WHL draft going online, draft lottery happening Wednesday

The Western Hockey League is going ahead with the bantam draft lottery and U.S. prospects draft as scheduled on Wednesday, with some changes to maintain social distancing measures.

According to information released on Tuesday, the bantam draft lottery will be held at the WHL office in Calgary at 10 a.m. PST. The event will be a closed event, and will not be live-streamed on the WHL website. 

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The bantam draft lottery uses a ball draw system to determines the first round draft order for the six bottom-ranked teams in the league. Currently the Prince George Cougars sit fourth from the bottom of the league, and will receive three out of 21 balls. 

No team in the lottery can advance more than two places in the draft order, meaning the Cougars can, at best, get the second pick in the first round of the draft. The other teams in the draw are the Swift Current Broncos with six balls, Moose Jaw Warriors with five balls, Tri-City Americans with four balls, Regina Pats with two balls and Red Deer Rebels with one ball.

The order in the second and subsequent draft rounds will be determined by the inverse order of the final standings from the 2019-20 regular season.

The bantam draft was scheduled to be a live event hosted on May 6-7 in Red Deer, Alta. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the draft will be conducted online on April 22 instead. The 2020 WHL Awards gala, which was also slated to happen in Red Deer in May, has been cancelled.

Players eligible for the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft will be 2005-born players who live in Western Canada and the western U.S. states.


U.S. draft happening Wednesday

The WHL U.S. prospects draft will take place on Wednesday at 1 p.m PST.

The Cougars have the 19th pick in the first round of the draft and the fourth pick in the second round.

Players eligible in the U.S. prospects draft will be 2005-born players who live in states west of Minnesota. Players not selected in the U.S. prospects draft will remain eligible in the bantam draft on April 22.

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