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2024 WHL U.S. Prospects Draft: 15 Minnesota names

By Peter Odney , 05/08/24, 2:00AM CDT


15 Minnesotans that could hear their name called on May 8 by a Western Hockey League club.

Following the USHL Phase I and Phase II drafts, the Western Hockey League's United States Priority Draft will be held on May 8, with the non-U.S. priority draft held the following day. 

This year, 2009-born players will be drafted, and the U.S. Priority Draft will include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming as the available states. 

Unlike traditional drafts, the WHL's U.S. Priority Bantam Draft isn't simply based on the best player available, team needs, etc. Players can be drafted as much for their willingness to entertain the move to western Canada as for their talent or position. 

Last season, nine Minnesotans were taken in the two-round U.S. Priority Draft headed by fifth overall pick Liam Hamre. Hamre has played for the Sioux Falls Power Tier I program for the last three seasons. Edina native Parker Trottier, Cretin-Derham Hall defenseman Phoenix Cahill, and Rogers forward Cole Bumgarner round out the Minnesota contingent from last year's first round. 

Dylan Dean, Nate Chorlton, Jimmy Egan, and Gavin Karl were taken in the second round. Griffin Sturm and Tyler McCracken were drafted during the league's second day of selections. 

Follow along with this year's draft by clicking the link here

Griffin Sturm, St. Cloud Cathedral

15 Minnesotans to know for the 2024 WHL U.S. Priority Draft

Marcus Matyas, Cretin-Derham Hall

Player 2023-2024 Team Position
Jonny Bloedow Chaska/Chanhassen Bantam AA Forward
Boone Chartier Shattuck-St. Mary's 14U Forward
Luke Christopherson West St. Paul Bantam A Defense
Gunnar Conboy Lakeville North High School Forward
Nolan Fitzhenry Shattuck-St. Mary's 14U Forward
Jackson Hendricks Wayzata Bantam AA Forward
Kaden Julik Centennial Bantam AA Forward
Marcus Matyas Cretin-Derham Hall Forward
Ryland Rooney Gentry Academy Forward
Freddie Schneider Edina High School Forward
Luca Sciara Sioux Falls Power 14U Goaltender
Finn Spehar Minnetonka Bantam AA Forward
Tony Timmerman Detroit Little Caesars 14U Defense
Becker Wenkus Edina Bantam AA Defense
Caden Zasada Hill-Murray Forward

Ryland Rooney, Gentry Academy

Luke Christopherson 
West St. Paul Bantam A 

Christopherson is a smooth-skating defenseman with skills to match, totaling seven points in 14 games with the Moose of the Minnesota Hockey Tier I Fall League and then helping the Minnesota Blades to a semifinal appearance at this month’s World Selects Invitational. At 5-foot-11, Christopherson could still have room to grow and fits the modern mold of a mobile, puck-moving defender. 

Boone Chartier 
Shattuck-St. Mary’s 14U 

An outstanding athlete, Chartier came of age in the Minnetonka youth system before opting to skate his 14U season with national powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Chartier totaled 24 goals and 66 points for the Sabres, including a goal and two assists in six games at this year’s USA Hockey 14U National Tournament. 

Chartier’s 58 penalty minutes led the SSM 14U squad, and his ornery on-ice demeanor could be constructive in the more mature major junior game. 

Luke Christopherson, West St. Paul Bantam A

Nolan Fitzhenry 
Shattuck-St. Mary’s 14U

Fitzhenry racked up 53 goals and 100 points in 57 games for Shattuck-St. Mary’s this season, and his 53 tallies led the national runner-up Sabres while his 100 points ranked third behind Colin Grubb and Ethan Sung. Fitzhenry finished sixth in scoring at the national tournament with six goals and 10 points. 

Producers produce, and all Fitzhenry has done in his hockey career to this point is produce. As his skills have continued to improve, the Andover product has refined his shot into a missile, and his unflappable nature makes him impervious to bigger, more ill-intentioned opponents. 

Kaden Julik 
Centennial Bantam AA

Think of your favorite hockey power forward. 

Your favorite power forward’s favorite forward is Kaden Julik. 

The Centennial product is nearly impossible to outmuscle in the corners and along the boards, and Julik wields enough skill to routinely rank near the top of the scoring heap on his respective teams. He totaled eight goals and 18 points in 17 games of the Minnesota Hockey Tier I Fall League for the Green Giants, then led Centennial in scoring with five goals and seven points in four games at last fall’s Bantam AA Battle for the Blue Ox.

Like Chartier, Julik has the physical ability to keep pace with the older players he could run into in the WHL. 

Kaden Julik, Centennial Bantam AA

Freddie Schneider 
Edina High School 

Schneider earned significant time as a freshman with the Edina power play this season and recorded 13 goals and 27 points for the Class AA state champion Hornets.

His ice vision is impeccable, and Schneider is capable of making every pass, whether that means an easy breakout pass or a perfect bank off the wall. Schneider’s quickness with and without the puck opens unlimited options in the offensive zone. 

His play also stood up under the bright lights of the Minnesota high school postseason. In Edina’s six postseason games, Schneider scored two goals and added four assists.   

Freddie Schneider, Edina

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