Ice to select first overall at 2019 WHL Draft

The Winnipeg Ice have picked up a victory away from the rink just three days after moving from Cranbrook, B.C.

On Wednesday morning, the Ice won the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft Lottery and moved up from second to first in the order for the first round, which will take place on May 2 in Red Deer.

The Ice had the second worst record in the WHL this season and the second best odds of getting the first overall selection.

The Prince George Cougars, who had the Swift Current Broncos’ first round pick due to the Josh Anderson trade last January, had the best odds entering the lottery.

The Cougars will now pick second and the Saskatoon Blades have the third overall pick, which they received from the Regina Pats last January for Libor Hajek.

The Cougars will use their own pick at fourth overall, with the Kelowna Rockets and Brandon Wheat Kings rounding out the six teams that missed the playoffs.

The Prince Albert Raiders are currently slated to have the 22nd and final pick of the opening round after winning the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy.

Forward Matthew Savoie is widely considered to be the best player available, but he committed to the NCAA’s Denver Pioneers on Monday night after he was reportedly not granted exceptional player status from Hockey Canada.