Eleven youth players with Arizona connections selected in two-day 2021 WHL draft process
The Western Hockey League completed the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft Wednesday day with clubs selecting 44 players throughout the two-round draft.
With the first-overall pick, the Seattle Thunderbirds selected forward Macklin Celebrini, a North Vancouver, B.C., native who has tallied 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists) in 23 games with Shattuck-St. Mary’s so far this season.
In total, 11 different states had players selected in the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft, led by 15 players from California. Of the 44 players selected, WHL teams chose two goaltenders, 18 defensemen and 24 forwards.
ARIZONA PLAYERS SELECTED
1st round, 2nd overall, Lethbridge Hurricanes – Jack Lackas, F, Jr. Coyotes 15U
1st round, 9th overall, Victoria Royals – Hudson Bjornson, D, Jr. Coyotes 15U (Scottsdale)
1st round, 12th overall, Regina Pats – Carson McGinley, F, Jr. Coyotes 15U (Phoenix)
1st round, 15th overall, Kelowna Rockets – Hayden Hastings, F, Jr. Coyotes 15U (Scottsdale)
1st round, 20th overall, Medicine Hat Tigers – Ben Vatis, G, Jr. Coyotes 15U (Phoenix)
2nd round, 28th overall, Edmonton Oil Kings – Tyler Atchison, F, Windy City Storm 15U (Arizona Bobcats)
2nd round, 30th overall, Kelowna Rockets – Jake Solano, F, Jr. Coyotes 15U (Phoenix)
2nd round, 35th overall, Kamloops Blazers – Sam Webster, D, Jr. Coyotes 15U (Chandler)
2nd round, 43rd overall, Lethbridge Hurricanes – Tristen Azelton, D, Arizona Bobcats 16U (Gilbert)
The WHL then completed the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft online Thursday.
With the first overall pick in the draft, the Spokane Chiefs used the selection to take forward Berkly Catton of his hometown Saskatoon Contacts’ 18U team.
In total, 214 players were selected by WHL clubs, including 119 forwards, 71 defensemen, and 24 goaltenders.
Thursday’s proceedings saw seven players selected from the United States, following on the heels of 43 American-born players taken in the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft on Wednesday, including two Arizona connections.
In the eighth round, the Tri-City Americans took Jr. Coyotes’ 15U defenseman and Phoenix native Zakhar Meshcheriakov 159th overall and then five picks later, the Prince George Cougars selected Jr. Coyotes’ 15U defenseman Drew Peterson.
(December 9, 2021)