Raiders to pick 21st and 24th overall in U.S. Priority Draft

The Prince Albert Raiders will be adding two American prospects to their depth chart in relatively short order in December.

The team was the second ball to be revealed in Thursday’s WHL U.S. Priority Draft lottery, which gave them the 21st and 24th overall selections in the two-round snake draft format.

The Seattle Thunderbirds won the lottery and will have the first overall pick, but won’t pick again until the 44th and final selection on draft day, which will be on Dec. 8.

This is the second season that the U.S. Priority Draft has taken place, with the Red Deer Rebels taking forward Gracyn Sawchyn first overall in March 2020.

Sawchyn, who had 60 points in 47 games for the Shattuck St. Mary’s Under-16 team this year, has made the US NTDP’s Under-17 program for next season and had his WHL rights dealt to the Thunderbirds last month.

Blueliner Briggs Orr, who was a second round pick by the Calgary Hitmen, is the only player from the 2020 draft class that has signed a contract with a WHL club up to this point.

The order for the first round, which will be reversed for the second round, is as follows:

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

Year-End Awards

The Western Hockey League continued their reveal of their divisional award winners on Thursday with the recipients from the B.C. Division, which were voted on by the general managers and head coaches in the five-team loop, being announced.

The honourees for each category, who are now nominated for next week’s league-wide honours, were as follows:

  • Top Scorer: Justin Sourdif (Vancouver Giants)
  • Most Sportsmanlike Player: Tarun Fizer (Victoria Royals)
  • Scholastic Player of the Year: Jason Spizawka (Victoria Royals)
  • Defenceman of the Year: Alex Kannok-Leipert (Vancouver Giants)
  • Goaltender of the Year: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)
  • Rookie of the Year: Koehn Ziemmer (Prince George Cougars)
  • Player of the Year: Justin Sourdif (Vancouver Giants)

Around the CHL

The Sudbury Wolves officially kicked off the Ontario Hockey League’s draft weekend Thursday by announcing that they will be taking forward Quentin Musty with the first overall pick.

Musty, who is from Hamburg, N.Y., had 56 points in 27 games this season for the North Jersey Avalanche Under-16 program and took part in the US NTDP’s Under-17 camp last month before electing to play in the OHL.

“He has been a dominant player for a number of years and he was exceptional this season, especially in the recent USA Hockey Youth Nationals, where as an underage player he led his team to the National Championship,” Wolves general manager Rob Papineau said in a prepared statement.

“Our fans are going to love Quentin as he is extremely talented, skilled and plays the game with such a high compete that he will have our fans at the edge of their seats.”

The first three rounds of the OHL Draft will be held on Friday, with the final 12 rounds taking place on Saturday.