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Five WHL players selected in first round of 2021 NHL Draft

Calgary, Alta. –  The Western Hockey League is proud to announce five WHL players have been selected in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft, conducted virtually Friday night.

Edmonton Oil Kings forward and 2019-20 WHL Rookie of the Year Dylan Guenther was the top player selected from the WHL, chosen ninth overall by the Arizona Coyotes. Cole Sillinger of the Medicine Hat Tigers was the second WHL forward chosen, selected 12th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Guenther was joined by fellow Oil Kings teammate Sebastian Cossa, who was the first goaltender selected in the 2021 NHL Draft, taken with the 15th overall pick by the Detroit Red Wings.

The first round of the 2021 NHL Draft rounded out with a pair of WHL defencemen as the Minnesota Wild selected Carson Lambos of the Winnipeg ICE with the 26th overall pick and the Chicago Blackhawks claimed Nolan Allan of the Prince Albert Raiders with the 32nd overall pick.

The 2021 NHL Draft marks the 13th time in the past 15 years the WHL has seen five or more players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. With five 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 327 since the 1967 NHL Amateur Draft.

The 2021 NHL Draft resumes Saturday morning at 9 a.m. MT. For more information on WHL players at the NHL Draft, please visit WHL.ca.

2021 NHL Draft – WHL Players
Overall – Player (Pos.) – NHL Team; WHL Team; Hometown

#9 – Dylan Guenther (F) – Arizona Coyotes; Edmonton Oil Kings; Edmonton, Alta.
#12 – Cole Sillinger (F) – Columbus Blue Jackets; Medicine Hat Tigers; Regina, Sask.
#15 – Sebastian Cossa (G) – Detroit Red Wings; Edmonton Oil Kings; Fort McMurray, Alta.
#26 – Carson Lambos (D) – Minnesota Wild; Winnipeg ICE; Winnipeg, Man.
#32 – Nolan Allan (D) – Chicago Blackhawks; Prince Albert Raiders; Davidson, Sask.

Dylan Guenther – Edmonton Oil Kings (Ninth overall, Arizona Coyotes)
A 6-foot-1, 181-pound product of Edmonton, Alta., 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 U-18 World Hockey Championship in Texas where he won a gold medal as a member of Team Canada. Earlier this week, Guenther was named to Canada’s roster for the National Men’s Junior Team Summer Development Camp.

Cole Sillinger – Medicine Hat Tigers (12th overall, Columbus Blue Jackets)
Medicine Hat Tigers forward Cole Sillinger, a 6-foot, 187-pound product of Regina, Sask., 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 Sillinger, who spent four seasons with the Regina Pats (1987-91) before embarking on an 18-season NHL career that included a stop in Columbus (2001-03). Most recently, Cole was named to Canada’s roster for the National Men’s Junior Team Summer Development Camp.

Sebastian Cossa – Edmonton Oil Kings (15th overall, Detroit Red Wings)
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 marks the second time in modern history the Oil Kings had two players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft (2012 – Griffin Reinhart & Henrik Samuelsson). Most recently, Cossa was named to Canada’s roster for the National Men’s Junior Team Summer Development Camp.

Carson Lambos – Winnipeg ICE (26th overall, Minnesota Wild)
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.

Nolan Allan – Prince Albert Raiders (32nd overall, Chicago Blackhawks)
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.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

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