Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League is proud to announce 28 WHL players have been selected in the 2020 NHL Draft, conducted online over the course of Tuesday, October 6 and Wednesday, October 7.
Since the 1967 NHL Amateur Draft, a total of 2,076 players have been selected out of the WHL, including 322 first-round selections. Of the 78 players selected out of the Canadian Hockey League at the 2020 NHL Draft, 28 hail from the WHL.
Tuesday evening, seven WHL players were selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Portland Winterhawks forward Seth Jarvis was the top player selected from the WHL, chosen 13th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes. Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Kaiden Guhle was the top WHL defenceman selected, chosen 16th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Braden Schneider was selected 19th overall by the New York Rangers to round out strong WHL representation in the top 20.
Kamloops Blazers forward Connor Zary was selected 24th overall by the Calgary Flames, while Edmonton Oil Kings forward Jake Neighbours was selected 26th overall by the St. Louis Blues. The Brandon Wheat Kings saw a second player chosen in the first round after the Ottawa Senators selected forward Ridly Greig with the 28th overall pick. Wrapping up the first round, Prince Albert Raiders forward Ozzy Wiesblatt was selected 31st overall by the San Jose Sharks.
This marks the second consecutive season the WHL has seen seven players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. With seven more WHL players chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft, the WHL’s all-time total number of first-round NHL Draft selections sits at 322 since the 1967 NHL Amateur Draft.
Wednesday morning began with Portland Winterhawks forward Cross Hanas being selected in the second round, 55th overall, by the Detroit Red Wings. Overall, 18 forwards, eight defencemen, and two goaltenders were selected from WHL member Clubs.
Of the 28 WHL players selected, 14 were called during the first three rounds of the 2020 NHL Draft, including seven in the first round, four in the second round, and three in the third round.
The Brandon Wheat Kings led the way among WHL Clubs with four players selected. In addition to the selection of Schneider and Greig in the first round, forward Cole Reinhardt was selected 181st overall by the Ottawa Senators, while forward Ben McCartney was chosen 204th overall by the Arizona Coyotes.
Two WHL Clubs saw three players selected, including the Everett Silvertips and Portland Winterhawks. The Kamloops Blazers, Medicine Hat Tigers, Prince Albert Raiders, Seattle Thunderbirds, and Spokane Chiefs each had two players selected. Eight other WHL member Clubs saw a single player selected.
For the 25th straight year, the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game showcased top NHL Draft-eligible talent, featuring players from across the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance. The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game was hosted in Hamilton, Ont., on Thursday, January 16. A total of 12 WHL players selected in the 2020 NHL Draft also appeared in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
2020 NHL Draft – WHL Players
Overall – Player (Pos.) – NHL Team; WHL Team; Hometown
Round One (7)
#13 – Seth Jarvis* (F) – Carolina Hurricanes; Portland Winterhawks; Winnipeg, Man.
#16 – Kaiden Guhle* (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Prince Albert Raiders; Sherwood Park, Alta.
#19 – Braden Schneider* (D) – New York Rangers; Brandon Wheat Kings; Prince Albert, Sask.
#24 – Connor Zary* (F) – Calgary Flames; Kamloops Blazers; Saskatoon, Sask.
#26 – Jake Neighbours* (F) – St. Louis Blues; Edmonton Oil Kings; Airdrie, Alta.
#28 – Ridly Greig* (F) – Ottawa Senators; Brandon Wheat Kings; Lethbridge, Alta.
#31 – Ozzy Wiesblatt* (F) – San Jose Sharks; Prince Albert Raiders; Calgary, Alta.
All seven WHL players selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft appeared in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton, Ont.
Round Two (4)
#55 – Cross Hanas (F) – Detroit Red Wings; Portland Winterhawks; Highland Village, Texas
#56 – Tristen Robins (F) – San Jose Sharks; Saskatoon Blades; Clear Lake, Man.
#57 – Jack Finley* (F) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Spokane Chiefs; Kelowna, B.C.
#62 – Gage Goncalves (F) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Everett Silvertips; Mission, B.C.
Round Three (3)
#65 – Daemon Hunt (D) – Minnesota Wild; Moose Jaw Warriors; Brandon, Man.
#73 – Luke Prokop* (D) – Nashville Predators; Calgary Hitmen; Edmonton, Alta.
#87 – Justin Sourdif* (F) – Florida Panthers; Vancouver Giants; Surrey, B.C.
Round Four (2)
#103 – Dylan Garand* (G) – New York Rangers; Kamloops Blazers; Victoria, B.C.
#108 – Lukas Svejkovsky (F) – Pittsburgh Penguins; Medicine Hat Tigers; Point Roberts, Wash.
Round Five (5)
#132 – Alex Cotton (D) – Detroit Red Wings; Lethbridge Hurricanes; Langley, B.C.
#146 – Pavel Novak (F) – Minnesota Wild; Kelowna Rockets; Tabor, Czech Rep.|
#147 – Jaydon Dureau (F) – Tampa Bay Lighting; Portland Winterhawks; White City, Sask.
#148 – Bear Hughes (F) – Washington Capitals; Spokane Chiefs; Post Falls, Idaho
#153 – Kasper Puutio* (D) – Florida Panthers; Everett Silvertips; Vaasa, Finland
Round Six (5)
#164 – Tyrel Bauer (D) – Winnipeg Jets; Seattle Thunderbirds; Cochrane, Alta.
#165 – Matthew Rempe (F) – New York Rangers; Seattle Thunderbirds; Calgary, Alta.
#178 – Connor McClennon (F) – Philadelphia Flyers; Winnipeg ICE; Wainwright, Alta.
#179 – Garin Bjorklund (G) – Washington Capitals; Medicine Hat Tigers; Grande Prairie, Alta.
#181 – Cole Reinhardt (F) – Ottawa Senators; Brandon Wheat Kings; Calgary, Alta.
Round Seven (2)
#191 – Viktor Persson+ (D) – Vancouver Canucks; Kamloops Blazers; Sweden
#204 – Ben McCartney (F) – Arizona Coyotes; Brandon Wheat Kings; Macdonald, Man.
#208 – Ronan Seeley (D) – Carolina Hurricanes; Everett Silvertips; Olds, Alta.
* = appeared in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton, Ont.
+ = selected by Kamloops in 2020 CHL Import Draft, signed WHL SPA for 2020-21; does not count towards WHL total of 28 players selected in 2020 NHL Draft