The Western Hockey League resumed off-ice activity today for the first time since March 12th, when the league was put on hold due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The 2020 Draft Lottery was held in Calgary today, controlled by a limited number of WHL staff and officials.
The lottery involved the six lowest-place teams from the 2019-20 season. Each team was only permitted to move up a maximum of two positions in the draft order.
Swift Current - (Pick belongs to Regina)
Regina (Pick belongs to Saskatoon)
The WHL Bantam Draft Lottery selection process was performed by Bennett Huber from KPMG.
When the dust settled, the Prince George Cougars won the lottery, moving them up to the 2nd overall selection. The remaining selections are as follows..
1.Regina (From Swift Current)
5.Saskatoon (From Regina)
6.Red Deer Rebels
11.Medicine Hat (From Saskatoon)
17.Prince George (From Medicine Hat)
21.Swift Current (From Everett)
22.Prince George (From Portland)
Making things even more interesting this week, was the news on Tuesday that BC Hockey and Hockey Canada had granted exceptional status for the first time ever.
Connor Bedard (North Vancouver, B.C.) has been granted exceptional player status and therefore is eligible to play in the Western Hockey League (WHL) as a 15-year-old.
Exceptional player status is granted to a player whose qualities not only on the ice, but as a person, deem the player deserving of the rare privilege of participating in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) at an early age. Consideration of such status is only granted to a player whose ongoing development is more likely to be significantly enhanced by playing in the CHL as a 15-year-old than by participating in his designated age division next season.
The review process was administered by BC Hockey with a Hockey Canada Special Evaluation Panel assembled to evaluate Bedard’s potential in the areas of hockey skills, academic ability, and his mental and physical maturity.
Born July 17, 2005, Bedard is a 5-foot-8, 165-pound forward who played for West Vancouver Academy’s U18 team in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) last season, where he scored 43 goals and 41 assists for 84 points in 36 games.
Two players from Saskatchewan have also applied for exceptional status, there is no word from SHA or Hockey Canada on either player as of yet.
The order of selection for the second round and all other rounds in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft are determined by the inverse order of the final standings for the 2019-20 WHL Regular Season.
This year’s draft will be held on Wednesday, April 22nd and will be strictly online.