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Western Hockey League completes 2022 WHL U.S. Priority Draft

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League completed the 2022 WHL U.S. Priority Draft today with WHL member Clubs selecting 44 players throughout the two-round draft.

With the first-overall pick, the Edmonton Oil Kings selected defenceman Blake Fiddler  (Frisco, Texas / Dallas Stars Elite 14U). Fiddler, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound defenceman, played with the Dallas Stars Elite 14U during the 2021-22 season.

“It’s a huge honour and a dream come true,” Fiddler told OilKings.ca following the 2022 WHL U.S. Prospects Draft. “I’ve always wanted to play in this league and to be drafted by such a great organization is awesome. I’m just really excited for what the future holds.

“I’m a two-way defenceman, but very offensive minded. I like to jump up in the play, lead the rush, creating offence when we’re in the offensive zone, but I’m also reliable in the defensive zone when I’m put on the ice.”

Fiddler is the son of longtime NHL forward and former Kelowna Rockets star Vernon Fiddler, who spent 14 seasons in the NHL, playing 877 regular season games.

“He’s taught me a lot,” Blake said of his father’s influence. “He’s been a big part of my hockey career so far. He’s really helped me develop into the player that I am today, and I’m really thankful for the opportunities my family has provided me and the sacrifices they’ve made to help get me to where I am.”

Other notable NHL alumni to see their sons’ names called included former San Jose Sharks stars Owen Nolan and Brad Stuart. For Stuart, his son Jake was selected second overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings, while Nolan’s son Dylan was selected 10th overall by the Prince Albert Raiders.

Two-time Stanley Cup champion Grant Jennings saw his son’s name, Gordon, called by the Prince Albert Raiders with the 35th overall selection. Grant played nine NHL seasons and was a member of the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins squads in 1991 and 1992.

All four of the aforementioned NHL alumni spent time in the Canadian Hockey League.

Vernon Fiddler spent three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets (1997-2000) before wrapping up his WHL career with the Medicine Hat Tigers during the 2000-01 campaign. Most recently, he served as an assistant coach with the Rockets (2019-21).

Brad Stuart spent three seasons with the Regina Pats (1996-99) before concluding his WHL career with the Calgary Hitmen (1999), winning a WHL Championship and being named WHL and CHL Defenceman of the Year.

Grant Jennings played two seasons (1983-85) with the Saskatoon Blades, while Owen Nolan skated in the Ontario Hockey League as a member of the Cornwall Royals (1988-90).

In total, 11 different states had players selected in the 2022 WHL U.S. Priority Draft, including California, which led the way with 13 players chosen.

2022 WHL U.S. Priority Draft – State-by-State Breakdown

California – 13
Minnesota – 9
Texas – 5
Colorado – 4
Alaska – 3
Arizona – 3
North Dakota – 2
Washington – 2
Michigan – 1
Nebraska – 1
Nevada – 1

Complete results from the 2022 WHL U.S. Priority Draft are available at WHL.ca/draft.

2022 WHL U.S. Prospects Draft Results

Round One

#1 – Edmonton Oil Kings
Name: Blake Fiddler                       Position: Defence             Hometown: Irving, Texas
Team: Dallas Stars Elite 14U                                                     Stats: N/A

#2 – Brandon Wheat Kings
Name: Jake Stuart                           Position: Forward             Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Team: Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14U                                              Stats: 62GP – 43G-38A–81 points

#3 – Regina Pats
Name: Dylan Lebret                       Position: Defence             Hometown: Spokane, Wash.
Team: Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14U                                              Stats: 57GP – 9G-18A–27 points

#4 – Lethbridge Hurricanes
Name: Harrison Boettiger             Position: Goaltender       Hometown: Wheatridge, Colo.
Team: Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres 14U                                  Stats: 26GP – 24-0-0 – 1.12 GAA, .948 SV%

