For the second consecutive year, the NHL Draft will be hosted in a virtual format with Round 1 beginning Friday, July 23 at 6 p.m. MT. Rounds 2 through 7 will take place Saturday, July 24, beginning at 9 a.m. MT.
A total of 57 WHL players were ranked by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the 2021 NHL Draft, including Edmonton Oil Kings forward Dylan Guenther, who tops the WHL charts at fifth overall among North American skaters. – READ MORE
Follow along with the WHL’s 2021 NHL Draft coverage right here and over on Twitter for ongoing updates throughout Friday and Saturday. – @TheWHL on Twitter
2021 NHL DRAFT – WHL FIRST-ROUND SELECTIONS
A 6-foot-1, 181-pound product of Edmonton, Alta., Dylan Guenther was named WHL Rookie of the Year for the 2019-20 season after registering 59 points (26G-33A) in 58 games. He followed up with an impactful season in 2020-21, recording 24 points (12G-12A) in 12 games for the Edmonton Oil Kings before departing for the IIHF World U-18 Hockey Championship in Texas where he won a gold medal as a member of Team Canada.
A 6-foot, 187-pound product of Regina, Sask., Cole Sillinger of the Medicine Hat Tigers broke onto the WHL scene with a 53-point (22G-31A) campaign during the 2019-20 season. He represented Canada White at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, registering five goals in six games. Sillinger is the son of WHL Alumni Mike, who spent four seasons with the Regina Pats (1987-91) before embarking on a lengthy NHL career that included a stop in Columbus (2001-03).
A 6-foot-6, 203-pound native of Fort McMurray, Alta., Sebastian Cossa of the Edmonton Oil Kings has amassed impressive numbers over two seasons in the WHL, going 38-7-2-2 with a 1.98 GAA, .928 SV% and eight shutouts in 52 career regular season appearances. With both Cossa and teammate Dylan Guenther selected in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft, this represents the first time the Oil Kings have had two first-round selections in the NHL Draft since 2012 (Griffin Reinhart & Henrik Samuelsson).
A 6-foot-1, 195-pound product of Winnipeg, defenceman Carson Lambos of the Winnipeg ICE enjoyed an outstanding rookie season, tallying 32 points (8G-24A) in 57 games, along with a plus-20 rating. Lambos has enjoyed international success as well, recording five assists in six games with Canada White at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Most recently, he was named to Canada’s roster for the National Men’s Junior Team Summer Development Camp.
A 6-foot-2, 189-pound defenceman from Davidson, Sask., Nolan Allan is a hard-nosed defender who has racked up 11 points (3G-8A) in 81 career WHL regular season games. Allan is a favourite of Hockey Canada, having represented Canada Red at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, tallying one assist in five games, before winning gold with Canada in 2021 at the IIHF U-18 World Championship.
2021 NHL DRAFT – WHL SELECTIONS: Rounds 2-7
A 5-foot-10, 175-pound product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Olen Zellweger has come into his own on the Everett Silvertips blueline, registering 25 points (4G-21A) in 70 career WHL regular season games. He starred for Canada at the 2021 IIHF U-18 World Championship in Texas, helping his nation claim gold by anchoring the power play and recording eight points (1G-7A) in seven games. Selected in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, Zellweger came to the WHL from OHA Edmonton of the CSSHL.
A 5-foot-11, 184-pound product of Calgary, Alta., Ryker Evans is a WHL veteran of 132 career regular season games, having racked up 70 points (11G-59A) along the way. The mobile puck mover led all WHL defencemen in helpers with 25 during the abbreviated 2020-21 season. For Evans, his time has been on a continuous upwards trajectory, having originally been selected by the Pats in the 10th round of the 2016 WHL Draft.
A 6-foot-3, 198-pound product of St. Albert, Alta., Zack Ostapchuk emerged as a force for the Vancouver Giants during the 2020-21 WHL season, tallying 16 points (7G-9A) in 22 games. Selected by the Giants in the first round (12th overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, Ostapchuk came to the WHL from the North Alberta X-Treme Prep of the CSSHL.
A 5-foot-8 170-pound product of Kamloops, B.C., Logan Stankoven scores and scores and scores some more. His 29 goals as a rookie during the 2019-20 WHL season tied a Kamloops Blazers rookie goal scoring record, and he followed up by tallying seven goals in six games during the 2020-21 WHL season. Stankoven was a member of Canada’s gold-medal winning squad at the 2021 IIHF U-18 World Hockey Championship in Texas, serving as an alternate captain and registering eight points (4G-4A) in seven games.
