The Moose Jaw Warriors know where they’ll be picking in the 2022 WHL U.S. Priority and Prospects Draft this coming May, and their position is quite a bit better than it was the last time around.
The Warriors will have the fifth- and 40th-overall picks in the U.S. Draft on Wednesday, May 18 before selecting 14th overall in the first round of the Prospects Draft a day later.
The previous U.S. Draft took place in December after being delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, and the Warriors ended up with the 22nd and last pick of the first round when the draw was announced earlier that fall.
Warriors general manager Jason Ripplinger used the selection to land Odessa, Tex. defenceman Austin Doyle, who went on to play for the Dallas Stars in the 15U AAA league and put up six goals and 16 points in 68 games.
The Warriors also had the first pick in the second round and added Tyler Chiovetti from Redondo Beach, Cal. Chiovetti ended up having a stellar season with the Los Angeles Jr. Kings in the California U15 AAA loop, putting up 33 goals and 59 points over 54 games.
The Edmonton Oil Kings will select first overall, with the Medicine Hat Tigers holding the first selection in round two.
The WHL Prospects Draft will see the Warriors pick two spots higher than they did this past December, and they’ll be hoping to have just as much success finding and securing their talent as they did last time around.
Heading into the WHL playoffs, the Warriors have signed their top four picks from the 2022 Draft, including defenceman Marek Howell (first round, 16th overall), forward Lynden Lakovic (second round, 27th overall), defenceman Brady Ness (second round, 35th overall) and forward Owen Berge (third round, 57th overall).
Howell played his first game against Regina on Jan. 1 and drew an assist in his first outing before scoring his first WHL goal in Medicine Hat on Feb. 5.
Ness suited up for three games late in the campaign and picked up his first assist in the Warriors 7-0 win over Saskatoon on Mar. 26.
Lakovic made his WHL debut in the regular-season finale against the Regina Pats and was held without a point; Berge has yet to take the ice in a regular-season game.
Medicine Hat won the Draft Lottery and will have the first-overall pick.
The Warriors return to the ice on Friday night for Game 1 of the WHL Playoffs against the Saskatoon Blades. Game game is 7 p.m. at Mosaic Place.