#5 – Moose Jaw Warriors
Name: Carter Murphy                    Position: Defence             Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas
Team: Dallas Stars Elite 14U                                                     Stats: N/A

#6 – Seattle Thunderbirds
Name: Lukas Sawchyn                   Position: Forward             Hometown: Victoria, Minn.
Team: Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres 14U                                  Stats: 52GP – 35G-50A–85 points

#7 – Victoria Royals
Name: Rui Han                                Position: Forward             Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Team: St. George’s School U15 Prep                                       Stats: 26GP – 20G-15A–35 points

#8 – Spokane Chiefs
Name: Landon Hafele                    Position: Forward             Hometown: Fairbanks, Alaska
Team: Green Bay Jr. Gamblers 14U                                        Stats: N/A

#9 – Tri-City Americans
Name: Brady Turner                       Position: Forward             Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Team: Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 14U                                                Stats: N/A

#10 – Prince Albert Raiders
Name: Dylan Nolan                        Position: Forward             Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Team: San Jose Jr. Sharks 14U                                                  Stats: 42GP – 30G-20A–50 points

#11 – Winnipeg ICE
Name: Carson Steinhoff                Position: Defence             Hometown: Shakopee, Minn.
Team: Minnesota Blades 14U                                                   Stats: N/A

#12 – Swift Current Broncos
Name: Tyson Ulmer                        Position: Forward             Hometown: Grand Forks, N.D.
Team: North Dakota BEL                                                           Stats: N/A

#13 – Everett Silvertips
Name: Ben Kevan                           Position: Forward             Hometown: Fairfield, Calif.
Team: Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14U                                              Stats: 61GP – 67G-48A–115 points

#14 – Red Deer Rebels
Name: Jeramiah Roberts               Position: Defence             Hometown: Monument, Colo.
Team: Colorado Rampage 14U                                                 Stats: 46GP – 29G-20A–49 points

#15 – Calgary Hitmen
Name: Brandon Gorzynski            Position: Forward             Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Team: Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 14U                                                Stats: N/A

#16 – Prince George Cougars
Name: Jackson Crowder                Position: Centre                Hometown: Allex, Texas
Team: Dallas Stars Elite 14U                                                     Stats: N/A

#17 – Kelowna Rockets
Name: Jackson Gillespie                Position: Defence             Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Team: Dallas Stars Elite 14U                                                     Stats: N/A

#18 – Kamloops Blazers
Name: Conrad Fondrk                    Position: Forward             Hometown: White Bear Lake, Minn.
Team: Mount St. Charles Academy 14U                                Stats: 70GP – 70G-57A–127 points

#19 – Saskatoon Blades
Name: Trace Frieden                      Position: Forward             Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Team: St. George’s School U15 Prep                                       Stats: 29GP – 14G-25A–39 points

#20 – Portland Winterhawks
Name: Gavin Kor                             Position: Forward             Hometown: Rochester, Minn.
Team: Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres 14U                                  Stats: 52GP – 39G-46A–85 points

#21 – Vancouver Giants
Name: Masun Fleece                     Position: Right Wing        Hometown: Rolling Hills, Calif.
Team: Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres 14U                                  Stats: 51GP – 45G-61A–106 points

#22 – Medicine Hat Tigers
Name: Max Silver                            Position: Forward             Hometown: Poway, Calif.
Team: Fairmont Prep Warriors 15s                                         Stats: 18GP – 17G-9A–26 points

Round Two

#23 – Medicine Hat Tigers
Name: Ben Davis                             Position: Forward             Hometown: Denver, Colo.
Team: Colorado Thunderbirds 14U                                         Stats: N/A

#24 – Vancouver Giants
Name: Cooper Simpson                 Position: Forward             Hometown: Shakopee, Minn.
Team: Minnesota Machine 14U                                               Stats: N/A

#25 – Portland Winterhawks
Name: Garrett Lindberg                Position: Defence             Hometown: Moorhead, Minn.
Team: Little Falls HS Flyers                                                        Stats: N/A

