Cougars win Bantam Draft lottery, Pats to pick first overall

There were two big winners from Wednesday’s WHL Bantam Draft lottery, which was held at the league office in Calgary.

The Prince George Cougars saw their ping pong ball chosen and moved up in the draft order from fourth to second.

Meanwhile, the Regina Pats kept the first overall pick and will more than likely select forward Connor Bedard when the draft takes place on Wednesday, April 22.

Bedard, who had 84 points in 36 games this year for the West Van Academy prep program, was given exceptional player status on Tuesday and will enter the league on a full-time basis as a 15-year-old this fall.

The Pats pick originally belonged to the Swift Current Broncos, who dealt it to the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the 2018 trade deadline as part of the Giorgio Estephan, Stuart Skinner and Tanner Nagel blockbuster.

The Hurricanes would then move that pick to Regina last season when they landed forwards Jake Leschyshyn and Nick Henry.

Regina last had the first overall selection in 2005, when they chose blueliner Colten Teubert.

The complete order for the opening round of the draft is as follows:

  1. Regina Pats (Via Swift Current and Lethbridge)
  2. Prince George Cougars
  3. Moose Jaw Warriors
  4. Tri-City Americans
  5. Saskatoon Blades (Via Regina)
  6. Red Deer Rebels
  7. Seattle Thunderbirds
  8. Kelowna Rockets
  9. Victoria Royals
  10. Vancouver Giants
  11. Medicine Hat Tigers (Via Saskatoon)
  12. Calgary Hitmen
  13. Brandon Wheat Kings
  14. Winnipeg Ice
  15. Prince Albert Raiders
  16. Lethbridge Hurricanes
  17. Prince George Cougars (Via Medicine Hat, Vancouver and Saskatoon)
  18. Spokane Chiefs
  19. Kamloops Blazers
  20. Edmonton Oil Kings
  21. Swift Current Broncos (Via Everett)
  22. Prince George Cougars (Via Portland)