A 6-foot-3, 204-pound product of Coquitlam, B.C., Vincent Iorio’s stock has soared the past two seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Originally selected by the Wheat Kings in the second round (27th overall) of the 2017 WHL Prospects Draft, Iorio has recorded 38 points (10G-28A) and a plus-10 rating in 131 career WHL regular season contests.
A 6-foot-3, 205-pound product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Colton Dach plays a physical, bullish brand of hockey, which was on display with a 20-point (11G-9A) performance in 20 games during the abbreviated 2020-21 WHL regular season. The younger brother of Blackhawks forward and former Blade Kirby Dach, Colton was originally selected by the Blades sixth overall in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft. With both Dach brothers now in Chicago, the Blackhawks boast two sets of WHL Alumni brothers, including defencemen Seth and Caleb Jones, both formerly of the Portland Winterhawks.
A 6-foot-3, 200-pound product of Calgary, Alta., Jayden Grubbe has enjoyed success in two seasons with the Red Deer Rebels, notching 32 points (7G-25A) in 62 career regular season games. Selected seventh overall by the Rebels in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, Grubbe was named captain of the Rebels early in the 2020-21 WHL campaign.
A 5-foot-11, 170-pound product of Yorkton, Sask., Ryder Korczak’s great vision is evidenced by the 49 assists he chalked up during the 2019-20 season. Through 132 career WHL regular season contests, the younger brother of Vegas Golden Knights prospect Kaedan Korczak has notched 98 points (29G-69A).
A 6-foot, 170-pound product of Surrey, B.C., Caedan Bankier exploded for 23 points (11G-12A) in 22 games during the 2020-21 WHL regular season, cementing his role as a key contributor for the high-powered Kamloops Blazers. Originally selected by the Blazers in the third round (49th overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, Bankier has collected 43 points (18G-25A) in 77 career WHL regular season outings.
A 6-foot-2, 190-pound product of Edmonton, Alta., Gannon Laroque laid claim to the thrown as a steady defender for the Victoria Royals in 2020-21, posting seven points (1G-6A) in 21 appearances. Laroque was never selected in the WHL Prospects Draft, instead signed by the Royals to a WHL Standard Player Agreement on August 29, 2019. During the 2019-20 campaign, he collected 34 points (7G-27A) in 34 games with the CSSHL’s Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep squad.
A 5-foot-11, 180-pound product of Winnipeg, Man., Conner Roulette knows how to put the puck in the net, having sniped 25 goals in 66 career WHL regular season games. Selected by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the second round (34th overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, Roulette has represented Canada on the international stage on multiple occasions, including being a part of the gold-medal winning group at the 2021 IIHF U-18 World Hockey Championship in Texas.
Towering at 6-foot-8, Tri-City Americans goaltender Talyn Boyko has secured 14 wins through 48 career WHL regular season appearances. A product of Drumheller, Alta., Boyko was originally selected by the Americans in the third round (53rd overall) of the 2017 WHL Prospects Draft.
A 6-foot-1, 165-pound product of Abbotsford, B.C., forward Jake Chiasson was a key piece of the Brandon Wheat Kings division-winning performance during the 2020-21 WHL regular season, tallying 20 points (9G-11A) in 23 games. Chiasson was originally a first-round pick (15th overall) of the Wheat Kings in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft.
A 6-foot, 175-pound product of Edmonton, Alta., defenceman Kyle Masters has quietly put together good numbers for the Red Deer Rebels, notching 13 points (2G-11A) in 44 career regular season appearances. Originally selected in the first round (16th overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, Masters previously represented Canada Red at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, securing three assists in four games.
A 6-foot-1, 181-pound product of Surrey, B.C., Carson Latimer was named the WHL Central Division Rookie of the Year for 2020-21 after posting 16 points (5G-11A) in 22 outings this past season. Selected in the third round (48th overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, Latimer was another key contributor to the Oil Kings Central Division championship run in 2020-21.
A 6-foot, 176-pound product of Warman, Sask., Josh Pillar was passed over in his first opportunity at the 2020 NHL Draft. He returned to the Kamloops Blazers and went off for 29 points (11G-18A) in 22 games, helping his Club claim the B.C. Division championship in 2020-21. Selected 14th overall by the Blazers in the 2017 WHL Prospects Draft, picked up the slack for a Kamloops squad that needed a boost after Connor Zary went down with injury late in 2020-21.