#26 – Saskatoon Blades
Name: William Belle                       Position: Forward             Hometown: Minnetonka, Minn.
Team: Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres 14U                                  Stats: 49GP – 31G-32A–63 points

#27 – Kamloops Blazers
Name: Ethan Bryant                       Position: Forward             Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.|
Team: Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 14U                                                Stats: N/A

#28 – Kelowna Rockets
Name: Ryder Mcleod                     Position: Defence             Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Team: Dallas Stars Elite 14U                                                     Stats: N/A

#29 – Prince George Cougars
Name: Christian Plaga                   Position: Forward             Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Team: Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14U                                              Stats: 41GP – 20G-16A–36 points

#30 – Calgary Hitmen
Name: Sam Spehar                         Position: Forward             Hometown: Edina, Minn.
Team: Chaska HS Hawks                                                            Stats: 28GP – 7G-13A–20 points

#31 – Red Deer Rebels
Name: Quinten Flores                   Position: Defence             Hometown: Arvada, Colo.
Team: Colorado Thunderbirds 14U                                         Stats: N/A

#32 – Everett Silvertips
Name: Patrick McSharry                Position: Forward             Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Team: Team Alaska 14U                                                             Stats: 43GP – 46G-23A–69 points

#33 – Swift Current Broncos
Name: Lincoln Kuehne                   Position: Defence             Hometown: West Fargo, N.D.
Team: Team North Dakota 14U                                               Stats: 17GP – 3G-6A–9 points

#34 – Winnipeg ICE
Name: Jacob Kvasnicka                  Position: Forward             Hometown: Wayzata, Minn.
Team: Minnesota Walleye 14U                                                Stats: 18GP – 12G-19A–31 points

#35 – Prince Albert Raiders
Name: Gordon Jennings                Position: Forward             Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Team: Alaska Oilers 14U AA                                                      Stats: 52GP – 15G-22A–37 points

#36 – Tri-City Americans
Name: Vincent Rodriguez             Position: Defence             Hometown: Richland, Wash.
Team: Tri-Cities Jr. Americans 14U AA                                   Stats: 50GP – 29G-41A–70 points

#37 – Spokane Chiefs
Name: Ryan Denes                         Position: Goaltender       Hometown: Saugus, Calif.
Team: Mount St. Charles Academy 14U                                Stats: 34GP – 23-10-2 – 2.40 GAA – .910 SV%

#38 – Victoria Royals
Name: Zach Spagnuolo                  Position: Centre                Hometown: Grand Blanc, Mich.
Team: Dallas Stars Elite 14U                                                     Stats: N/A

#39 – Seattle Thunderbirds
Name: Aaron Sachs                        Position: Goaltender       Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Team: Fairmont Prep Warriors 15s                                         Stats: 12GP – 4.13 GAA – .897 SV%

#40 – Moose Jaw Warriors
Name: Kyle Jones                            Position: Goaltender       Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Team: Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14U                                              Stats: 33GP – 2.90 GAA – .736 SV%

#41 – Lethbridge Hurricanes
Name: Clarke Nehmens                 Position: Defence             Hometown: Chino Hills, Calif.
Team: Shattuck-St. Mary’s Sabres 14U                                  Stats: 51GP – 12G-32A–44 points

#42 – Regina Pats
Name: Stephen Grumley               Position: Defence             Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Team: Los Angeles Jr. Kings 14U                                              Stats: 60GP – 8G-27A–35 points

#43 – Brandon Wheat Kings
Name: Carson Craig                       Position: Defence             Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Team: Vegas Jr. Golden Knights AA 14U                                Stats: 4GP – 2G-1A–3 points

#44 – Edmonton Oil Kings
Name: Jakeb Lynch                         Position: Forward             Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
Team: Omaha AAA HC 14U                                                       Stats: N/A

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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