The WHL bantam draft is less than 24 hours away, as it begins at 7:30 PDT Thursday morning in Calgary. The draft will distribute the rights of 1999-born players from western Canada and the western United States among the WHL’s 22 teams. The past few years the first round was streamed online on the WHL’s website. I haven’t found confirmation it will happen again this year, but I suspect it will.
There are several resources with which to follow the bantam draft. I will be providing updates via Twitter, as well as writing blog posts after the first round and at the end of the day. The WHL website (link above) updates picks in real time. The Silvertips website typically provides updates throughout the day, with details about Everett’s picks. And Alan Caldwell always does a tremendous job of providing statistical information for all the players picked.
Everett picks 15th overall in the first round, the latest the Tips select since holding the 18th-overall pick in 2010 (which was eventually traded to Edmonton). Everett general manager Garry Davidson said he planned on taking the best skater available, whether it was a forward or a defenseman. He said he was unlikely to use the pick on a goaltender.
Davidson also cleared up Everett’s pick situation, which is a little different than I speculated Monday. The Tips don’t have a pick in the second round, but they have 10 picks in rounds three-through-seven: two thirds, one fourth, three fifths, two sixths and two sevenths. There are two discrepancies from what I listed previously. First, I forgot to upgrade the pick received from Calgary in the Linden Penner trade, which changed from a seventh to a fifth. Second, Everett has a fourth when I though the Tips didn’t. Either the fourth Everett owes Prince George for Jujhar Khaira isn’t from this year, or the Tips received a fourth from Medicine Hat via the complicated conditions from the Reid Petryk/Miles Koules trade. Anyway, the Tips have a ton of mid-round picks at their disposal. Davidson expressed an interest in getting back into the second round, so it’s possible he’ll package some of those mid-round picks to accomplish that.
On the local front, there’s another Snohomish County product who I didn’t list Monday who’s a candidate to be picked: Mukilteo defenseman Patrick Norman, who played for the L.A. Jr. Kings. He joins fellow locals, forwards Luke Ormsby (Monroe) and Brendan Studioso (Mukilteo), defenseman Wyatte Wylie (Lake Stevens), and goaltenders Ben Colvin (Snohomish) and Dominick Vlaha (Snohomish), as players who could be selected Thursday.
Lastly, I asked Davidson about Tyson Jost, Everett’s first rounder from last year who has yet to sign with the Tips. The high-scoring forward’s season just ended last weekend as his Okanagan Rockets took the bronze medal at the Telus Cup, which serves as the Canadian midget national championships. Davidson said he planned on reaching out to Jost and his family again once the bantam draft is complete.