Raiders to pick twice in new U.S. Prospect Draft

All 22 teams in the Western Hockey League have a new opportunity to add American prospects to their pool.

In an event that was originally reported on by The Pipeline Show’s Guy Flaming earlier this season, the league officially announced on Thursday afternoon that a two-round U.S. Prospects Draft will take place on Wednesday, March 25 at 2 p.m.

A lottery process was held previously to determine the order, with the Red Deer Rebels earning the first overall pick.

The Prince Albert Raiders hold the fifth overall selection and the 40th overall selection, as the first round order is reversed for the second round.

As is the case for the WHL Bantam Draft, which will take place on Thursday, May 7 in Red Deer, teams will have the chance to draft 2005-born players that reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Around the WHL

Two head coaches earned new contracts this week as James Patrick came to terms on a three-year deal with the Winnipeg Ice and Dennis Williams had his deal extended with the Everett Silvertips through the 2022-23 campaign.

Patrick, who suited up for the Raiders in the SJHL during the 1980-81 campaign, is in his third season behind the bench for the Ice.

After posting a 40-83-12-5 record during the club’s final two seasons in Cranbrook, B.C., Patrick and the Ice have a 32-19-1-0 mark thus far this year and are currently tied for first place in the East Division standings with the Raiders.

Williams has put together a 127-48-7-7 mark with the Silvertips since he was hired in 2017.

The club reached the WHL final in 2018 and are currently in second place in the U.S. Division.

Meanwhile, Lethbridge Hurricanes defenceman Calen Addison had his National Hockey League rights moved on Monday night.

The second round pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2018 was dealt along with forward Alex Galchenyuk and the Penguins’ first round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Jason Zucker.

The 20-year-old from Brandon has 43 points in 39 games this season and is tied for sixth in defensive scoring in the WHL this season with Scott Walford of the Saskatoon Blades.

He also had nine points for Canada’s gold medal winning side at the World Juniors.