It has been a busy three weeks for Western Hockey League member Clubs. With Thursday’s signing of Andrew Cristall to a WHL Standard Player Agreement with the Kelowna Rockets, a milestone was reached. Now, all 22 first-round selections from the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft have now signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
It began on the day before the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft when the Regina Pats announced that Connor Bedard had signed with them. The first player ever to gain exceptional player status to play in the WHL, Pats fans are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the North Vancouver, B.C. product.
The day after the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, the Prince George Cougars and Moose Jaw Warriors had big news to announce as Saskatoon Contacts teammates Riley Heidt and Brayden Yager signed with their respective Clubs.
A few days later, fourth-overall selection Lukas Dragicevic made it official with the Tri-City Americans as he signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
The Saskatoon Blades also received a commitment from a B.C.-born player on April 27, 2020. Tanner Molendyk, the fifth-overall selection hails from McBride, B.C., and signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
The Red Deer Rebels signed Kalan Lind, the sixth-overall selection in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, to a WHL Standard Player Agreement the following day to continue the trend of signings. Kalan’s older brother Kole, who found success in the league with the Kelowna Rockets and is a prospect of the Vancouver Canucks, was on hand to congratulate him for his big moment as well.
Tuesday, April 28 brought with it the announcement of Sam Oremba’s signing of a WHL Standard Player Agreement. The Seattle Thunderbirds chose the forward seventh overall less than a week earlier.
Fast forwarding to today, the Rockets made it official with Cristall to add another strong player to their Club’s future.
The top Albertan selected at the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, defenceman Austin Zemlak officially joined the Victoria Royals on Friday, May 1.
Another Albertan on the way to a B.C. Division team, Lloydminster, Alta. product Mazden Leslie made things official with the Vancouver Giants on April 30.
For the final selection of the top half of the first round of the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, the Medicine Hat Tigers looked one province east. Settling on Saskatchewan defenceman Reid Andresen, he signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement with the Tigers on May 4.
Staying in the Central Division, the Calgary Hitmen looked west in the first round of the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. From Gibsons, B.C., they chose forward Oliver Tulk and later signed him to a WHL Standard Player Agreement on May 1.
Friday, May 8 marked a special moment for the Brandon Wheat Kings as they officially welcomed Quinn Mantei to their Club with the signing of a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
The Winnipeg ICE welcomed their top selection in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft, forward Zach Benson, on April 29, 2020.
After being captained by defencemen in each of their past two seasons, the Prince Albert Raiders looked to the blue line first at the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. Choosing Terrell Goldsmith 15th overall, he signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement on April 29, 2020.
The 16th-overall selection was an all-Albertan affair as the Lethbridge Hurricanes looked north to the provincial capital, selecting forward Cole Miller. A week later, he signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement with the Club.
The Cougars wound up making three selections in the first round of the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft and signed all three to WHL Standard Player Agreements. The second of such signings was 17th-overall selection Caden Brown, who signed on May 4, 2020.
The second Edmontonian to be chosen at the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft was defenceman Saige Weinstein. Selected by the U.S. Division’s Spokane Chiefs he would sign a WHL Standard Player Agreement exactly a week after being selected.
As B.C. Division champions, the Kamloops Blazers chose 19th overall and looked within their province to make their first selection. Choosing defenceman Kaden Hammell, the Langley, B.C. product would sign a WHL Standard Player Agreement on Thursday, May 7.
The Central Division champion Edmonton Oil Kings also looked within their provincial borders, selecting Medicine Hat, Alta. product Dawson Seitz 20th overall and later signing him to a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
The Swift Current Broncos continued to keep a mindful eye on the future at April’s WHL Bantam Draft. Looking within Saskatchewan’s borders, they chose Regina, Sask. product Brady Birnie. On May 1, 2020, he officially joined them with the signing of a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
Closing out the first round and 22 signings, Lloydminster, Alta. product Ryker Singer became a member of the Cougars. He officially joined the B.C. Division Club on May 5.
The WHL would like to welcome all players who have signed WHL Standard Player Agreements with their respective WHL member Clubs!