deer

Go West Young Man

On Wednesday, the Western Hockey League will hold its first ever U.S. Prospects Draft. The Draft will consist of two rounds, and 44 selections, with each WHL Club afforded the opportunity to make two draft choices.

Who is Eligible?

Players eligible for the 2020 WHL U.S. Prospects Draft will be 2005-born players who reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their ch

Minot, ND native Anthony McIntosh

The First Ten

The first pick in the draft will former Chaska-Chan star Gracyn Sawchyn. The Edmonton transplant who skated last season for the Shattuck-St. Mary's Bantam team. Sawchyn  is one of the five best American players available and a player with Canadian roots and WHL familiarity - making him the most sought after prospect in the draft.

After Sawchyn, teams will be looking for players based on a few other criteria:

A) Talent
B) Projected spot in league
C) Likelihood to play in league if drafted

After evaluating players and talking to scouts in the league, here is how we see the first ten picks to land. Notice Sawchyn and John Novak are the only two Minnesota players to be chosen in the top ten.

Draft # Team Player Position Team
1 Red Deer Rebels Graycyn Sawchyn Forward Shattuck-St. Mary's
2 Tri-City Americans Shaun Rios Foward San Jose Jr. Sharks Bantam AAA
3 Edmonton Oil Kings Anthony McIntosh Defense Minot Wolves Bantam AA
4 Everett Silvertips Miles Roberts Goalie Anaheim Jr. Ducks
5 Prince Albert Raiders Alexios Georgaklis Forward San Diego Saints Bantam AA
6 Winnipeg Ice John Novak Defense Lakeville South Bantam AA
7 Vancouver Giants Hunter Anderson Forward Los Angeles Jr. Kings Bantam AAA
8 Seattle Thunderbirds Brenden Fields Forward Los Angeles Jr. Kings Bantam AAA
9 Swift Current Broncos Philippe Blais-Savoie Forward San Jose Jr. Sharks Bantam AAA
10 Lethbridge Hurricanes Jamison Sluys Forward Delta Green Bantam AAA

Tony's Top 22

History shows that elite Minnesota players stay home for high school hockey and eventually play American junior and college hockey as their path to the next level. There are exceptional players from Minnesota who have chosen the Western League as a path. Each year a handful of players take this route.

Here is a list of our top Minnesota players and their likelihood of them getting drafted. Draft percentage does not necessarily reflect a "ranking". The percentage is a combination of a player's ability and willingness to check out the league at a camp next summer.

Oliver Moore will be a certain WHL pick Wednesday

First Name Last Name 2019-20 Team % Chance Drafted
Finn Brink Osseo-Maple Grove BAA 100
Austin Burnevik Totino-Grace HS 100
Cooper Conway Andover BAA 50
Ashton Dahms Lakeville South HS 100
Landon Dauner Fargo (ND) BAA 50
Jake Fisher Cretin-Derham Hall HS 50
Luke Giuliani Osseo Maple Grove BAA 75
Ty Hanson Hermantown BAA 100
Beckett Hendrickson Minnetonka BAA 50
Ty Henricks Shattuck-St. Mary's 50
Anthony McIntosh Minot (ND) BAA 100
Oliver Moore Totino Grace HS 100
Danny Nelson Osseo Maple Grove BAA 100
John Novak Lakeville South BAA 100
Wyatt Olson Osseo Maple Grove BAA 50
Eddie Revenig Edina BAA 50
Gracyn Sawchyn Shattuck-St. Mary's 100
Harper Searles Centennial BAA 50
Jayson Shaugabay Warroad HS 100
Drew Stewart Minnetonka BAA 100
Teddy Townsend Eden Prairie BAA 50
William Whitelaw Shattuck-St. Mary's 100

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