The Regina Pats will have the first selection in the WHL’s bantam draft. That was determined in the annual draft lottery that as held in the WHL’s Calgary office on Wednesday morning. . . . The draft is scheduled to be held online on April 22. . . .
And what will the Pats do with that selection? Here’s Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post:
“Shortly after Regina was awarded the top pick via Wednesday’s lottery, GM John Paddock revealed to the Regina Leader-Post that his team will indeed select blue-chip forward Connor Bedard, who has been granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada.”
Paddock told Harder: “We will be selecting him first. I would have said this regardless but the exceptional status made it even more obvious to everybody. There’s no secret with this. He’ll be a Regina Pat, that’s for sure.”
Harder’s complete story is right here.
So . . . you’re wondering how the Pats ended up with the first pick that actually originated with the Swift Current Broncos? Here’s how it happened . . .
It all began on Jan. 9, 2018, when the Hurricanes traded G Stuart Skinner, F Giorgio Estephan and F Tanner Nagel to the Broncos for G Logan Flodell, F Logan Barlage, F Owen Blocker, D Matthew Stanley, first- and third-round picks in the 2020 bantam draft and a conditional second-rounder in 2021.
On Nov. 29, 2018, the Pats dealt F Jake Leschyshyn and F Nick Henry to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for F Jadon Joseph, F Ty Kolle, five bantam draft selections — including a 2020 first-rounder that had been Swift Current’s — and two conditional bantam draft picks.
That turned into an early selection when the Broncos, who won the WHL’s 2017-18 championship, finished with the league’s poorest record in 2019-20.
When the lottery was held yesterday, a Prince George Cougars’ ball fell, allowing them to move up from fourth to second — that is the maximum advancement permitted under draft rules. . . . The Cougars also hold the 11th and 17th picks, from the Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat Tigers, respectively.
The first-round order:
1. Regina Pats (from Swift Current Broncos via Lethbridge)
2. Prince George Cougars
3. Moose Jaw Warriors
4. Tri-City Americans
5. Saskatoon Blades (from Regina Pats)
6. Red Deer Rebels
7. Seattle Thunderbirds
8. Kelowna Rockets
9. Victoria Royals
10. Vancouver Giants
11. Medicine Hat Tigers (from Saskatoon)
12. Calgary Hitmen
13. Brandon Wheat Kings
14. Winnipeg Ice
15. Prince Albert Raiders
16. Lethbridge Hurricanes
17. Prince George Cougars (from Medicine Hat)
18. Spokane Chiefs
19. Kamloops Blazers
20. Edmonton Oil Kings
21. Swift Current Broncos (from Everett Silvertips)
22. Prince George Cougars (from Portland Winterhawks)
For the second and all ensuing rounds, the draft order follows the inverse order of the 2019-20 standings.
The WHL held its inaugural two-round draft of U.S. prospects on Wednesday afternoon. . . . All of the selections are listed right here.
The NHL has postponed its annual draft, but hasn’t provided a new date. It was to have been held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, June 26 and 27. . . . The NHL also postponed its scouting combine and awards ceremony. The combine would have taken place in Buffalo, from June 1-6, with the awards ceremony in Las Vegas on June 18. . . .
Bob McKenzie, the godfather of hockey insiders, reported on TSN on Tuesday that the NHL has asked teams to look into the availability of their home arenas through the end of August.
Emily Kaplan of ESPN later chatted with Nick Foligno, the captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Here is part of their conversation:
“I don’t know if I should be saying this, but I will. I don’t know if it makes a ton of sense for us to play into August. I think that’s pretty dangerous coming into another season. You want to have a great season the following season, and I don’t know if that gives guys enough time to rest and recover.
“If you think of the amount of games some guys would play, you’re adding on another 20 games, plus a full season, then playoffs again. That’s dangerous for some players, especially star players — the guys fans want to see — they’re usually playing deep into the playoffs, so we have to be cognizant of their health and safety. We want to make our league as great as it could be going into this big TV deal that everybody knows about. There’s so much that goes into it.”
The complete conversation is right here.
The 2020 North American Indigenous Games have been postponed until some point in 2021. The Games had been scheduled for K’jipuktuk/Halifax, N.S., July 12-18. . . . There isn’t a date set for next year but organizers are hoping for some time during the summer. . . . The 2020 B.C. Summer Games that had been scheduled for Maple Ridge have been cancelled. They were to have been held July 23-26. Maple Ridge will play host to the Games in 2024. . . . The 2020 Canada 55+ Games that were to have been held in Kamloops have been postponed to 2021. They had been scheduled for Aug. 25-28. . . . These Games are held every two years in late August. They have been held in even-numbered years, but that rotation will be broken in 2021. . . .
The Russia-based KHL has cancelled the remainder of its season. The KHL was into its playoffs and had hoped to be able to finish in time, but now has given up on that happening. . . .
The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes told full-time employees on Wednesday that they won’t be getting paid after the end of this week. . . . The Super League’s Toronto Wolfpack has laid off its Canadian staff, putting 12 full-time employees out of work until play resumes. . . .
The B.C. Lions are scheduled to hold training camp in Kamloops from May 13 through June 3. I’m thinking that is about seven weeks away. I’m also thinking that isn’t going to happen. . . . So it may not be long before the CFL announces Plan B. . . .
If you feel like clicking on that DONATE button over there on the right and making a contribution, please go ahead. . . .
The below tweet shows the price of gas in Walsh, Alta., just east of Medicine Hat, on Tuesday:
The Thought for the Day, from Jack Finarelli, who is at sportscurmudgeon.com, courtesy of Mark Twain: “How lucky Adam was. He knew when he said a good thing, nobody had said it before.” . . .
With the French Open already having been rescheduled, it now seems that Wimbledon could get the same treatment. It is scheduled for June 29 through July 12 but the All England Lawn Tennis Club now is saying the event could be postponed or, yes, even cancelled. . . . The French Open, originally scheduled for May 24 through June 7 at Stade Roland Garros in Paris, now is to be held from Sept. 20 through Oct. 4. It is to start one week after the conclusion of the U.S. Open. . . .
Terry Jones of Postmedia reports that Edmonton is likely to lose the Volleyball Super Nationals that were scheduled for May 13-19, and also the Triathlon World Series Grand Final and World Championships, Aug. 17-23. . . . While the triathlon event is expected to be moved to 2021, the next Volleyball Super Nationals isn’t scheduled until 2022. . . .