A 6-foot-4 right winger from Kosive, Slovakia, Jakub Demek recently signed his WHL SPA and will join the Edmonton Oil Kings for the 2021-22 WHL season. Last year with Team Slovakia U18, he posted 13 points (4G-9A) in 25 contests.
A 6-foot, 186-pound product of Whitecourt, Alta., Sean Tschigerl came into his own during the 2020-21 WHL season, putting forth a point-per-game effort with 21 points (13G-8A) in 21 games. Selected fourth overall by the Calgary Hitmen in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, the left winger represented Canada Black at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, notching two points (1G-1A) in five games.
A late-2002 defenceman, Cole Jordan was a catalyst for the Moose Jaw Warriors during the 2020-21 WHL regular season, recording 10 assists (3G-7A) in 23 games. A 6-foot-2, 206-pound product of Brandon, Man., Jordan is another example of a player undrafted into the WHL who persevered and continues to find success.
A 6-foot-3, 200-pound product of Kamloops, B.C., Tyson Galloway took on a bigger role on the Calgary Hitmen blueline in 2020-21, chipping in with nine points (4G-5A) in 17 games. Galloway was originally selected by the Hitmen in the second round (25th overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft.
At 6-foot-7 and 205 pounds, Gage Alexander represents another hulking presence between the pipes from the WHL. The 2002-born Winnipeg ICE netminder served as a backup in 2019-20 before taking on bigger minutes and more appearances in 2020-21, locking down a 2.23 GAA, .917 SV% and one shutout in nine contests.
A 6-foot-2, 206-pound product of Edmonton, Alta., Lucas Ciona registered 13 points (2G-11A) in 23 contests during the 2020-21 WHL regular season. Originally selected in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft, Ciona has earned 26 points (5G-21A) in 79 WHL games.
Delta, B.C., product Ethan Samson emerged as a standout on the Prince George Cougars blueline in 2020-21, posting 12 points (1G-11A) in 22 games. The 6-foot-3, 183-pound defenceman was originally selected by the Cougars in the third round (65th overall) of the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft.
Dru Krebs, the younger brother of 2020-21 WHL Player of the Year Peyton Krebs, continues the WHL brothers trend of recent NHL Drafts. The product of Okotoks, Alta., was originally a second-round pick (38th overall) of the Tigers in the 2018 WHL Prospects Draft.
In his second year of eligibility, the 6-foot-1, 192-pound Simon Knak put NHL scouts on notice by firing home 29 points (16G-13A) in 24 games this past season. The product of Zurich, Switzerland, represented his home country and served as captain for the second consecutive year at the World Junior Championship, notching four points (3G-1A) in eight games.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Tyson Kozak has enjoyed back-to-back quality campaigns with the Portland Winterhawks, amounting to 40 points (16G-24A) in 86 regular season games. The product of Souris, Man., was originally a sixth-round pick (121st overall) of the Winterhawks in the 2017 WHL Prospects Draft.
Ryan McCleary represents the third consecutive Portland Winterhawk selected out of the WHL in the 2021 NHL Draft, going 194th overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hailing from Swift Current, Sask., the 6-foot-2, 180-pound rearguard enjoyed an outstanding rookie campaign in Oregon, posting seven points (2G-5A) in 18 games this past season.
Rookie defenceman Maximus Wanner of the Moose Jaw Warriors was pleasant performer for his Club during the abbreviated WHL campaign in 2020-21, contributing five assists in 17 games. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound product of Estevan, Sask., is another WHL player taken in the 2021 NHL Draft that was not previously selected in the WHL Prospects Draft.
In his second year of eligibility, 2002-born forward Jalen Luypen put his best foot forward, helping fuel the Edmonton Oil Kings with a breakout season that included 29 points (16G-13A) in 23 games. Luypen was a key contributor to the Oil Kings Central Division crown and has been a mainstay on the roster since being selected in the ninth round (180th overall) in the 2017 WHL Prospects Draft.
Recently signed to a WHL SPA after being selected by the Everett Silvertips in the 2021 CHL Import Draft, the 2021 NHL Draft concluded when the Tampa Bay Lightning called the name of Finnish forward Niko Huuhtanen. The right winger from Helsinki posted 34 points (20G-14A) with Tappara U20 during the 2020-21 season.