This is a moment of historical significance for Lethbridge as for the first time in club history - the Canes hold two of the top five picks in the draft.
The Hurricanes acquired Regina’s first round pick last season as a result of the Carter Ashton trade which also saw the Canes acquire Graham Hood, 94-born Tayler Balog and a 2nd round pick in 2010 – A pick the club would use to select blue chip prospect Macoy Erkamps with the 27th overall pick in 2010. The Hurricanes history of top five selections is a short one made up of only Jay Merkley (3rd overall – 2010); Dwight King (4th overall – 2004) and Paul Elliot (4th overall – 1995).
Entering this draft – Merkley is Lethbridge’s highest ever selection in the WHL Draft as they selected the Calgary native with the third overall pick in 2010. This was the Canes first lottery pick since selecting Alex Theriau in 2007 with the 6th pick overall selection and it marked the Canes first ever selection in the top 3 of the WHL Draft. Other notable Hurricanes first selections in their draft year include: Phil Tot (18th overall in 2008); Carter Ashton (7th overall in 2006); the aforementioned Dwight King (4th overall in 2004); Ben Wright (25th overall in 2003) and Brent Seabrook (8th overall in 2000).
The order of the second round and all other rounds will be the inverse order of final 2010-11 regular season standings. Lethbridge currently holds a pair of picks in the second round of the 2011 Draft – their own pick (26th overall) as well as the 29th overall pick acquired from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for defenseman Brennan Yadlowski. This means the Canes are poised to make four selections in the top 29 players of this season’s draft. This comes just a season after the 2010 draft which saw the team select several highly touted prospects with four of the top 41 picks - their own selections, 3rd in the first and second round, as well as Regina’s second round selection (5th in the second round – 27th overall and Tri City’s second round selection (19th in the second round – 41st overall – Acquired in the trade of Eric Mestery). Some of the more notable of the Hurricanes second round selections prior to last season include: Reid Jackson (28th overall- 2008); Austin Fyten (27th overall – 2006) and former Hurricanes Captains Ben Wright (25th overall – 2004) and Jason Hegberg (23rd overall – 1994)
The 22nd Annual WHL Bantam Draft results will be posted live on www.whl.ca also fans should note that this event will be webcast live – Check whl.ca for details. Click on the WHL Bantam Draft icon on the WHL homepage. The Hurricanes will be tweeting picks, news and notes from the draft table – be sure to follow the Canes official twitter feed at www.twitter.com/WHLHurricanes Following the first round, midway point and conclusion of the draft – summaries will be available at LethbridgeHurricanes.com
Players eligible for the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft will be 1996-born players who reside in: Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Hurricanes 2011 WHL Bantam Draft Summary of picks:
1st round (3rd overall from Regina) –
1st round (5th overall) –
2nd round (26th overall) –
2nd round (29th overall from Everett) –
3rd round (48th overall) –
4th round (70th overall) – Traded to Kootenay (Machacek)
5th round (92nd overall) – Traded to Portland (Johnston)
5th round (99th overall from Vancouver) –
6th round (114th overall) –
7th round (146th overall) – Traded to Everett (MacDermott)
8th round (168th overall) –
8th round (183rd overall) –
9th round (190th overall) –
10th round (212th overall) –
11th round (234th overall) –
(From Ryan Ohashi, Hurricanes Manager of Communications and Events)
This blog post is brought to you by www.clearlylethbridge.com.