Newark, NJ – Nine players from the Western Hockey League heard their named called in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, on June 27, including four players selected among the Top 10.
Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice was the first WHL player selected in the 2014 NHL Draft, chosen by the Buffalo Sabres with the second overall pick. Reinhart, a product of Vancouver, BC, becomes the highest drafted player in Kootenay Ice franchise history, and just the third Ice player to be chosen in the first round of the NHL draft.
A 6’1”, 183-lb centre, Reinhart finished tied for fourth in the WHL in scoring with 105 points, including 36 goals, and was named the WHL Player of the Year and Sportsman of the Year. Reinhart joins his two older brothers, Griffin of the Edmonton Oil Kings (4th overall, New York Islanders, 2012) and Max, a former member of the Kootenay Ice (64th overall, Calgary Flames, 2010) in being drafted by an NHL Club.
Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders became the highest drafted German-born player in the history of the NHL Draft when the Edmonton Oilers selected him with the third overall pick. Draisaitl put up 105 points during the 2013-14 WHL regular season.
Jake Virtanen of the Calgary Hitmen was the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, chosen by the Vancouver Canucks. Virtanen, an Abbotsford, BC, product, led all NHL Draft-eligible players in the WHL with 45 goals during the 2013-14 season.
Red Deer Rebels’ defenceman Haydn Fleury round out the four WHL players selected among the Top 10, being chosen seventh overall by the Carolina Hurricanes. Fleury netted eight goals and 46 points this season for the Rebels, and was named the Top Defenceman at the 2014 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Rounding out the first round of WHL selections, Swift Current Broncos’ defenceman Julius Honka was selected 14th overall by the Dallas Stars, Calgary Hitmen defenceman Travis Sanheim was selected 17th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, Red Deer Rebels’ Captain, Conner Bleakley was chosen 23rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche, Saskatoon Blades forward Nikita Scherbak was drafted 26th overall by the Montreal Canadiens, and Brandon Wheat Kings’ forward John Quennville was selected 30th overall by the New Jersey Devils.
2014 NHL Draft, WHL Players
#2. Buffalo Sabres – Sam Reinhart; Vancouver, BC; Kootenay Ice
#3. Edmonton Oilers – Leon Draisaitl; Cologne, GER; Prince Albert Raiders
#6. Vancouver Canucks – Jake Virtanen; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary Hitmen
#7. Carolina Hurricanes – Haydn Fleury; Carlyle, SK; Red Deer Rebels
#14. Dallas Stars – Julius Honka; Jyvaskyla, FIN; Swift Current Broncos
#17. Philadelphia Flyers – Travis Sanheim; Elkhorn, MB; Calgary Hitmen
#23. Colorado Avalanche – Conner Bleakley; High River, AB; Red Deer Rebels
#26. Montreal Canadiens – Nikita Scherbak; Moscow, Russia ;Saskatoon Blades
#30. New Jersey Devils – John Quenneville; Edmonton, AB ; Brandon Wheat Kings
Past WHL – NHL Draft Results
A total of 33 WHL players were selected in the 2013 NHL Draft, including in the 1st round.
A total of 32 WHL players were selected in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, including six in the 1st round.
A total of 33 WHL players were selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, including five in the 1st round.
A total of 43 WHL players were selected in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, including seven in the 1st round.
A total of 31 WHL players were selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, including five in the 1st round.
A total of 37 WHL players were selected in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, including nine in the 1st round.
A total of 37 WHL players were selected in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, including nine in the 1st round.
A total of 24 WHL players were selected in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
A total of 43 WHL players were selected in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft