The WHL Draft is set to start on Thursday, May 2nd at 8:30 AM. Following the class all season long, we have configured out final mock draft on the season. This mock draft doesn’t take into considerations possible trades and attempts to fit in College commitments. Follow our Twitter (@DraftGeekHockey) for live updates during the draft. This Mock Draft is strictly based on opinions.
1. Winnipeg Ice – Matthew Savoie (NAX Academy/CSSHL Midget Prep/DraftGeek Rank: 1)
The clear cut top prospect in this years draft class, Savoie has been regarded as one of the best young hockey players to come out of Western Canada. Though committed to the University of Denver, gambling on a 50/50 player like Savoie who could change the direction of a franchise immediately in terms of not only on ice play but financially as well. Recently made a deal to acquire his older brother (Carter) from the Regina Pats, the Ice have made it clear that the decision to take the risk is still highly possible. Savoie is a hard working playmaking centre that provides the complete package offensively, doing it all on both sides of the puck while possessing elite hockey sense and execution with the puck.
Other Possible Targets: Conor Geekie (Yellowhead Chiefs)
2. Prince George Cougars (Via Swift Current) – Keaton Dowhaniuk (OHA Edmonton/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 5)
The consensus top defensemen in this years draft class, Dowhaniuk will likely be the first rearguard to go off the board. Dowhaniuk has been vocally open to playing in the WHL, despite Prince George’s struggle to attract prospects at times. Adding an assertive two-way defensemen like Keaton Dowhaniuk improve the teams back end for numerous years. The longevity of taking a player with the potential of being a top ten WHL defensemen some days is too appetizing here. Dowhaniuk is a physical two-way defensemen that imposes his physical strength and takes advantage of his cerebral mind with the puck. Smooth four-way skating, physical defensive qualities, and crisp puck distributing make him very versatile.
Other Possible Targets: Conor Geekie (Yellowhead Chiefs)
3. Saskatoon Blades (Via Regina) – Conor Geekie (Yellowhead Chiefs/Winnipeg AAA/DraftGeek Rank: 2)
I could see this selection going down in numerous different ways. The Blades have always felt comfortable taking Northern Alberta forwards, but with arguably the first overall pick sitting right in front of them it may be hard to for them to pass up. Could definitely see this pick being moved in exchange for a later selection in the first and an additional pick. Geekie’s brother played in Tri-City, far from home, so moving to Saskatoon shouldn’t be an issue. Geekie is a skilled power winger, a formidable presence up front that is advantageous with his size, puck control, strength, and shooting to overpower and over mature opposing players. Diversifies his attacking approach with cleverness, able to finish and make players around him better.
Other Possible Targets: Nate Danielson (Red Deer Rebels), Jordan Gustafson (Fort Sask Rangers), Koehn Ziemmer (OHA Edmonton)
4. Prince George Cougars – Brandon Lisowsky (BWC Academy/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 6)
After taking a defensemen with there first pick in the draft, Prince George will likely look to add to there future group up front. Adding the top forward in British Columbia, the Cougars shouldn’t have any issues recruiting the goal scoring centre to come play up North. Lisowsky would add a crucial goal scoring piece to the Cougars young up and coming offensive group, a trigger-man that can drive the offence. Sort of a low maintenance – high reward pick here. Lisowsky is a prototypical shooting forward that fires pucks at a high volume every game. Attacks with speed and looks to adjust the angle of his shot off the rush to beat goalies from long distances. The most dynamic scorer in the draft.
Other Possible Targets: Nate Danielson (Red Deer Rebels), Koehn Ziemmer (OHA Edmonton)
5. Kelowna Rockets – Mats Lindgren (BWC Academy/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 3)
Kelowna is getting set to host the Memorial Cup in 2020 so it is very likely that this pick gets moved in exchange for immediate help to there team. Though if they do decide to keep the pick, it is very likely that the team goes with there ‘best player available’ approach and take the Michigan committed Mats Lindgren at the fifth selection. It worked for them last year as they were able to recruit Trevor Wong who was committed to Denver when drafted. Lindgren is the best skater in the draft using a combination of dynamic footwork, smooth edges, confident pivots, and powerful strides into a pro-style skating package. A puck rusher that is efficient and drives the attack. High pressure and up tempo, processes the game as fast as he skates.
Other Possible Targets: Nate Danielson (Red Deer Rebels), Connor Levis (St. George’s), Bowden Singleton (NAX Academy)
6. Brandon Wheat Kings – Nate Danielson (Red Deer Rebels/AMBHL/DraftGeek Rank: 4)
The first of three first round selection in this years draft, it will be interesting to see what Brandon’s strategy is going into the draft and how the mix up there draft class. They have five picks in the top thirty, I’d expect that they move on from one or two of those for immediate help to there line up. With that being said we have the Wheat Kings selecting Nate Danielson of the Red Deer Rebels, he was the AMBHL South MVP and took his team to the finals, a captain on every team he played on. Danielson is a smooth skating two-way centre with an intuitive defensive game, manipulating opponents. Offensively he creates chances consistently, slippery with his skating and able to execute at top speed. His strengths are hard to teach while he weakness are quick to learn and build.
Other Possible Targets: Denton Mateychuk (Eastman Selects), Jordan Gustafson (Fort Sask Rangers), Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton)
7. Kamloops Blazers – Connor Levis (St. George’s Academy/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 11)
Though committed to the University of Michigan, Levis could fall far in the draft if a team doesn’t feel like they could get an honest commitment out of him. However, Levis made that verbal commitment early in his first bantam season and a lot of time has passed since then, a scout would have to think he’s changes his mind slightly since then and may be open to playing with a nearby team. It is Matt Bardley’s first draft as General Manager and he could make a splash with a pro-style prospect like Connor Levis. Compared to the likes of Nolan Patrick, Levis is a big toolsy winger that plays a puck possessive game, generating scoring chances off the rush with adjustments eat the blue line and showcasing versatile finishing abilities since his first year bantams.
Other Potential Targets: Denton Mateychuk (Eastman Selects), Koehn Ziemmer (OHA Edmonton), Mathew Ward (Delta Green)
8. Seattle Thunderbirds – Koehn Ziemmer (OHA Edmonton/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 7)
Seattle has never been afraid to grab the player that they like with any spot they selected, and with a multitude of prospects who could fall here at the eighth selections, I’m most sure that out of all my predictions so far this will by the closest one to wrong. Seattle has taken two forwards in the last two years before taking Jake Lee, so I would believe they may lean to a defensemen but could be too enticed with the package that Koehn Ziemmer provides. Ziemmer is a an offensively gifted forward who utilizes differing of pace, strength on the puck, and right-left puck control to elude defenders one on one. Elevates the game of line mates around him and can score from nearly anywhere in the offensive end.
Other Potential Targets: Grayden Siepmann (Yale Lions), Denton Mateychuk (Eastman Selects), Jordan Gustafson (Fort Sask Rangers)
9. Winnipeg Ice (Via Red Deer) – Denton Mateychuk (Eastman Selects/Winnipeg AAA/DraftGeek Rank: 8)
After selecting generational talent Matthew Savoie with there first pick in the draft, the Ice will look to add a home grown piece. As Matthew Savoie is a forward, adding a defensemen with there other first round pick would be highly likely. A pairing of Carson Lambo and Denton Mateychuk would be great to see, and would cement there young defence group as one of the best in the league. Denton is a puck distributing two-way defensemen, super aggressive on the blue line and puck dominant in all three zones. Cerebral in transition, leading the designated target with passes and hitting them at full speed. The purest puck moving defensemen who plays a similar game to Calen Addison.
Other Potential Targets: Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton)
10. Brandon Wheat Kings (Via Victoria) – Jordan Gustafson (Fort Sask Rangers/AMBHL/DraftGeek Rank: 9)
After taking Alberta forwards Nate Danielson with there first of three picks in the first round, the Wheat King’s stay in Alberta and get potential future captain Jordan Gustafson. No way that Gustafson falls outside of the top ten, if so then a lot of teams will be calling for that next pick. Getting a player like Gustafson who can play at the speed of Danielson/Greig/Chiasson with out any issues will be big. Brandon continues to add speed and skill.. Gustafson is a balanced two-way forward with high end intangibles off the ice. Spent the year facilitating offensive chances on the power play. Always engaged and quick in decisions, Gustafson’s powerful stride and lightning quick release make him a threat from everywhere.
Other Potential Targets: Grayden Siepmann (Yale Lions), Rylan Roersma (Lethbridge Goldenhawks), Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton)
11. Calgary Hitmen (Via Tri-City) – Oasiz Wiesblatt (Calgary Bison/AMBHL/DraftGeek Rank: 14)
The Calgary Hitmen select at spot eleven and spot thirteen. I would have to expect that with atleast one of those picks they take a homegrown players. The Hitmen have always drafted big with there first picks. They took Sean Tschigerl, Luke Prokop, Jackson Van De Leest, and Beck Malenstyn with four of there last five first round picks. Tristan Nielson was there last small forward they have selected and he played locally with the Edge Mountaineers. This pick in my opinion will be very similar. Wiesblatt has a brother in Ozzy who had success as a 16 year old in the WHL this past season and Oasiz plays the WHL game better than Ozzy did. Shifty and crafty, Oasiz is a playmaker who can bull his way to the net or utilize elite vision to creating scoring chances.
Other Potential Targets: Connor Gourley (Calgary Bison), Jason Spizawka (NAX Academy), Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton)
12. Medicine Hat Tigers – Mathew Ward (Delta Green/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 13)
After grabbing Cole Sillinger with there first pick last season, adding a pure playmaker who can find excel on his line like Ward would is likely what they would do here. The Tigers have never been afraid to draft small forwards, they take players who dominate the puck and Mathew Ward fills that. Ward is a pure playmaker who from January-End of the season might have been the best or atleast the most consistent CSSHL forward. Ward’s adjustments with the puck and high end puck sense allow him to make calculated decisions in the offensive end. Fearless and sleek, his inability to get contained with the puck and pass-first mind set would add a different element to the Tigers prospect core.
Other Potential Targets: Bowden Singleton (NAX Academy), Rylan Roersma (Lethbridge Goldenhawks), Nolan Flamand (Saskatoon Blazers)
13. Calgary Hitmen – Grayden Siepmann (Yale Lions/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 15)
The Hitmen took a small forward in Oasiz Wiesblatt just two picks earlier, they have always liked taking defenders and get there opportunity to grab the most skilled defenseman here. I could see the Hitmen going with Connor Gourley, linemate of Oasiz Wiesblatt. Jason Spizawka, an assertive two-way defensemen. Tyson Zimmer, who plays a similar mean scoring game as Jake Virtanen. All three of those are good options but Siepmann’s skill set on the blue line and offensive upside I think is too enticing to pass on here. Siepmann is a flexible two-way defensemen with versatile puck moving abilities and the ability to set up offensive chances from the blue line.
Other Potential Targets: Jason Spizawka (Yale Lions), Connor Gourley (Calgary Bison), Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton)
14. Swift Current (Via Portland) – Rylan Roersma (Lethbridge Goldenhawks/AMBHL/DraftGeek Rank: 18)
Coming into the season, the Broncos were drained and the rebuild looked long and treacherous… but with many deals they were able to add two first round picks this year and a few young prospects. The Broncos need these picks to stick, they need kids willing to come to play for them and kids who can plays with that speed and skill that they had in there Ed Chynoweth Cup winning season. Adding Rylan Roersma who lives in Southern Alberta, close to Swift Current, and plays/executes with speed would be an excellent add. Roersma is a versatile two-way centre, his speed is elite in this draft and his ability to read the game at that speed and make smart decisions is impressive. A potential future captain and a kid who puts it all on the ice.
Other Potential Targets: Nolan Flamand (Saskatoon Blazers), Kyren Gronick (Regina Aces)
15. Spokane Chiefs – Connor Gourley (Calgary Bison/AMBHL/DraftGeek Rank: 24)
The Chiefs have always gone with body players at there first pick in the draft, there’s a load of options available to them here just like there was last season. I’d expect them to take one of Tyson Zimmer, Jason Spizawka, or Jake Sloan if they are all available and the pick is not Connor Gourley. Chris Moulton always selects players with pro-style potential, Gourley fills that. Gourley is a big fast power winger whose instincts away from the puck offensively allows him to put the puck in the back of the net at a high volume. Led the AMBHL in scoring. Gourley’s speed, shooting, smarts and physical game are all things I think Spokane will want to add to there line up.
Other Potential Targets: Jason Spizawka (Yale Lions), Jake Sloan (Leduc Oil Kings), Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton), Kyren Gronick (Regina Aces)
16. Brandon Wheat Kings (Via Moose Jaw) – Spencer Penner (Eastman Selects/Winnipeg AAA/DraftGeek Rank: 22)
If the Brandon Wheat Kings do choose to take two forwards with the sixth and tenth, they will have to go with a defensemen at pick sixteen. Going local for the first time in the draft and taking Eastman Selects defensemen Spencer Penner would make the most sense to me here. Penner played on a pairing with Denton Mateychuk this season and they two are both regarded as top thirty prospects by likely every team. A right shot rear guard who plays an active offensive game and steady defensive game, the Wheat Kings would be getting a kid who can seemingly do it all and plays with dependability. Tremendous footwork and physical attributes, along with hockey sense make him the complete package on the back end.
Other Potential Targets: Ethan Buenaventura (RHA Nationals), Graydon Gotaas (Sherwood Park Flyers)
17. Regina Pats (Via Lethbridge) – Kyren Gronick (Regina Aces/SBAAHL/DraftGeek Rank: 17)
The Pats were able to grab this pick from Lethbridge through the Nick Henry and Jake Leschyshyn trade which happened earlier on in the season. I would be on them taking a Saskatchewan born player here, whether that be Gronick or Flamand. The reason I gave Gronick to the Pats was based on his physical tools and how close to Regina he is. Gronick grew up in the Regina hockey system and no doubt Paddock had many opportunities to watch him play. Gronick is a big thick power winger who plays a similar style of game to Auston Pratt or Matt Wedman. Imposes his physical strength and has a nose for the net. Gronick is tough to play against and even tougher to defend one on one.
Other Potential Targets: Nolan Flamand (Saskatoon Blazers), Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton)
18. Edmonton Oil Kings – Bowden Singleton (NAX Academy/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 10)
With a whole new brass running the operations in Edmonton, it may be tough to predict where they are headed with there first round pick in the draft. Not having to worry much about college commitments, Edmonton seems like a destination that could entice almost any player to come and play at. Every year there is a player falling much further than ranked, this year we predict it might be Bowden Singleton in that position. Singleton is the most natural scorer in the draft, with elite shooting abilities he can score from anywhere and pick his spot on the net from anywhere. Elite dexterity and deception, eludes defenders with ease and sets up his shots from different angles. Committed to North Dakota right now.
Other Potential Targets: Tanner Scott (OHA Edmonton), Nolan Flamand (Saskatoon Blazers), Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton)
19. Victoria (Via Saskatoon) – Tyson Zimmer (OHA Penticton/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 12)
Much like Singleton, Zimmer is a player who in our mock draft fell from where he had ranked him. Not due to skill but more due to just fitting of needs and prediction of picks. Zimmer just seems like a Royal, he plays that all around game and can absolutely rip the puck when he wants to. Zimmer is a shooting power winger that plays the game with speed and possess an elite shot he can get off in stride. Deft with his puck handling and a player that can do it all on his own, Zimmer will play as a 16 year old in the WHL as he’s physically developed above his age.
Other Potential Targets: Tanner Scott (OHA Edmonton), Nolan Flamand (Saskatoon Blazers), Jake Sloan (Leduc Oil Kings)
20. Kamloops (Via Everett) – Josh Niedermayer (OHA Penticton/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 26)
Like father like son? While I think the Blazers could get Josh with the twenty-eighth pick of the draft, I could very well see him ending up in the first round as well. Josh is son of Scott Niedermayer who spent his junior hockey career in Kamloops. Though Kamloops has had success with Saskatchewan born prospects in the past and I could see them taking Nolan Flamand here, new GM Matts Bardsley could go another direction, similar to the way it was in Portland. Niedermayer is a big strong two-way defensemen with all the mental tools to be a high level WHL player. Assertive in all three zones, a bit thick right now but once he leans out and fixes his feet he will be a high-level defensemen.
Other Potential Picks: Nolan Flamand (Saskatoon Blazers), Jason Spizawka (Yale Lions), Carter Derenewsky (Yorkton Maulers)
21. Swift Current Broncos (Via Vancouver) – Nolan Flamand (Saskatoon Blazers/SMHL/DraftGeek Rank: 16)
Taking another nearby player with there second selection in the draft, the Broncos this time draft a player directly out of Saskatchewan. Flaming is a bit of an enigma in this years draft, while he went up and played above his age with the Saskatoon Blazers, he was never seen against his own age group and only played limited minutes with the Midget’s. Flaming is a highly intelligent offensive centre, he makes quick decisions with the puck and has a good skill set to go along with his intuitiveness. Needs to work on the physical abilities and skating but a promising prospect that could be very under-rated due to lack of viewings.
Other Potential Targets: Justen Maric (OHA Edmonton), Ethan Buenaventura (RHA Nationals), Carter Derenewsky (Yorktown Maulers)
22. Prince Albert Raiders – Tanner Scott (OHA Edmonton/CSSHL/DraftGeek Rank: 19)
This is completely new territory for the Prince Albert Raiders, as they have picked high consistently over the past few years, but with the success of the past season they find themselves waiting a while before selecting. Keeping the young group intact while having a Memorial Cup calibre team, the Raiders are in good position to be a top team for a long time. Something Ron Gunville would be proud of. It is tough to predict who they make take at this spot in the draft but Scott is our best player available so we give him to the Raiders here. Scott plays a similar game to Davis Koch, a relentless two-way game mixed with agile footwork and crafty puck handling. Potential middle six centre.
Other Potential Targets: Ethan Buenaventura (RHA Nationals), Reiger Lorenz (Edge School), Benjamin Thornton (Yale Lions), Naill Crocker (Delta Green)